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Orientation Untitled-27

Introduction to Planetary Health Untitled-27

Planetary Health In Indonesia Untitled-27

Radical Listening Untitled-27

Healthcare Untitled-27

Conservation Untitled-27

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Introduction to Planetary Health


Progress in human health and poverty reduction in the 20th century was built on a foundation of Earth’s existing natural systems. Nutrition improved as people converted land for agriculture, and energy capacity grew as people dammed rivers and mined coal. Simultaneously, freshwater, forests, and fish were depleted. As humans pressured the environment to improve their own health and wellbeing, they destroyed earth’s natural buffers against threats such as flooding and disease, undermining human health progress. Successful efforts to improve human health came with increased carbon dioxide emissions, ocean acidification, tropical forest loss, and energy, water, and fertilizer use. The impacts of climate change are already undermining human health progress, particularly in poor communities.

The planetary health lens draws the interconnections between these trends and aims create solutions to human and environmental health challenges that are at the expense of neither. This module will provide the foundation for delving deeper into specific case studies and making meaning of trends at various scales.


Learning Objective

Broadly understand the concept of planetary health and summarize some of the worldwide ecosystem transformations and health trends.


Planetary Health Principle: A Planetary Health Lens (The Lancet)
Planetary Health Principle: The Sustainable Vitality of All Systems (Canmore Declaration)

“Many global challenges come into sharper focus when they are viewed with the idea of planetary health in mind.”

ASRI’s (HIH’s proof of concept partner in Borneo) transformative approach to human health provides participants with a better understanding of crucial linkages, cause-effect relationships, and feedback loops between environmental change and human health. It allows them to recognize and explore how human stewardship of Earth is a primary determinant of future population health.