On Thursday 14 December, I was pleased to launch the new Planetary Health Platform at Sydney University. Planetary Health recognises the links between human systems and the earth’s natural systems. If we damage the latter, then we also damage the prospects for human well being.
The landmark Rockefeller Foundation – Lancet Commission on Planetary Health concluded that continuing environmental degradation threatens to reverse the health gains of the past century. It stated that “we have been mortgaging the health of future generations to realise economic and social gains in the present”.
In my speech, I noted that “development”, as we have known it, has been seriously out of balance. The long we travel that road, the more we will undermine development gains, including in health, which we had taken for granted. The issues presented by climate change are especially stark.
To achieve sustainable development, we need to think and act holistically across the economic, social, and environmental spheres. The contribution of universities can be to foster cross-disciplinary research which generates the knowledge required for evidence-based policy. The new Planetary Health Platform at Sydney University is an excellent example of how to build the basis for co-operation across faculties and research centres in the common cause of improving human health and protecting the world’s ecosystems on which life depends.
The link to my speech is above – under the photo.