Global Health Academy

Planetary Health

The Global Health Academy leads the University’s Planetary Health collaborations including hosting the international 2018 Planetary Health Meeting and partnering with Alumni Clubs around the world.

Image of water, land, a road and a field

What is Planetary Health?

Human health is intimately connected with the health of the natural world.

Planetary Health emphasises the absolute interconnection of all life – human, animal and the wider natural world – and the effects and consequences of actions, intended and unintended, on life itself.

Though huge gains have been made in human health and development over the last century they have been at the expense of our planet. Our current ecological footprint is irreparably altering our climate, destroying land, forests, rivers, oceans, and the ecosystems they maintain. Likewise, our human systems – political, economic and social – are contributing, often negatively, to this changing environment, frequently undermining, rather than enabling health.

Unlike many approaches, Planetary Health starts with a premise of the absolute urgency to take action before the world shuts down. It recognises that we are now in a new era, coined the Anthropocene era, where the speed with which human activities are fundamentally altering the world’s natural systems is such that there is a danger that human life itself will be challenged. Already the impacts of draught, floods, heatwaves, economic inequities, rapid urbanisations, pollution and societal breakdowns is radically changing the quality of life for many.   

Cross-disciplinary research, learning and collaboration – principles at the heart of the Global Health Academy – are pivotal if we are to advance Planetary Health solutions.

Planetary Health – as both a term and emerging field of interdisciplinary inquiry and collaboration – has been gaining profile since 2015. This is in huge part due to impetus and clarity provided by the Rockefeller Foundation–Lancet Commission on Planetary Health report published 2015. The Commission acknowledges the symbiotic relationship between humans and our planet.

Planetary Health and the Global Health Academy

The Global Health Academy is proud to lead and promote Planetary Health initiatives at the University. We are a member of the Planetary Health Alliance and in 2018 hosted the international Planetary Health Meeting – an interdisciplinary event focused on sharing knowledge and building collaborations to advance Planetary Health solutions. We are also delighted to partner with the University’s Alumni Clubs around the world who are making Planetary Health pledges. Read more on these initiatives below.

Planetary Health Meeting 2018 

A radical liberty to choose: Reconceiving the kind of world we want to live in. An overview of the event including reflections from Richard Horton and Liz Grant on the 2018 Planetary Health Meeting 2018; with links to the conference programme and videos of all sessions.  

Planetary Health for Alumni

Includes information about Alumni Club Planetary Health Pledges

For more background on Planetary Health