SNAPP: Ecological Levers for Health

Principal Investigator(s): 

Susanne Sokolow, Kevin Lafferty

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and a new scientific movement focused on the concept of “Planetary Health” are drawing increased attention to the links between human health and the environment. Unfortunately, the lack of objective scientific evaluation of these links — such as those between disease transmission and environmental change — makes it difficult to design interventions that promote healthy outcomes for both people and nature. While individual interventions – like restoring species — may be effective in simultaneously restoring environmental and human health, an outstanding question remains: Are these ecological levers for health isolated case studies or could they be models for many creative win-win interventions yet to be devised?

This Working Group will identify local or regional actionable, ecological levers – types of interventions – that can have direct, measurable benefits for health and the environment for the communities that institute them. The main objectives for the Working Group are to: (1) analyze existing data on additional disease environment systems for which opportunities are present to intervene through ecological levers for health, (2) contextualize concrete examples and synthesize how they can advance a “Planetary Health” agenda, and (3) develop metrics and modules to quantify and monitor the feedbacks between health, development and conservation efforts.

This project is supported by the Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP), generously funded through founding grants by Shirley and Harry Hagey, Steve and Roberta Denning, Seth Neiman, Angela Nomellini and Ken Olivier, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

More information for project participants Visit the SNAPP website