Planetary Health: From Evidence to Action–Confronting Reality (Including Submissions Associated with the 2024 Planetary Health Summit (PHAM2024)

A special issue of Challenges (ISSN 2078-1547). This special issue belongs to the section "Planetary Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2024 | Viewed by 3601

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. Sunway Centre for Planetary Health, Sunway University, Petaling Jaya 47500, Selangor, Malaysia
2. Consultative Council for Foreign Policy Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur 50566, Malaysia
3. Health White Paper Advisory Council at Ministry of Health, Malaysia Sustainability Advisor at Air Asia, Kuala Lumpur 50566, Malaysia
4. National Advisor of the Malaysian Red Crescent Society, Kuala Lumpur 50566, Malaysia
5. Board of Roche in Switzerland and the Norwegian Refugee Council, 0131 Oslo, Norway
6. World Economic Forum's Global Future Council of Responsible Resource Use, and One of Three Global Champions for the Grand Bargain in Humanitarian Efficiency and Effectiveness, New York, NY 10017, USA
Interests: public health; planetary health; climate action; social justice; crisis management; reproductive health; education; international relations, private-public partnerships
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Guest Editor
1. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA
2. Senior Program Manager, Planetary Health Alliance, Boston, MA 02115, USA
Interests: planetary health; geosciences; ecology and biodiversity; environmental and social justice; education and learning; collective impact
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Public Health and Policy, School of Medical and Life Sciences, Sunway University, Petaling Jaya 47500, Selangor, Malaysia
Interests: expertise in public health; global health; planetary health; evaluation and organizational learning; strategic planning and governance; collaborating with governments; UN agencies; nongovernmental org

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Guest Editor
PHAM2024 Programme Committee, Sunway Centre for Planetary Health, Sunway University, Petaling Jaya 47500, Selangor, Malaysia
Interests: air quality; environment; AQ expert solutions

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Guest Editor
Research and Innovation Officer, Sunway Centre for Planetary Health   Sunway University, Petaling Jaya 47500, Selangor, Malaysia
Interests: Interaction between the microbes and their ecosystem for energy and environment sustainability; fungal pathogens and plant disease; nano-fertilizer application to enhance plant growth and productivity

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Guest Editor
1. School of Medicine, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia
2. ORIGINS Project, Telethon Kids Institute at Perth Children’s Hospital, Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia
3. NOVA Institute for Health of People, Places and Planet, 1407 Fleet Street, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA
Interests: planetary health; ecological and social justice; immunology and inflammation; microbiome science; NCDs (noncommunicable diseases); nutrition; life-course wellness and ‘DOHaD’ (development origins of health and disease); integrative approaches to wellness and disease prevention
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce this Challenges Special Issue for the Proceedings of the 2024 Planetary Health Summit and 6th Annual Meeting in Sunway City, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 16 to 19 April 2024.

Planetary health is a solutions-oriented approach focused on tackling humanity’s actions that affect the natural systems so that both people and the planet can thrive. This recognizes the intricate connections between the health and well-being of people and the planet's natural systems. To advance humanity’s wellbeing, the declining state of planet Earth can no longer be ignored. The planetary health agenda seeks to address the impact of human-caused disruptions of Earth’s natural systems on our health and well-being through applied research, policy, and practice in an intentional and catalytic effort to take on one of the greatest challenges the world has faced. This also offers solutions-oriented approaches, bridging different disciplines and sectors across the arts, humanities, and sciences.

For science to be transformational, it must be crafted for action and communicated in ways that the public can understand. Thus, the theme for PHAM 2024, the sixth in a series of meetings stretching back to 2017, is ‘From Evidence to Action: Confronting Reality’.

Convened by the Sunway Centre for Planetary Health and the Planetary Health Alliance, the meeting brings together a diverse group of scientists, policymakers, civil-society, private sector representatives, educators, students, and others to learn about these complex relationships, seek solutions, and build skills for action and change.

We warmly welcome submissions on any topic relevant to planetary health, including full papers based on conference presentations, abstracts, discussions, workshops, satellite events, and/or ideas arising from the event. We also invite other submissions from the wider community that focus on understanding and improving the complex relationships between human health and planetary health—from any researchers, clinicians, practitioners, educators, students, community groups, and artists seeking to advance the planetary health agenda.

Submissions may include original research, perspectives, case studies, initiatives or projects (either complete or still in progress), protocols, new proposals or ideas, and more creative works. While topics may be on any aspect of human, environmental, and societal health, we encourage all authors to articulate the ways in which their submission is relevant to some (or preferably, many) of the grand challenges of our time and/or ways in which the work could contribute to planetary health. Examples of topics may be found below in the “keywords” below.

It is our hope that this Challenges Special Issue will facilitate collaborative vision and shared agendas that drive activity to link virtually every endeavor aimed at solving the interconnected challenges of our time—large and small alike—for the flourishing of people, places, and the planet.

Articles in this Special Issue will be published without charge in this open access journal. For Malaysian researchers, please refer to funding guidelines by MOHE on publishing before submission to journals.

Dr. Jemilah Mahmood
Dr. Marie Studer
Prof. Dr. Elil Renganathan
Prof. Dr. Fatimah Ahamad
Dr. Menaka Ganeson
Prof. Dr. Susan Prescott
Guest Editors

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is free of charge. 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.

Keywords

  • planetary health
  • ecology, biodiversity, ecosystems, microbiomes, and anthropogenic ecosystems
  • mental health, emotions and wellbeing, solastalgia, and ecological grief
  • noncommunicable diseases (ncds) and infectious diseases
  • food systems, nutrition, food processing and nutritional ecology, and planetary diets
  • lifestyle and the exposome, systems biology, machine learning, preventive medicine, bio-psychosocial medicine, and high-level wellness
  • environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, and climate change
  • urban landscapes, natural environments, nature relatedness, green space, green prescriptions, biodiversity interdependence, cooperation, and integration
  • social and ecological justice, intergenerational justice, health disparities, socioeconomic inequalities, displacement and conflict, migration, and economic, political, and commercial determinants of health
  • life-course (developmental origins), transgenerational perspectives, and epigenetics
  • value systems, indigenous knowledge, cultural shift, narrative medicine, storytelling, belief systems, traditional cultures, and spirituality
  • healthy finance, finance and wellbeing, and doughnut economics
  • education transformation and education revolution
  • just transition, governance, and transformational change
  • science-based communication and social media

Published Papers (2 papers)

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15 pages, 5135 KiB  
Article
The Socio-Spatial Distribution and Equity of Access to Urban Parks: A Case Study of Bengaluru, India
by Nilanjan Bhor and Dhananjayan Mayavel
Challenges 2024, 15(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe15020020 - 16 Apr 2024
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Abstract
Given the effect of urbanization on land use and the allocation and implementation of urban green spaces, this paper attempts to analyze the distribution and accessibility of public parks in India’s Bengaluru city (previously known as Bangalore). Availability, accessibility, and utilization—the key measures [...] Read more.
Given the effect of urbanization on land use and the allocation and implementation of urban green spaces, this paper attempts to analyze the distribution and accessibility of public parks in India’s Bengaluru city (previously known as Bangalore). Availability, accessibility, and utilization—the key measures of Urban Green Spaces (UGS)—are mostly used in health research and policy and are important components of Planetary Health Equity in the context of studying UGSs and health. A geo-spatial method was used for mapping the park’s distribution and measuring its accessibility, using road network data. To understand equitable access to the parks, four socio-economic parameters—population density, the percentage of the population below 6 years of age, the proxy wealth index, and scheduled caste population—were correlated with the parks’ accessibility. This spatial distribution revealed that 19 of 198 wards did not have a single park and that 36 wards only had one park. About 25–29% of wards did not have accessibility to neighborhood-level and community-level parks within a 400–800 m distance. These parks must be accessible within a walking distance of 400–800 m but were found to most likely be inaccessible on the periphery of the city where the population density is low and the children population is high, in comparison to the central part of the city. Similarly, parks were found to be inaccessible in the eastern part of the city where the scheduled caste population is high and also found to be inaccessible for the low-income neighborhoods residing in the western part and southern periphery of the city, indicating the uneven distribution of and inequitable access to public parks. Our study proposes a reshaping of both neighborhood parks and community parks in an attempt to look beyond biodiversity, through the planetary health equity approach, by noting that, while biodiversity indirectly has a positive effect on health, public parks should not only be considered as advancing environmental sustainability and climate resilience, but also as improving the health and wellbeing of the population. Affirmative action in terms of the availability of public parks with adequate area requirements and essential services at a neighborhood scale is required to redress the inequity of access; in addition, the accessibility of parks must be considered important during urban planning. Full article
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12 pages, 601 KiB  
Project Report
Food Systems and Planetary Health Nexus Elective: A Novel Approach to A Medical Education Imperative for the 21st Century
by Modan Goldman, Aditya Vaidyam, Sindhu Parupalli, Holly Rosencranz, Davendra Ramkumar and Japhia Ramkumar
Challenges 2024, 15(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe15010006 - 18 Jan 2024
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Abstract
This is a report on an inaugural medical student elective, Microbiomes Matter: The Path to Regenerative Systems of Farm, Food, and Health, from the perspective of the student participants. Recognizing food as medicine is gaining support across many settings. However, little is [...] Read more.
This is a report on an inaugural medical student elective, Microbiomes Matter: The Path to Regenerative Systems of Farm, Food, and Health, from the perspective of the student participants. Recognizing food as medicine is gaining support across many settings. However, little is known about how medical schools engage in this holistic approach. Integrating food systems and the connections to soil and human health through microbiomes into medical education represents a transformative shift towards more holistic healthcare practices. We describe the course content and impact of a medical school elective in food systems. This elective employed a systems lens and planetary health perspective to explore the impact of climatic factors and environmental degradation on farms, nutrition, and non-communicable lifestyle diseases. Through the two-week course, medical students gained insights into sustainable food systems, supply chains, and the importance of regenerative agriculture. The course also provided a comprehensive overview of the gut microbiome, nutrition, technologies, and the economics of food systems, including their impact on lifestyle diseases. By fostering a systems-oriented mindset, this elective better equips medical students to address the complex challenges of human and planetary health and promote regenerative, sustainable, culturally sensitive, and robust systems of farm, food, and health. Full article
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