The fundamental environmental issue of our time is the impact that human activity is having on the planet’s natural life-support systems. This is what we mean by planetary boundaries.

Listen to Yadvinder Malhi, Professor of Ecosystem Science at the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford University and Co-Director of the Oxford Martin TNC Climate Partnership, talk about the impact on human health and well-being as we approach these planetary boundaries.

The idea of planetary boundaries is based on the theory that there are critical life-supporting systems that have kept Earth in the extraordinary delicately balanced and benevolent stable state for humanity.

For Kate Raworth, Senior Visiting Research Associate, Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University, and author of Doughnut Economics, it would be crazy to push the planet out of this balanced state without realizing what we are doing. For her, the planetary health concept is the first attempt to identify what the crucial processes are and where we as humans lie in relation to them.

Listen to Kate discuss planetary boudanries and planetary health, a concept for our times.


There is mounting evidence that the planet’s capacity to sustain a growing human population, expected to be over 8 billion by 2030, is declining. The degradation of the planet’s air, water and land, combined with significant loss in biodiversity, is also resulting in substantial health impacts, including the reduction of food security and nutrition, and the spread of disease. Will our planetary boundaries be surpassed if current trends continue?

In this talk at the Oxford Martin School, Professor Yadvinder Malhi, Co-Director, Oxford Martin TNC Climate Partnership; Kate Raworth, author of Doughnut Economics; and Sam Bickersteth, Executive Director of the Rockefeller Foundation Economic Council on Planetary Health discuss the interconnections between human health and well-being and environmental change.