Planetary Health: Educating the Current and Future Health Workforce

Living reference work entry


Human health and well-being are inextricably linked to the environment, but human development in Western countries has been at the expense of the natural environment, largely through our reliance on fossil fuels. As we may have already reached “tipping points” in terms of some global environmental changes (e.g., climate change, biodiversity loss, air pollution), threatening human health and well-being, health professionals must respond urgently through mitigation, adaptation, and advocacy. Many are, however, not sufficiently informed to feel confident to do so. There is thus an imperative to upskill and educate practicing health professionals and current health professional students to practice environmentally sustainable health care and to take action to protect the environment to ensure human health. This chapter sets the scene in terms of the importance of the environmental determinants of health for individuals and for populations. It also provides health professionals and health professions educators with a resource list and case studies to guide the integration of planetary health and sustainable health care into the curriculum.


Environmental determinants of health Planetary health Climate change Global environmental changes Environmentally sustainable health care Health professions education 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Health Sciences & MedicineBond UniversityGold CoastAustralia
  2. 2.School of Medicine, SydneyUniversity of Notre DameSydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Nossal Institute of Global HealthUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health SciencesMonash University MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  5. 5.Institute of Global HealthHeidelberg UniversityHeidelbergGermany
  6. 6.School of Nursing and MidwiferyUniversity of PlymouthPlymouthUK
  7. 7.School of Clinical Sciences (Pharmacy), Faculty of HealthQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  8. 8.Master of Nutrition & Dietetic Practice, Faculty of Health Sciences & MedicineBond UniversityGold CoastAustralia
  9. 9.School of Medicine, College of Health & MedicineUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  10. 10.Faculty of Health and MedicineUniversity of NewcastleNewcastleAustralia

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