Frequently Asked Questions 


Terminology

What is planetary health?

Planetary health is a solutions-oriented, transdisciplinary field focused on analyzing and addressing the present and future individual and population health impacts of anthropogenic disruptions to Earth’s natural systems.

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 to Nature and to 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?

The PHA recognizes that the fields of Planetary Health, Global Health, One 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. Therefore, the difference between these fields is not clear-cut. However, each field tends to emphasize some approaches over others, suggesting that the difference is not in the approaches but in the emphasis of the approaches. 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 260+ organizational members from 60+ countries around the world committed to understanding and addressing global environmental change and its health impacts. It is through our global member community that the PHA is able to bring planetary health science, stories, and solutions to the most pressing issues of our time across organizational, regional, and global levels. At its core, the 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.


PHA Membership

How can I get involved with planetary health?

Visit our Get Involved page to learn more about how you can join the global planetary health community, and 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 varies slightly.

  • 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 individual and organizational members of the 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. Join the PHA as an organizational or individual member to access Hylo. For further amplification of your planetary health contribution, tag or message @PHAStaff directly within Hylo!  

  • Contribute to our monthly newsletter by emailing relevant research & policy, events, opportunities, and news to pha@harvard.edu before the second Friday of each month. 

  • 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!

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 Education Resource Database. 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 verse yourself in 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!


PHA Initiatives

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, strategy, and membership; 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.

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 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 club 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 Fellow work to support these diverse efforts by providing introductory resources, workshop materials, mentorship opportunities, and community-building platforms, such as the NextGen 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 educating their campus community about 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—a collaboration between the Harvard Divinity School, the Planetary Health Alliance, and the Center for the Study of World Religions—explores the spiritual crisis that underlies the ecological and public health crises associated with destruction of Earth’s natural systems. How do we share news stories about our relationship to each other and the natural world that could help set us on a different path? The Constellation Project aims to feature faith leaders bringing science into their sermons; scientists giving ‘reverence for life’ alongside their analyses; and scholars and students finding a place for their spiritual life.

What is the Planetary Health Annual Meeting (PHAM)?

  • The Planetary Health Annual Meeting (PHAM) brings together the global planetary health community once a year 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, private sector, artists, and more.

  • The 2022 PHAM will be a hybrid conference, taking place in October, 2022 at Harvard University! Subscribe to our newsletter and join our community to stay tuned.

  • The 2021 PHAM, co-hosted by the PHA and 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.


More questions? Email pha@harvard.edu

Planetary Health Alliance

The Planetary Health Alliance is a consortium of over 120 dedicated universities, NGOs, government entities, research institutes, and other partners around the world committed to advancing planetary health.
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