Inaugural Planetary Health/GeoHealth Annual Meeting

Event Type: 
In-Person Meeting
Geographic Focus: 
April 28, 2017 - 6:00pm to April 30, 2017 - 12:00pm

Boston, Massachusetts

At this inaugural convening, the Planetary Health Alliance along with the American Geophysical Union, the Ecological Society of America, and The Lancet are thrilled to bring together a diverse group of students, investigators, instructors, policy makers, and other interested individuals who are committed to understanding and communicating the human health impacts of global environmental change. Our objective is to showcase the extraordinary momentum that is taking place around the world in the field of planetary health while highlighting institutional developments, emerging investigators, research developments, and applications to policy-making and natural resource management. For more information, please visit and see the attached program agenda. The 1.5 day conference will be held April 29-30, 2017 in Boston, MA at Harvard Medical School, with a kick-off reception planned for the evening of April 28 at the New England Aquarium.

Why “Planetary Health”?

The core proposition of planetary health is that human disruption of Earth’s natural systems represents an urgent threat to global human health. The recent emergence of the planetary health concept has been fueled in part by its orientation around three core characteristics: a sharp focus on the human health impacts of accelerating environmental change; an emphasis on the scale of humanity’s ecological footprint and the extent to which these global changes are likely to drive a majority of humanity’s global burden of disease in coming years; and a sense of urgency to create a new trajectory for human stewardship of Earth’s natural systems driven by these threats.

Concern has been spreading through global health communities that the pervasive human transformation of Earth’s natural systems has become a threat to the health of humanity and even, potentially, to human civilization. It is hard to overstate the extent to which the human ecological footprint has ballooned over the past few decades or its current impact on our natural systems. There is growing recognition that the scale of these impacts, and their trajectory, are likely to drive the lion’s share of global burden of disease over the coming century. Achieving meaningful progress will require collaboration across a broad swath of scientific disciplines as well as with policy makers, natural resource managers, members of faith communities, and, perhaps most importantly, activists and movement builders around the world.  Only through this collaboration can we achieve the level of societal change required to meet these challenges.

From our Blog

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