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Healthy Planet, Healthy People – funding the environment to improve human health

A series of webinars, podcasts and blogs for funders exploring the many interconnections between human health and the environment

The COVID-19 pandemic has focused attention on the intersection between the environment and human health more than ever before. With the UK Government hosting the COP26 UN climate conference in November as well as the G7 summit earlier this year, public awareness of environmental issues and the potential for UK leadership in addressing the climate, nature and pollution crises are at an all-time high. The actions we take in the coming decade will be crucial – and philanthropy can play a pivotal role in catalysing the step-change that’s needed to put us on track to a healthier world.

The Healthy Planet, Healthy People series explores the many interconnections between human health and the environment, and demonstrates why supporting environmental work can lead to significant positive health and social outcomes, and be a longer term, holistic means for funders interested in these issues to achieve their objectives. With contributions from scientists, funders, civil society and health experts, the series will cover topics such as climate change; infectious diseases; air, water and land pollution; mental health; diet and food systems; and health inequalities. Please check back as we add more content during 2021, including a philanthropy briefing paper summarising all the information from the series, or let us know if you’d like to be notified about upcoming events in the series and other updates.

Series launch

Watch: The series launch event provides an overview of the links between the environment and human health from the perspective of healthcare experts in the UK and internationally, and from funders who already take account of these interconnections in their grantmaking, in particular with regard to climate change. The speakers included:

  • Professor Hugh Montgomery: Professor of Intensive Care Medicine at UCL and Co-Chair of the Lancet Countdown
  • Dr Githinji Gitahi: Chief Executive Officer of Amref Health Africa and Advisor to the Lancet Countdown
  • Madeleine Thomson: Interim Head of the ‘Our Planet, Our Health’ programme at the Wellcome Trust
  • Sonia Medina: Executive Director for Climate at the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF)

Watch the video here.

Mental health

Watch: State of Nature, State of Mind, with thanks to Wildlife and Countryside Link who recorded this webinar in May 2021 for Mental Health Awareness Week to explore how people’s mental health can benefit from access to a thriving natural environment. The expert panel included:

  • Mark Rowland: CEO, Mental Health Foundation
  • Dr Amir Khan: GP, author of ‘The Doctor Will See You Now’ and Ambassador for The Wildlife Trusts and Butterfly Conservation
  • Baroness Kate Parminter: Chair, Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee
  • Beccy Speight: CEO, RSPB
  • Dr Rebecca Lovell: University of Exeter Medical School

Watch the video here.

Read: Mental health and the underfunded environmental determinants, a blog by Liz Gadd, trustee of the Environmental Funders Network, trustee of Pesticide Action Network UK, and Principal for Effective Philanthropy at New Philanthropy Capital.

Read the blog here.