Climate change, ecological degradation, displacement, violence, harmful marketing, and growing inequalities threaten the future of children's health and well-being everywhere.
WHO-UNICEF-Lancet Commission – A Future for the World’s Children (link below)
Never before has humanity’s footprint on Earth’s natural systems been so large. Since 1950, the human population has increased by nearly 200%; fossil fuel by over 550%; and marine capture by over 350%. We’ve cleared nearly 50% of all forests, use nearly 50% of all freshwater and have appropriated about 50% of the planet’s liveable surface for agriculture. Biodiversity is being lost at an estimated 150 species becoming extinct every day. And this is all affecting our health.
Climate change, biodiversity loss, deforestation, and other factors affect where, when, and how intensely infectious diseases emerge. Increased drought, extreme storms, and declining pollinators make it harder to grow nutritious food, making people susceptible to malnutrition and disease. Air pollution from industrial emissions and smoke from fires to clear forests are causing cardiorespiratory illnesses. Extreme storms are causing loss of lives and livelihoods and witnessing the degradation of our world is having severe consequences for our mental health.
Indeed, today's children face an uncertain future. Climate change, ecological degradation, displacement, violence, harmful marketing, and growing inequalities threaten the future of children's health and well-being everywhere. Everything is connected and what we do to the planet comes back to affect us. Understanding and acting upon these challenges call for massive collaboration across disciplinary and national boundaries to safeguard the health of human civilisation and the state of the natural systems on which it depends. Collectively, this is known as planetary health.
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