Special Issue "The Emerging Concept of Planetary Health: Connecting People, Place, Purpose and Planet"
A special issue of Challenges (ISSN 2078-1547).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 December 2018
Prof. Dr. Susan Prescott
Founding Director of the inVIVO Planetary Health; Director of The ORIGINS Project, Telethon Kids Institute; Founding President, DOHaD (Development Origins of Health and Disease) Society of Australia and New Zealand; Professor of Paediatrics, School of Medicine at University of Western Australia; Paediatric Immunologist, Perth Children's Hospital
Interests: planetary health; ecological and social justice; immunology and inflammation; microbiome science; NCDs (non-communicable diseases); nutrition; life-course wellness and ‘DOHaD’ (development origins of health and disease); integrative approaches to wellness and disease prevention
Dr. Alan C. Logan
The emerging concept of planetary health emphasizes that human health is intricately connected to the health of natural systems within the Earth’s biosphere—and that the health of all species depends on the health, biodiversity and stability of whole systems. Planetary health is a product of human social, political and economic ‘ecosystems’.
The global challenges facing humanity include climate change, biodiversity losses, population growth, grotesque socioeconomic inequalties, environmental degradation, health disparities, the dominance of ultra-processed foods, and the pandemic crisis of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). In addition, there is ongoing political polarization and conflict, and growing ‘dis-ease’ which compromises quality of life and sets individuals on a path to NCDs. These concerns are all interrelated; health at all levels—person, place and planet—is interdependent.
This Special Issue focuses on understanding and improving the complex relationships between human health and planetary health, including how the eco-biological interactions in our living environments (including food systems, climate change and biodiversity and microbial ecology) impact well-being, together with the wider societal factors that govern these. They require a greater understanding of our psychological relationships with the Earth and its natural systems. Lack of experience in nature and emotional disconnection from the natural environment, especially in children, may undermine the goals of planetary health.
The dramatic increasing burden of human disease can be seen as the culmination of a ‘dual burden’—increasing adverse exposures (e.g. fast food, toxins and stress) coupled with loss of much that was protective in ancestral environments. The facets of ‘loss’ extend from the physical (loss of biodiversity, species, local foods and produce) to the loss of community (loss of language, tradition, and stories) and the far less tangible aspects of loss (such as loss of value systems, loss of purpose, peace, respect, spirituality, compassion, hope and optimism). This suggests that the solutions must lie in restoring protective and buffering factors, minimizing adversity and inequality, and addressing the underlying systemic causes.
We invite submissions that consider aspects of these complex systems as they pertain to the broader context of planetary health, including unique perspectives, potential solutions, new proposals for collaboration, strategies for advocacy, public education, policy proposals, models for systemic change, community case studies, novel application or integration of technologies.Prof. Dr. Susan Prescott
Dr. Alan C. Logan
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Challenges is an international peer-reviewed open access biannual journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- Planetary health,
- Ecology, biodiversity, ecosystems
- Social and ecological justice
- Microbial ecosystems, microbial diversity, disease associations
- Environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, climate change
- Urban landscapes, natural environments, nature-relatedness,
- Inflammation and non-communicable diseases (NCDs)
- Mental health, emotions and wellbeing, solastalgia, ecological grief
- Food systems, nutrition, food processing and nutritional ecology
- Lifestyle and the exposome
- Life-course (developmental origins), transgenerational perspectives, epigenetics
- Traditional cultures, belief systems, spirituality and value systems
- Systems biology, dynamic data clouds, data systems required to characterize and understand biological complexity