Prof. Maria Attard, Director at the Institute for Climate Change and Sustainable Development, and Head of Department of Geography at the University of Malta discussed “The role of the environment in public health and well-being” focusing on the three main elements of transport, health, and environment and their role in preventive health.
Mr Andre’ Callus from Moviment Graffitti, a local NGO, discussed how space is shaped by both global and local forces that produce a landscape we come to take for granted. His presentation on “In whose interest? Constructing space in a neoliberal age” engaged with the construction ‘boom’ in Malta, critically engaging with Malta’s economic model and power relations.
Dr Immanuel Mifsud, Senior Lecturer at the University of Malta gave a talk titled “Mourning and Melancholia After Cutting a Flower to Build a Room” drawing his observations on excerpts from local poetry. His presentation highlighted how the destruction of the natural environment may translate into both personal and collective loss.
Prof Simone Borg, Maltese Ambassador for Climate Action and Chair of the Climate Action Board discussed "Climate, COVID, and Well Being" proposing a paradigm shift where social justice and environmental well-being are prioritised.
Dr Gottfried Catania, Head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Malta spoke on the topic of “Nature, the environment, and wellbeing at work”. In his presentation he stressed the contribution of a positive physical workspace for employees’ wellbeing and how this contributes to organisational outcomes. He stressed the dearth of spaces in which one can appreciate nature in the local context.
Prof. Joe Friggieri, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Malta presented a paper titled "Putting Humpty Dumpty together again: the environment as cure" where he gave an exposition of his thoughts on what we can do to save the environment from further degradation if it is considered as a therapeutic tool rather than a financially exploitable resource.
The forum was received well, and feedback clearly highlighted that the environment needs to feature much more prominently within the world of psychology especially given how important climate change has become at global level.