Salus journal

Healthy Planet. Healthy People.

Science & research / Planetary health

European Healthcare Design 2019

The work of the Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission on Planetary Health

By Sir Andy Haines 19 Aug 2019 0

This keynote talk looks at planetary health – a new field of study rooted in understanding the interdependencies of human and natural systems – and how healthcare relates to it.

Download the slides for this video presentation


The last century’s advancements in public health, agriculture, industry, and technology have created the conditions for better health for billions of people. But this progress is taking a heavy toll on the Earth’s natural systems. Relentless consumption of the planet’s resources, along with population growth, are degrading nature in ways that are now undermining our wellbeing.

There is growing evidence that the planet’s capacity to sustain the growing human population is declining. Degradation of our air, water, and land, combined with significant loss in biodiversity, have resulted in substantial health impacts.

Planetary health is a new field of study rooted in understanding the interdependencies of human and natural systems. In exploring the scientific basis for creating this new field – and to make policy recommendations – the Rockefeller Foundation and the medical journal The Lancet formed The Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission on Planetary Health.

In July 2015, the commission published a report that explored this scientific foundation. In this keynote, chair of the commission Sir Andy Haines gives delegates an overview of the report’s findings and the commission’s broader work programme.