A call for planetary health case studies

The call for case study submissions is now closed, and we are currently in the process of reviewing submissions.

Planetary health investigates the human health impacts resulting from anthropogenic disruptions in the structure and function of earth’s natural systems.1,2 The Planetary Health Alliance and The Lancet invite researchers, educators, and decision makers to submit real-world examples of planetary health in action for further development into case studies. We seek examples that demonstrate how human disruptions of natural systems (e.g. the climate system, specific ecosystems, not solely unaltered ecosystems) can lead to increased burden of disease and show how a better understanding of these connections can lead to interventions or policies with positive health outcomes. The ultimate goal of this effort is to create an anthology of case studies in planetary health that illustrate the complexity of mechanisms whereby anthropogenic change impacts human health, the variety of these health impacts, and the diversity of regions and peoples impacted. To view the call in The Lancet, please click here or to view the PDF version, please click here.

Case studies in planetary health are an urgent priority to illustrate integrated approaches for optimising human health in the face of global environmental change and exemplify the complex, systems-thinking and solutions oriented nature of planetary health. Authors must be willing to work with the Planetary Health Alliance team to further develop their submitted content into fully worked case studies, if selected. Selected submissions will be used to develop teaching cases for global planetary health education efforts. They also will provide rich examples for policy makers, funders, government agencies, and researchers of how planetary health science can better inform decision making to improve human health. Additionally, five to ten submissions to this call will be published in The Lancet Planetary Health, and authors may be invited to present their work at the Planetary Health Annual Meeting in May, 2018.

Case studies should be up to 500 words, excluding appendices and references. We consider “case studies” to include reports and other relevant types of research. Submissions of planetary health interventions or solutions that are still underway are welcome.

Please lay out your 500 word narrative using the following headings and guidelines:

Introduction and Background
Contextualizes the case study and explains both significance and relevance including:
(1) the population most affected,
(2) the dynamics and driving forces leading to the human-driven disruption of the particular natural system and its (direct or indirect) impact on human health, and
(3) the scale of impact and intervention (how large is the system? how deeply impacted? how many people affected?).

(1) Describes the stakeholders (Who is or was harmed? What vested interests might prevent remedial action?),
(2) Explores what measures have been undertaken so far to address the problem and their effectiveness. Quantitative data in this assessment is encouraged.
(3) Considers the factors that pointed stakeholders to a “planetary health” approach (interdisciplinary approach that seeks to manage a natural system so as to optimize the health of a population) for addressing the challenge.  

(1) Should highlight ‘solutions’ and address how well planetary health intervention measures have worked or are working. Quantitative data in this assessment is encouraged.
(2) Discusses the challenges of implementation, including gaps between the generation of evidence and uptake in policy and practice.

Appendices: Provides any further supporting information such as tables, charts, maps or data sets.

References: Please utilize both footnotes and/or endnotes where appropriate.


We aim to stimulate the generation of these much-needed resources through the engagement of the Planetary Health Alliance network, and to make the case studies available to all interested parties.

The submission deadline is 1700h EST on Jan 10, 2018. 



1 Whitmee S, Haines A, Beyrer C, et al. Safeguarding human health in the Anthropocene epoch: report of The Rockefeller Foundation–Lancet Commission on planetary health. Lancet 2015; 386: 1973–2028.

2 Almada AA, Golden CD, Osofsky SA, Myers SS. A case for Planetary Health/GeoHealth. GeoHealth 2017; 1: 75–78.