The Johns Hopkins Institute for Planetary Health (JHIPH) was founded in 2024 to harness powerful cross-disciplinary expertise to confront pressing global challenges.

The mission of JHIPH is to catalyze scholarship and practice of Planetary Health across the University, bring together a cohesive community of practice, and establish Johns Hopkins University (JHU) as a global leader in addressing the global health and humanitarian dimensions of the Earth crisis.

Governance and Organizational Structure

JHIPH is lead by a core team with input from a faculty steering committee (to be assembled), and an advisory council including deans and the provost’s office. View the current Team

All JHU faculty are encouraged to become Affiliated Faculty by contacting the Institute.

See the chart below for more detail.

Introduction to Planetary Health 

The Earth crisis is an urgent threat to humanity as well as the rest of life on Earth. We now understand that problems that have been framed for decades as “environmental” problems—climate change; biodiversity loss; pollution of air, water, and soil; terrestrial and marine system degradation—are, in fact, driving global health and humanitarian crises.

Human activities surpass our planet’s capacity to absorb our waste or provide enough resources for current demand. The way people live is driving changes to earth systems and the living world at rates that are much steeper than have existed in the history of our species. And these changes are now threatening every dimension of human health and wellbeing as illustrated in the figure below.

The harms associated with global environmental change do not fall upon all people equally. Activities that degrade Earth’s natural systems tend to benefit the privileged, while the world’s poorest people, Indigenous Peoples, people of color, and future generations disproportionately bear the associated health burdens. As such, equity and justice concerns form a cornerstone for the exploration of global environmental changes and health at every scale from local to global. 

Safeguarding a livable future for humanity and the rest of life on Earth will require rapid structural shifts in how humanity lives—a Great Transition across energy systems, food systems, manufacturing, and the built environment, requiring technological innovation and engagement of the private sector. It will require new forms of governance and policymaking from local to planetary scale and effective communication to build an activated global constituency. It will also require insights from the arts and humanities to help heal fractured relationships between people and Nature, between the wealthy and poor, and between present and future generations. Everyone from every sector has something to contribute to this effort. 

Learn more about planetary health

The Institute and the Planetary Health Alliance

Since 2015, the Planetary Health Alliance (PHA) has established itself as the backbone organization at the heart of the rapidly growing, global, transdisciplinary field of Planetary Health. With more than 420 member organizations in over 70 countries and a vast network of regional hubs, youth and clinician leaders, volunteer fellows and ambassadors, and global partnerships, PHA is having impact out of proportion to its relatively small core staff.

Its activities fall into six areas under two broad categories:

  • building the field (community building; research and knowledge curation; education)
  • mainstreaming Planetary Health (communications; policy; movement building).

PHA is a liaison between JHIPH and the global Planetary Health community, sharing information both ways. Planetary Health scholarship and informed policy and practice case studies move from JHIPH out to the global community, while real world challenges and success stories flow back to JHIPH. Both are critical to advancing the field and social movement of Planetary Health. PHA’s Secretariat is based at the Hopkins Bloomberg Center in Washington DC. 

Learn more about Planetary Health through this popular video: