Frequently Asked Questions 



What is Planetary Health?

The Planetary Health Alliance has adopted the following definition: “Planetary Health is a solutions-oriented, transdisciplinary field and social movement focused on analyzing and addressing the impacts of human disruptions to Earth's natural systems on human health and all life on Earth.”

The Rockefeller Foundation–Lancet Commission on Planetary Health, which framed the field in 2015, defined Planetary Health as “the achievement of the highest attainable standard of health, wellbeing, and equity worldwide through judicious attention to the human systems—political, economic, and social—that shape the future of humanity and the Earth's natural systems that define the safe environmental limits within which humanity can flourish. Put simply, Planetary Health is the health of human civilization and the state of the natural systems on which it depends.”

Planetary Health is focused on the health of humanity as it is affected by planetary scale environmental change, which is known as the Earth Crisis.  We now understand that problems which have been framed for decades as “environmental”—climate change; biodiversity loss; pollution of air, water, and soil; terrestrial and marine system degradation—are, in fact, creating a global health and humanitarian crisis. Environmental change has reached a scale that it is driving a significant fraction of the global burden of disease across the world. The transdisciplinary field of Planetary Health has emerged to address these health dimensions of human-caused environmental change on a planetary scale.  

Introductory videos are available to view and share.

How do you say 'Planetary Health' in . . . 

Arabicصحة الكواكب
Catalan Salut Planetària 
Chinese 星球健康 
English Planetary Health 
Finnish Planetaarinen te 
French Santé Planetaire 
German Planetare Gesundheit 
Gujarati Graha Ni Tabhat  
Hebrew בריאות פלנטרית 
Hindi Graho Ka Svaasth 
Italian Salute planetari 
Japanese 惑星の健康 
プラネタリーヘルス 
Malay Kesihatan Planet 
Melanesian Pidgin Helt blong plane 
Portuguese Saúde Planetária 
Russian Планетарное здоровье 
Serbian/Croatian Planetarno zdravlje 
Spanish Salud Planetaria 

What is the Great Transition?

The Great Transition (also known as the Great Turning or Great Reset) is a fundamental shift in how we live, including how we produce and consume food, energy, and manufactured goods; how we construct and live in our cities; and how we consider and measure growth, progress and development, and govern ourselves. The Great Transition also involves an evolution in how we understand our relationship with Nature and with each other, including what makes us happy. It will require a transition to a new set of values that incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion of all people as well as respect and recognition that the health of people are dependent on and interconnected with Nature.  

What is the difference between Planetary Health, Global Health, One Health, and Environmental Health?

PHA recognizes that the fields of Planetary Health, Global Health, One Health, Climate & Health, and Environmental Health overlap in relation to theories used, methods of practice, scale of challenges addressed, stakeholders and disciplines involved, types of questions asked, and types of solutions proposed. One of the unique aspects of Planetary Health is that it looks across a broad array of human-caused biophysical changes—including climate change, biodiversity loss, land use and cover change, marine degradation, resource scarcity, and pollution—to develop a holistic understanding of their interconnected effects on the health and well-being of humans and all living creatures. 

Each field brings many important perspectives and knowledge to our common challenges and only by working together will we be able to reach our aspirational goals.  

What is the Planetary Health Alliance (PHA)?

The Planetary Health Alliance (PHA) was founded in 2016 based on recommendations from the Rockefeller-Lancet Commission on Planetary Health. It is currently composed of over 420 organizational members from 70+ countries around the world committed to understanding and addressing global environmental change and its health impacts. It is through our global member community that PHA brings Planetary Health science, stories, and solutions to the most pressing issues of our time. At its core, PHA curates and disseminates the latest Planetary Health research and knowledge, creates and curates educational resources, builds and fosters the Planetary Health community, and mainstreams Planetary Health information and solutions to the general public, private sector, and policy makers.

What is the Johns Hopkins Institute for Planetary Health and how does it relate to PHA? 

The Johns Hopkins Institute for Planetary Health is comprised of a dedicated group of faculty and students from across Johns Hopkins University who are committed to working across disciplines to address the urgency of the Earth crisis and its impacts on humanity. The Institute and the Alliance are closely aligned. Planetary Health scholarship and informed policy and practice case studies move from the Institute out to the global community through the Alliance, while real world challenges and success stories flow back to the Institute.   

How can I become engaged in Planetary Health? 

Read below to learn more about membership and our initiatives. We also encourage you to review declarations and pledges that specify how you can be a part of this growing movement. 

Who should I contact if I want to learn more? 

Please feel free to reach out to the PHA team. We’re happy to engage with you on this Planetary Health journey!  

Is there an established degree of study from BSc level to PhD level solely for Planetary Health?

There are a number of opportunities to study Planetary Health at the undergraduate through graduate levels, which can be explored via our Global Inventory of Planetary Health Educational Opportunities. Please note, new programs and opportunities are developing all the time and our database is not comprehensive. Please check with your local universities for their offerings in Planetary Health.

However, degree programs may not necessarily be the main pathway through which you can become familiar with Planetary Health science, language, and actions. Learn more about current PHA education projects, peruse introductory Planetary Health materials, and more on the PHA’s Education page. Additionally, you may have a role to play in bringing Planetary Health to your University. Explore more about our Planetary Health Campus Ambassador program!  

How can I get involved with Planetary Health?

Join our PHA Members Hylo Community to network and collaborate directly with our community.

How do I become a member of the PHA?

The process for individual and organizational PHA membership is different.
  
  • All individuals (ages 13+) are accepted as members within the Hylo platform and can therefore begin engaging with the PHA community from day one; simply join PHA’s Members Hylo Community and follow the instructions!  
 

Does it cost anything to become a member of the PHA?

Membership in the Alliance is free for both individuals and organizations at this time. We encourage all interested parties to join our community! 

Is the PHA able to directly provide its members with funding?

No, not at this time.

What is the PHA Members Hylo Community?

The PHA Members Hylo Community is hosted on Hylo, a digital platform to communicate and foster action to regenerate our communities and our planet through online tools designed for grassroots collaboration. The PHA Members Hylo Community is accessible to all individual and organizational members of PHA via the web and mobile app (iOS and Android). PHA Hylo users can easily find other changemakers according to geography, skills, and interests; share announcements, discussions, events, requests and offers; and start projects and groups to take action for Planetary Health!  

What is the best way to share Planetary Health research, opportunities, resources, events, and media with the PHA community?

  • The PHA Members Hylo Community is the best way to share opportunities and news directly with the PHA community. To Join PHA as an individual member, join us on Hylo today! If you are part of a member organization, join Hylo to collaborate with others and spread the word about events or updates from your community! 

  •  Contribute to our monthly newsletter by submitting relevant research & policy, events, opportunities, and news using this form. 

  • Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ph_alliance, as well as Facebook and LinkedIn @theplanetaryhealthalliance. Tag and message us on social media so that we can amplify your message!

What is the Regional Hub Network?

Independently led PHA Regional Hubs function as locally rooted communities of practice, bringing together PHA members within geographic clusters to collaboratively advance Planetary Health research, education, policy, and outreach pertinent to specific local contexts.

The PHA Regional Hub Network includes the following ten hubs:

Regional Hubs develop their own governance structure and  strategy; hubs may even elect to create a "branch" to further regionalize. The PHA facilitates inter-hub networking through PHA’s Members Hylo Community and lends ad hoc support as desired. Learn more about PHA Regional Hubs 2.0 in the Terms of Reference (TOR) document  

Can I join more than one Regional Hub?

Yes! You may join as many Regional Hubs as you identify with. Organizational members with activities spanning multiple Hubs are welcome and encouraged to join as many Hubs as they deem fit. 

What is the Planetary Health Education Framework? 

The Planetary Health Education Framework aims to guide the education of global citizens, practitioners, and professionals able and willing to address the complex Planetary Health challenges of our world today. The Framework can be understood as a common foundational language that serves as the cornerstone for diverse education strategies.  

The Planetary Health Education Framework considers five foundational domains that we as a community believe comprise the essence of Planetary Health knowledge, values, and practice: 
(1) interconnection within Nature; 
(2) the Anthropocene and health; 
(3) equity and social justice; 
(4) movement building and systems change; 
(5) systems thinking and complexity.

What is the Next Generation Network?

The Planetary Health Next Generation Network (Next Gen) is composed of students and Next Generation leaders worldwide who are dedicated to advancing the emerging field of Planetary Health through local community efforts, educational events, and research projects. This network stitches together the Planetary Health Campus Ambassadors (PHCAs), Planetary Health student leaders and members, former and current Travel Scholars to Planetary Health Annual Meetings, and many more Next Gen leaders from around the world! The PHA staff and Next Gen Fellows work to support these diverse efforts by providing introductory resources, workshop materials, mentorship opportunities, and community-building platforms, such as the Next Gen group on PHA’s Members Hylo Community. 

What is the Planetary Health Campus Ambassador program?

The Planetary Health Campus Ambassador (PHCA) program is a competitively awarded leadership opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students committed to engaging their campus community around Planetary Health. During the program, Ambassadors build their Planetary Health network and gain leadership and organizational skills with the support of their diverse PHCA cohort, PHA staff, and Alliance Members. 
 
Current undergraduate or graduate students interested in Planetary Health from all disciplines and geographies are encouraged to apply. PHCAs commit to a year-long term in which they organize activities, events, or projects, check in frequently with fellow campus ambassadors, participate in the Planetary Health Annual Meeting’ and attend at least two PHA-organized workshops.  

What is the Clinicians for Planetary Health (C4PH) working group?

Over 700 clinicians from around the world have formally signed on to the Clinicians for Planetary Health (C4PH) initiative, expressing their commitment to addressing global environmental change and its health impacts.

A subset of these individuals are involved in the Clinicians for Planetary Health working group, which focuses on drafting statements and calls-to-action, developing and disseminating patient-facing materials, and strategizing additional areas of engagement. View C4PH resources and learn more about the initiative.

What is the Constellation Project?

The Constellation Project is a community circle dedicated to inspiring a "great awakening" for Planetary Health through intentional spiritual relationships—with nature, others, and our own inner capacities. It seeks to promote awareness, skills, and imagination for more enlightened approaches to our global challenges.    

Through monthly gatherings, scholarly activities, artistic works, contemplative practices, and regular conversations, the community seeks to inspire planetary consciousness through creativity, connectedness, and convergence of diverse perspectives. These activities seek to influence and enrich both academic discourse and social movements to accelerate ethical, and cultural change. 

What is the Planetary Health Annual Meeting (PHAM)?

  • The Planetary Health Annual Meeting (PHAM) brings together the global Planetary Health community once every approximately 18 months to learn about the latest Planetary Health science, find community, seek solutions, and build skills for action and change! All are invited to this convening of scientists, youth, policymakers, educators, the private sector, artists, and more. 
  • The 2024 PHAM was a hybrid conference, co-hosted with Sunway Centre for Planetary Health in April 2024 at Sunway University, in Malaysia.  
  • The 2022 PHAM was a hybrid conference which took place in October 2022 at Harvard University.  
  • The 2021 PHAM, co-hosted by PHA and the University of São Paulo, brought together 5,000 registrants from 130 countries to highlight collective Planetary Health values; cross-pollinate Planetary Health knowledge, education, and technology; showcase change-making science, stories, solutions, and communities; and build systemic solutions across geographies and sectors by highlighting new approaches to economics, governance and civil society. Watch the recorded sessions on the PHA YouTube channel! All of the main sessions of the conference are available in English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Mandarin. 

Planetary Health Alliance

Over 420 organizations from 70+ countries committed to understanding and addressing the impacts of global environmental change on human health and well-being.
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