The degradation of natural systems now threatens all aspects of health—and COVID-19 must serve as a turning point, warns the São Paulo Declaration on Planetary Health—a global call to action published Tuesday in The Lancet.
“Urgent” structural changes in society—from the production and consumption of food, energy, and goods, to our approaches to urban life and nature—are needed, write University of São Paulo and Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health authors in a companion commentary.
The authors say it will require the participation of every sector, community, and individual.
- Health Practitioners: Incorporate planetary health concepts and values into curricula and professional codes of conduct.
- Health Sector: Commit to achieving a carbon-neutral health care system before 2040.
- Lawmakers: Improve governance mechanisms including transparency and accountability for those who cause planetary health damage.
- Artists, Poets, Writers, and Musicians: Create art that inspires the public to act.