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Planetary Health

Safeguarding both human health and the natural systems that underpin it

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Safeguarding Human Health in the Anthropocene Epoch

The Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission on Planetary Health


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Over the last few decades, global health has emerged as a powerful new discipline for addressing critical health challenges. Despite recent health gains, there is growing evidence that the planet’s capacity to sustain the growing human population is declining. The degradation of our air, water, and land, has resulted in a significant loss in biodiversity. As a result, disease patterns are changing and new diseases are emerging.

Now is the time for a new discipline.

“Planetary health” that incorporates the interdependencies of human and natural systems, while also recognizing preserving the integrity of natural systems is an essential precondition for human health, survival, and prosperity.

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The Commission

To explore the scientific basis for creating this new field of study and action—and to make recommendations on policies—The Rockefeller Foundation and the medical journal The Lancet have formed The Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission on Planetary Health.

The Commission is chaired by Professor Sir Andy Haines, and includes Commissioners from with leading academics and policy makers from academic, government, multilateral and civil society institutions in eight countries.


Dr. Sir Andrew Haines Dr. Richard Horton • Dr. Jeanette Vega • Dr. Montira Pongsiri • Dr. Subhrendu Pattanayak • Dr. Fred Boltz • Dr. Samuel Myers • Dr. Sania Nishtar • Dr. Alex Ezeh • Dr. Chris Beyrer • Dr. Steve Osofsky • Dr. Derek Yach • Dr. Anthony Capon • Dr. Agnes Soucat • Dr. Peng Gong

Scientific Advisory Panel:
Prof. Frans Berkhout • Dr. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias • Prof. Howie Frumkin • Prof. Peter Head • Prof. Georgina Mace • Dr. Baskhar Vira

Commission Secretariat:
Dr. Sarah Whitmee (Corresponding Author) s.whitmee@ucl.ac.uk

What will it take to sustain humanity in the face of planetary dangers?


Hear From the Commission


The Commission Report


Planetary Health

Since first meeting in July 2014 at The Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, this multidisciplinary team solicited a broad range of input and analysis from a range of domains.

Their findings and recommendations have culminated in a special edition of The Lancet, which will be released in July 2015. The special edition also includes commentaries on the report and its implications for researchers, policymakers and senior decision makers, written by such luminaries as Richard Horton and Helen Clark. In addition to a special edition of The Lancet, the report will be launched in a series of high-profile regional events around the world, including the United States, South Africa, Pakistan, Malaysia, Kenya, Australia, China, and Chile.


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Looking Forward

In the weeks and months to come, The Rockefeller Foundation will continue to support the acceleration of this field of practice by ensuring widespread awareness and adoption of many of the Commission’s recommendations through our influence and grantmaking.

*Header image provided courtesy of Globaïa.