The Planetary Health Landscape From Concept to Action

As a nascent concept, planetary health is growing among a core group of like-minded people. However, for the concept of planetary health to have a role in addressing the complex and interconnected health and environmental issues the world faces today, it must gain greater traction. The concept of planetary health is broad reaching and aspirational, as exemplified by its stated definition, “the health of human civilization and the state of the natural systems on which it depends. 1 ” It calls urgent attention to the extensive degradation of our planet for human advancement and aims to reverse this trend by better balancing human needs with the preservation of the Earth, thereby sustaining the health and well-being of future generations. To accomplish this, the concept also calls for a multidisciplinary, cross-sector, and transborder approach to change mindsets and behaviors at every level, from global to local. If the planetary health community hopes to achieve these ambitious goals, then the concept of planetary health needs to quickly translate from a vast concept into a practical roadmap that guides decision making. All levels of society and government will ultimately need to be engaged to make lasting change. However, to make substantial progress quickly, the planetary health community should first focus on decision makers in the public and private sectors, at the global and national levels, who have the power and resources to affect the mindsets and behavior of large numbers of people.

Back to Top