Policy ForumHealth and Economic Development

Expanded health systems for sustainable development

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Science  23 Mar 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6382, pp. 1337-1339
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaq1081

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  • RE: Expanded health systems for sustainable development
    • Steven A. Osofsky, Professor, Wildlife Health and Health Policy, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

    2030 and Beyond: The Planet as the Most Important Health System

    Dye (1) notes that “The SDGs are not merely an inventory of new goals and targets, drawn up to satisfy every constituency; together, they are a stimulus to find new ways of advancing health and well-being.” Real progress on the SDG’s can be catalyzed by improving our understanding of how changes in the state of natural systems can impact a variety of critically important dimensions of human health (2) – by looking “upstream” for health cobenefits elucidated via sectorally integrated research at a range of scales. Expanding health systems for sustainable development includes recognizing that our planet is, quite literally, the most important health system.

    The 2015 Report of The Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission on Planetary Health, "Safeguarding Human Health in the Anthropocene Epoch" (3), offers a systems approach to some of the most pressing and complex issues of our time – the future of our health and that of the natural systems we all depend upon.

    (1) Dye, C. 2018. “Expanded health systems for sustainable development,” Science vol. 359 (6382): 1337-1339. http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aaq1081
    (2) Myers, S. S., Gaffikin, L., Golden, C. D., Ostfeld, R. S., Redford, K. H., Ricketts, T. H., Turner, W. R., and S. A. Osofsky. 2013. “Human Health Impacts of Ecosystem Alteration,” Proceedings of the National A...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.