Global Health Academy

Planetary Health Annual Meeting

We live under the same sky: Let's connect, create and collaborate.

The 2018 Planetary Health Annual Meeting took place in Edinburgh, 29 May – 1 June 2018.




ABOUT THE EVENT [booking closed]

Our objective is to highlight the impacts of human activity on our global environment and on wellbeing and to drive effective responses to planetary health issues.

We invite anyone who is concerned and wants to be actively involved in safeguarding our planet and health for future generations: researchers, scientists, practitioners, policy makers, artists, planners, educators, students and local communities.


29 - 31 May, 2018


31 May - 1 June, 2018

Sharing knowledge. Voicing our visions. Building links and commitment to work more effectively together across all disciplines. Action planning together to find solutions that address planetary health challenges.

Additionally, a number of Satellite Sessions are taking place around the world.

Planetary Health

Everything is connected. What we do to the world comes back to affect us, and not always in ways that we would expect. Understanding and acting upon these challenges calls for massive collaboration across disciplinary and national boundaries to safeguard our health.

Planetary Health Alliance

Human health is intimately connected with the health of the natural world. The way our ecological footprint is altering our climate, the land that sustains our food, the air we breathe, our oceans and forests, and the ecosystems they maintain is the primary focus of this meeting.

Towards a Second Enlightenment

In Edinburgh – the city and the University of the first Enlightenment – we will explore what is needed for a paradigm shift towards actions that will build a more caring, interconnected world.

The programme focuses on the major threats to planetary health in the next 15 years; how essential change can come through our collective knowledge, our faith and beliefs, our traditions, our communities, the resources and resilience embedded in each culture, the arts and political will for change. It will explore in particular:

  • Who are the most vulnerable and how do they become most vulnerable?
  • How do we adapt now to major imminent, unavoidable threats? What interventions could avert or dilute future threats? 
  • What are the current and anticipated barriers to implementing these interventions? How can we overcome them?

The event will consist of keynotes and nine plenary sessions including discussion. Living Lab sessions take place on the evening of 31 May and during the day on Friday 1 June 2018 – with the option to sign up to a morning and afternoon session. Delegates are invited to two evening receptions and a range of other activities to connect, create and collaborate.


For more information download the document below:

[Booking closed]


Plenary Sessions: In Brief



  • The University of Edinburgh, Planetary Health Alliance, the Wellcome Trust and Members of Scotland’s Children’s Parliament.
  • Opening Keynote Addresses from Ernesto Zedillo (Rockefeller Economic Council) Elder Francois Paulette (Institute for Circumpolar Health Research) and Hannah Ritchie (Our World in Data).
  • A conversation on our common goal through the lenses of Planetary Health, Ecohealth, One Health, Urban Health, Climate change, Food Security, SDGs  – With Andy Haines, Kerry Arabena, Anna Meredith and others  

SESSION I: Food and Nutrition - Impacts of Environmental Change

  • Session explores sustainable food systems, the green revolution, the impact of alternative foods and waste reduction measures
  • With Brent Loken (EAT Stockholm), Pauline Scheelbeek (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), Marco Springmann (Oxford Martin School) and Komal Ahmed (Founder and CEO of Copia)  

SESSION II: Blue Planetary Health

  • This session will focus on the health of water, oceans, rivers and seas, the ways in which marine environments affect human health both positively and negatively, and the effects of climate, industry and environmental degradation on our blue planet.
  • With Lora Fleming (European Centre for Environment and Human Health) Oyun Sanjaasuren (Mongolia, Chair of Global Water Partnership) & others.

SESSION III: Infectious Diseases, Animals, Agriculture - Impacts of Environmental Change

  • This session explores the visible and hidden links between infectious diseases, agriculture and environmental security.
  • With Woutrina Smith (UC Davis) Peter Msoffe (Dadoma, Tanzania), Sandra Telfer (Aberdeen), Benjamin Rice (Madagascar Health & Environmental Research and Matt Bonds (Harvard) and others.


SESSION IV: Mental Health / Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Impacts of Environmental Change  

  • This session will focus on the mechanisms by which climate change, and air, water, and soil pollution, affect NCDs and mental health.  
  • With Jonathan Patz (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Phil Landrigan (Lancet Commission Air Pollution and Health), Tony Capon (University of Sydney), Esther Boudewijns (Maastricht – Bangalore) and others. 

SESSION V: Solution Space: Agents and Agency - Economics, Governance and Policy Solutions

  • How multilateral and national organisations can utilise planetary health frameworks to advance on-the-ground solutions.
  • With Mandeep Dhaliwal (UNDP), Kulsum Ahmed (former World Bank), Timmy Bouley (World Bank), Katherine Trebeck (WEAll) and others.


  • A taster of the dynamic research on planetary health across the globe including talks on conservation of Brazilian underutilized species, urban gold mining, the BRIDGE collaborative, and migration climate change and health.


SESSION VII: Redesigning Space - Urban Design For Health

  • An estimated two thirds of the world will live in cities by 2050, thus the healthiness of cities will determine the healthiness of people. This session focuses on strategies to create health promoting cities with non-polluting services that meet the energy, food, security, industry and livelihood needs of rapidly transitioning populations.
  • With Andy Kerr (Centre for Carbon Innovation), Ana Diez Roux (Drexel) Rebekah Brown (Monash) and Catherine Calderwood, CMO Scotland.

SESSION VIII: Solution Space - Different Economies and Economics to Solve Planetary Health Problems

  • This session will explore what role could/should joined up public, private sector and 3rd sector partners play in developing a new paradigm for a healthier planet
  • Led by Katherine Trebeck, Jock Encombe and Michael Weatherhead (WEAll Wellbeing Economy Alliance)

SESSION IX: Faith, Traditions, Indigenous Voices and The Arts: Rethinking Our Place In The World

  • Ideas and concepts at the heart of Planetary Health, such as the idea of oneness and symbiosis of all life on planet earth, are woven into the very fabric of faith, traditions and the arts. This session will explore how the cutting edge science within PlanetaryHealth relates to these ancient ideas.
  • Faith Leaders including the Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences Vatican, representatives of indigenous communities and leaders from the Arts Festival, TEARFUND and Art of Change 21  


  • from Kerry Arabena (President EcoHealth Director, Indigenous Health Equity Unit, Melbourne) and Richard Horton (The Lancet)


A range of 'Living Labs' are taking place – Action planning together to find solutions that address planetary health challenges. More information visit the Official Website.

Organising Partners
  • Planetary Health Alliance
  • University of Edinburgh
  • American Geophysical Union
  • Wellcome Trust
  • Lancet Planetary Health
  • International Development Research Centre
  • Future Earth
Support and Funding

In addition to the collaborative efforts of our organising partners, the meeting is supported by the Rockefeller Foundation through a grant to the Planetary Health Alliance. We also thank the Wellcome Trust for their generous support of travel scholarships and of the Living Lab sessions.

This event is building on the successful inaugural Planetary Health Meeting held in Boston, 2017.

an aerial view of a lake and grass

Planetary Health Annual Meeting

May 2018: Bringing together communities around the world to stimulate interdisciplinary collaboration towards ground-breaking solutions to major planetary health challenges.

McEwan Hall
University of Edinburgh