What is Planetary Health?  

As environmentalists, it is safe to say that the global environment is currently changing. From warmer temperatures to overfishing, our decisions have an impact on the world. This defines the core basis of planetary health.  

Planetary Health is the health of human civilization and the state of the natural systems on which it depends. Planetary health focuses on finding solutions and establishing a social movement that aims to protect human health and the Earth’s natural systems through the lens of environmental sustainability1.  

It’s important to note when looking at climate science and essentially the foundation of planetary health is that everything is connected. When one aspect of our climate is changing it impacts various populations including humans in different ways. Changes like pollution in the land, air, and water as well as land and freshwater shortages affect our quality of life. These support systems have already impacted our health and it is expected to further impact vulnerable populations and future generations1.  

Humanity’s carbon footprint on Earth’s natural resources has been quite large as we are consistently stripping the world of its available resources. With a rapid increase in the human population, fossil fuel production and overfishing has sharply increased due to the increased demand to feed and provide for us1.    

Once again, everything in the climate system is connected, and with humans being a major contributor to the changes occurring in the climate system. If we continue on this path, then it might be difficult to truly understand how these decisions might affect us unexpectedly. Therefore, it is important to understand and act upon these challenges that we may face in the future. Focusing on collaboration between others allows us to create and shape disciplines and boundaries that safeguard our health.