The health of people around the world is tightly linked to the health of the places we inhabit.
Improved population health and more resilient health systems are attainable in the face of global environmental changes by an integrated understanding of how interactions among human and natural systems determine our health and wellbeing.
The Future Earth Health Knowledge-Action Network brings health researchers and policymakers together with natural and social scientists, and environmental policy experts and leaders in government, the private sector, and civil society. Through this research network, we can find a better, integrated understanding of the complex interactions between a changing global environment (such as pollution, disease pathogens and vectors, and ecosystem services) and the health of human beings (including livelihoods, nutrition, and well-being), a field called planetary health. We encourage long-term integrated observation systems to collect rigorous health, socioeconomic, and environmental data.
The Future Earth Health Knowledge-Action Network held its official launch event in Taipei City on 20-23 May 2019. The transition from the development phase to the full operational phase was celebrated in a ceremony in which the co-chairs described the activities that the KAN has been engaged with. As a first activity, representatives from various sectors and organizations shaped a research agenda for the KAN.
Policy Brief (June 2020):
COVID-19, A Global Health Concern Requiring Science-Based Solutions
Scientifically-based concrete action points to reduce the spread, lessen the impact, reduce the concerns of the wider population, and avoid further outbreaks for governments, organizations, and individuals are needed
Former co-chair and Professor of Environmental Change and Public Health, Sir Andy Haines, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine describes the history and necessity for the Health Knowledge-Action Network in a video message that was shown at the launch event in Taipei City on May 20th, 2019.
The Future Earth Health Knowledge-Action Network brings health researchers together with other natural and social scientists, health, and environmental policy experts and leaders in government, the private sector, and civil society.
Through this research network, we can find a better, integrated understanding of the complex interactions between a changing global environment. (such as pollution, disease pathogens and vectors, and ecosystem services) and the health of human beings (including livelihoods, nutrition, and well-being). We encourage long-term integrated observation systems to collect rigorous health, socioeconomic, and environmental data.
“Far-reaching changes to the structure and function of the Earth’s natural systems represent a growing threat to human health.”
–The Rockefeller Foundation–Lancet Commission report: Safeguarding human health in the Anthropocene epoch.
Planetary health as a movement
Another major focus will be to build regional capacity to integrate and act on planetary health knowledge to enhance resilience, protect the environment, and avert serious threats to health. This work takes place in the context of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals approved by the UN Member States in 2015, most of which deal directly or indirectly with health.
Health Knowledge-Action Network Research Agenda
The Steering Committee and several related Health Knowledge-Action Network members worked out a detailed review of global socio-economic transitions and environmental changes that urgently require more research to safeguard Human and Planetary Health. The Research Agenda forms the foundation for the work conducted by the Health Knowledge-Action network going forward. Accessible here.
The Development Team and Advisory Group led the planning and execution of the initial scoping of the Health Knowledge-Action Network. A Steering Committee will now take the work forward and is calling for a host to support the operations and its wider network. Read more here.
Together with initial collaborators, including Future Earth oneHEALTH, the ICSU programme on Urban Health and Wellbeing, The Rockefeller Foundation – Lancet Commission on Planetary Health, the World Health Organization and the United Nations University’s International Institute for Global Health, Future Earth Health Knowledge-Action Network will further nourish collaboration with ongoing leading research programmes outside Future Earth to address its research agenda.
The Advisory Group provides guidance and feedback on strategic directions, priorities, and progress towards agreed objectives for the Health Knowledge-Action Network. The group also facilitates the network of experts and institutions in and outside of research communities.