Planetary Health

The World Health Organization has identified climate change as the greatest threat facing global health in the 21st century, with direct implications for the social and environmental determinants of health. The growing field of Planetary Health is focussed on understanding and taking action on the human health impacts of the earth’s natural systems.

Planetary Health is “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 civilisation and the state of the natural systems on which it depends” (Rockefeller Foundation–Lancet Commission on Planetary Health, 2015)

Community of Practice

The Global Health Office has formed a community of practice to advance interdisciplinary research and education in Planetary Health at Dalhousie, bringing together faculty, staff and students to strengthen our collective capacity to meet complex Planetary Health challenges.

Planetary Health encompasses issues such as:

  • Climate Change
  • Air pollution
  • Food and water security
  • Displacement
  • Changing infectious disease burdens
  • Mental health
  • Health equity

Please contact to learn more

Journal Club

The Planetary Health Community of Practice hosts a monthly journal club for shared learning on the first Monday of every month (virtual). To join any of these sessions, please contact

  • October 4, 2021: The Lancet Climate and Health report, facilitated by San Patten
  • November 1, 2021: Article TBD, facilitated by Dr. Daniel Rainham
  • December 6, 2021: Article TBD, facilitated by Dalhousie Medical schools’ Green Team
  • February 18, 2022: Dr. Samantha Green, University of Toronto faculty lead in Climate and Health
  • April 1, 2022: "Sustainable Surgery and Strategies for Mitigating Environmental Impact" with Chantelle Rizan
  • May 2022: TBD

Faculty of Medicine Curriculum Refresh

The Faculty of Medicine is undergoing a refresh of its undergraduate curriculum. One of the key themes identified was Planetary Health. Some of the recommendations put forth by the Planetary Health curriculum refresh working group are captured in this townhall recording:

Working group recommendations