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Cornell University

Our Planet, Our Health

Addressing the public health impacts of human-induced environmental change

The impacts of accelerating climatic disruption, land degradation, growing water scarcity, fisheries degradation, biodiversity loss, and pollution threaten the global public health gains of the last several decades and are likely to represent the dominant threats to humanity's health going forward. Our work is focused on the inextricable linkages between our health and that of our environment.

Planetary Health: The Interdependence of Human and Natural Systems

It is no longer possible to separate the health of the planet from the health of its people. Disease patterns are changing as the climate does, and human health is at risk from loss of biodiversity, depleted water supplies, environmental toxins, and collapsing food systems. As the Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission on Planetary Health states: “The continuing degradation of natural systems threatens to reverse the health gains seen over the last century… We have mortgaged the health of future generations to realize economic and development gains in the present.” Do we have the scientific knowledge and political will to approach these systems differently?