Video of seminar: Planetary health

We held a seminar with Anthony Capon on Planetary health: Protecting and promoting human health in the Anthropocene epoch.

See the presentation (pdf)

Welcome to the Anthropocene video

By almost any measure, human health is better now than at any time in the history of human life on Earth. However, human health gains have come at a price: the degradation of natural systems on a scale never seen before. The extent of human alteration of the natural world is difficult to overstate, as unsustainable patterns of consumption, burgeoning populations, increasing urbanisation and failure to account for the full costs of environmental damage interact to reshape natural systems. Such is the profound effect that humanity is having on Earth’s biophysical systems that many argue we have entered a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene. The concept of public health typically does not take into account whether human health is being achieved to the detriment of the natural systems that provide the resources on which human civilisation depends. In this context, the Rockefeller Foundation–Lancet Commission on Planetary Health was established in 2014, and its final report, Safeguarding human health in the Anthropocene epoch published in July this year, argues for a new discipline called ‘planetary health’. Planetary health is founded in eco-social understandings of health that acknowledge the ecological, economic and social foundations of health. It also provides a way of conceptualising human health in the context of contemporary global environmental challenge and its implications for public health research, policy and practice warrant careful consideration.

Professor Anthony Capon is the director of the International Institute for Global Health at United Nations University. A public health physician and authority on environmental health, Tony has more than 20 years of leadership experience in public health policy, education and research. His research focuses on urbanisation, sustainable development and human health. Currently, he is a member of The Rockefeller Foundation–Lancet Commission on Planetary Health. Previously, Tony has held National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia) and WHO fellowships, and has had leadership roles in the Faculty of Public Health Medicine at the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Frank Fenner Foundation and the International Society for Urban Health.

This event was held on Tuesday 1st December 2015 at University of Otago, Wellington.