From Public to Planetary Health: A Manifesto

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The Lancet, the world’s most prestigious and objective journals of allopathic medicine has released a petition: “From Public to Planetary Health: A Manifesto”. It fervently calls upon each of us to join a social movement to support collective public health at all levels of society to deliver planetary health. The manifesto emphasizes that the preservation of human and environmental health will require a shift in values, namely to recognize our interdependence and the interconnectedness of the risks we face. Further, it insists that we all must play our part in ensuring the health of our selves, fellow humans and future generations. The following are a few excerpts from this notable call to action:


“Our vision is for a planet that nourishes and sustains the diversity of life with which we co-exist and on which we depend. Our goal is to create a movement for planetary health.”


“Our audience includes health professionals and public health practitioners, politicians and policy makers, international civil servants working across the UN and in development agencies, and academics working on behalf of communities. Above all, our audience includes every person who has an interest in their own health, in the health of their fellow human beings, and in the health of future generations.”


“Our patterns of overconsumption are unsustainable and will ultimately cause the collapse of our civilisation. The harms we continue to inflict on our planetary systems are a threat to our very existence as a species.”


“The idea of unconstrained progress is a dangerous human illusion: success brings new and potentially even more dangerous threats. Our tolerance of neoliberalism and transnational forces dedicated to ends far removed from the needs of the vast majority of people, and especially the most deprived and vulnerable, is only deepening the crisis we face.”


“Planetary health is an attitude towards life and a philosophy for living. It emphasises people, not diseases, and equity, not the creation of unjust societies. We seek to minimise differences in health according to wealth, education, gender, and place.”


“An urgent transformation is required in our values and our practices based on recognition of our interdependence and the interconnectedness of the risks we face. We need a new vision of cooperative and democratic action at all levels of society and a new principle of planetism and wellbeing for every person on this Earth – a principle that asserts that we must conserve, sustain, and make resilient the planetary and human systems on which health depends by giving priority to the wellbeing of all.


“A powerful social movement based on collective action at every level of society will deliver planetary health and, at the same time, support sustainable human development.”

Initiatives such as this from such a prestigious journal have the potential to make profound impacts on policies and initiatives from the local to the global level. What’s more, it cultivates a deeper sense of awareness of our current predicament and rallies support for a systematic shift in consciousness from the world’s leaders to each and every individual that cares for his or her own health.

You can read the full manifesto and sign your own name of support here.



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