Advancing human health in the era of climate change and planetary health: lessons and experiences from the Philippines
In recent years, planetary health has evolved not just as an emerging field of scientific inquiry but also as a novel policy framework, fresh ethical paradigm, and renewed basis for collective action that integrates both the health of people and the planet.
Over the past century, human activities have grown economies, improved health, and enhanced the quality of life – at the expense of the world’s natural resources. Today, global environmental change – not just in the form of climate change but also biodiversity loss, ocean acidification, and other ecosystem alterations – is threatening the health of future generations in return.
As a tropical archipelagic country with a rising economy yet with chronic poverty and persistent inequality, the Philippines is undeniably a planetary health hotspot, hit by natural disasters and slowly affected by the subtle manifestations of climate breakdown. However, the country, with its rich natural capital, untapped energy and creativity, and innate societal resilience, also has an immense potential to be a world leader in planetary health transformation.
In this seminar, Dr Guinto, Chief Planetary Doctor of PH Lab – a ‘glo-cal think-and-do tank’ for generating planetary health solutions in the developing world – and a recent Doctor of Public Health graduate of Harvard University, will share his perspectives about this new exciting field of planetary health as well as lessons and experiences from the Philippines as the country confronts climate change and other planetary health challenges.
Dr Renzo Guinto
A Filipino physician working at the nexus of global health and sustainable development, Dr Guinto is the Chief Planetary Doctor of PH Lab – a ‘glo-cal think-and-do tank’ for advancing the health of both people and the planet. A global health ‘deep generalist,’ Renzo brings with him nearly a decade of experience in global health policy, research, advocacy, implementation, and innovation at local, national, regional, and international levels, covering the public and private sectors as well as civil society and the United Nations system, and spanning a diverse range of themes such as climate change, planetary health, universal health care, migrant health, global health security, noncommunicable diseases, global health governance and diplomacy, healthcare innovation, social determinants of health, among others. Previously, he worked for the Philippine Department of Health, International Organization for Migration, World Health Organization, World Bank, Health Care Without Harm, UP Manila Universal Health Care Study Group and Harvard Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment. He received numerous prestigious fellowships including the New Voices Fellowship of the Aspen Institute in Washington, DC and the Emerging Voices for Global Health in Cape Town, South Africa.