May 1, 2018

Conversations on Planetary Health: The Philanthropic Funding Landscape

Hurricanes, landslides, air pollution, and disease outbreaks – the news is filled with visual evidence of the intricate links between environment and health. New studies and reports regularly corroborate the interconnections between the health of our planet and human health.

This is motivating a growing number of people and organizations to consider new ways to live sustainably that improve our planet and human health today, and safeguard the wellbeing of future generations. Their energy is set against the broader context of the Sustainable Development Goals, which are driving integrated approaches at both global and national levels.

However, the need for aligned health and environmental action far outweighs current investments, presenting an opportunity for philanthropists to play a catalytic role. To date, foundations and private philanthropists have made only limited funding available for activities that deliver both health and environmental benefits. Instead, the majority of funding is still given within traditional silos, such as health, environment, or development. The planetary health community, and other like-minded communities, are grappling with ways to unlock the needed resources to promote new thinking at the systems level and implement practical programs on the ground.

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