Understanding and addressing the public health impacts of human-induced environmental change
It has become undeniable that human activity is rapidly transforming Earth’s natural systems, with significant impacts on public health. The global health impacts of accelerating climatic disruption, land degradation, growing water scarcity, fisheries degradation, biodiversity loss, and pollution threaten the global health gains of the last several decades and are likely to represent the dominant global health threats of the next century.
We have been in the forefront of forging a new transdisciplinary field called Planetary Health, which focuses on improving our understanding of, and ability to measure, the public health impacts of human-induced environmental change. This will help inform decision-making in the land-use planning, ocean-use planning, environmental conservation, and public health policy realms. Evidence-based, integrated policy solutions that address environmental sustainability together with human health and development goals are needed now more than ever.