Our planet, our health

We're committed to understanding and tackling the threat to our health posed by a dramatically changing world. We also want to ensure that any solutions protect, nurture and sustain our planet.

Our planet, our health has been a strategic priority for us since late 2015.

Why it's a priority for us

Our health is closely linked to the environment we live in. But we're placing too many demands on our planet. Natural systems that we rely on – from clean air to fresh water, biodiversity to a stable climate – are under threat.

As researchers discover more links between our health and the environment, we become better equipped to come up with ways to reduce these threats. There are already opportunities for change, but more research and action is needed.

We're well placed to act, because:

What we're doing

We're focusing on the following four connected areas, where we believe we can make a real difference.

Building an interdisciplinary research community

We're working to build links between different types of researchers around the world, to take on planetary health challenges.

Since 2013 we've supported 15 pilot projects to investigate the connections between environment and health. 

Building on these pilots, we're now planning to support up to five major interdisciplinary research programmes that will focus on global food systems and urbanisation. We'll announce the first of these in 2016. We’re aiming to announce what the phase of research funding looks like in late spring 2017.

We'll also help to create a community of practice, eg:

Creating partnerships across sectors

We're identifying where we can work with other organisations. Together, we can achieve more than we could alone.

Our partnerships include:

Informing decision-makers 

We want research to inform policy, and be used when it offers solutions to global health challenges.

Our approach will include:

Engaging the public 

We'll work to involve the public in:

We'll also start conversations about how the planet and our health are connected. For example, we're leading The Crunch: a public engagement and education initiative about the global connections between our food, our health and our planet.

What we want to achieve

Our first aim is to establish the community of researchers who'll investigate the connections between our environment and our health.

Their work will help us develop and set ambitious targets.

We want to show that:

We also want to ensure the public are engaged with, and part of, the decisions that societies need to make to sustain our health and our planet's health.

Our advisory panel and funding committee

All of our work is supported by experts.

Advisory panel

Our advisory panel provides guidance on the development of the initiative.

Members

Professor Lord John Krebs Kt, MA, Dphil, FRS, FmedSci, Hon DSc (Chair)
Honorary Fellow and Former Principal of Jesus College and Professor, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford

Sir John Beddington, CMG, KBE, FRS, FRSE, HonFREng
Professor of Natural Resource Management and Senior Adviser to the Oxford Martin School at Oxford University

Alan J Brown, FSIP

Professor Bryan Grenfell, OBE, FRS
Kathryn Briger and Sarah Fenton Professor of Ecology, Evolution and Public Affairs, Princeton University

Professor Dame Anne Johnson MD, FMedSci, FRCP, FFPH, FRCGP
Professor of Infectious Disease, UCL

Professor David Tilman
Regents' Professor and McKnight Presidential Chair in Ecology at the University of Minnesota

Funding committee

The Our Planet, Our Health funding committee helps us to make funding decisions. 

Contact us

If you have any questions, contact the team:

People we've funded

Many of our grantholders carry out research in this area. See our directory:

Our planet, our health research