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Planetary health is a nascent concept that has the potential to encourage public and private sector decision making that balances human health and the health of our planet. Defined as “the health of human civilization and the state of the natural systems on which it depends, the concept of planetary health draws attention to the urgent need for more sustainable ways to live to ensure the health and well-being of future generations.
As the planetary health community considers how to move from concept to action and achieve this goal, global and national level policy processes need to be considered, with the science behind the integration of health and environment translated into impactful decisions and programs. To date, much focus has been given to decisions at the global level, especially given how closely the concept of planetary health aligns with leading global policy frameworks that necessitate an integrated approach for success – the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Aichi Biodiversity Targets, the Paris Climate Agreement, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
However, implementation of these three global frameworks happens at the country level. So, while important global discussions are ongoing, those interested in advancing integrated concepts, like planetary health, should also consider opportunities at a national level.