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.
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.
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, for which there is an open call for nominations (deadline 9 September 2019).
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 Development Team had an active role to bring together stakeholders and find opportunities for the Health community to grow. The Development Team will now establish a Steering Committee to further guide the Health Knowledge-Action Network (see call for nominations above).
The Advisory Group provided guidance and feedback on strategic directions, priorities, and progress towards agreed objectives for the Health Knowledge-Action Network. The group also facilitated the network of experts and institutions in and outside of research communities.