Human Health and Planetary Health
Event schedule details
Saturday 9 October
Event location details
Royal Geographical Society
Find out how changing our diet could not only improve our health, but also tackle climate change, address biodiversity loss and stave off the next global pandemic.
Our relationship with the natural world has increased the risk of large-scale pandemics. The next one could only be a matter of time unless we act to protect nature and reduce the threat of future outbreaks. More than 50% of animal diseases transmitted to humans (like COVID-19) are due to irresponsible farming and unsustainable land use. The destructive encroachment of human settlements and large-scale agriculture into areas of wilderness brings local economic benefit but has many dangerous consequences. As well as creating opportunity for new crossover diseases, we are actively destroying carbon sinks, which will accelerate climate change, and driving more species to the edge of extinction. It also puts our immediate health at risk by making available large quantities of cheap meat and dairy products that have fuelled the global health crises associated with diet.
Fortunately, there is a more positive aspect to the interconnectedness of these global crises. The right policy interventions or investment strategy could deliver mutual benefits across climate change, biodiversity and global health. At the Great Exhibition Road Festival our expert panel will explore these links between human and planetary health and how they might inform the best strategy to improve both.
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