Berzelius Symposium 105 - Planetary Health-“It is all connected-what saves the planet saves our health”

Welcome to Berzelius Symposium 105: Planetary Health on September 21-22 at the Swedish Society of Medicine, Klara Östra Kyrkogata 10, Stockholm, or Zoom.

Humanity has during the past century made tremendous public health gains such as global child mortality and life expectancy. But to achieve this, we have exploited the planet and disrupted its natural systems, leading to significant and accelerating environmental problems and disharmony with the rest of the Biosphere.

All these tremendous changes in the environment and in our climate will severely affect our health and, if left undealt with, put decades of public health gains at severe risk. Paradoxical, our fossil lifestyle, which earlier gave rise to improved quality of life and improved global health, is also beginning to have negative impact on our health with examples such as kidney disease, type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, now being the most common contributing cause for death globally.

The concept of global health is focused on the health of human populations without considering the surrounding natural ecosystems, the foundation of our existence. In 2015 the Planetary health concept was launched by the Rockefeller Foundation–Lancet Commission on Planetary Health in order to recognize that the health of humans is intimately linked with the health of the natural systems. It is now a scientific field and global movement not only focused on understanding and quantifying the growing human health impacts of anthropogenic global environmental change but also on trying to develop solutions.

This BZ aims to introduce the concept Planetary health and create understanding of the interactions between human health and well-being and animal and environmental health. International and national pioneers, thought-leaders and researchers in the field will share and introduce the concept Planetary health, including describing the current state of knowledge and the current research front.  The aim is also to initiate interdisciplinary discussions that can generate new co-operations, both clinical and research, as well as to provide tools for implementing the concept in the clinical practice.

The symposium was recorded and is now available on the link below

Recording day 1

Recording day 2

Download Abstract book with program


Wednesday, September 21

Aim: To introduce the concept of Planetary health as the health of human civilisation and the state of the natural systems on which it depends.

12.30 Registration

13.00–13.10 Welcome
Tobias Alfvén, Chairperson Swedish Society of Medicine

13.10–13.20 Introduction by moderators:
Fredrik Moberg, PhD, biologist, Stockholm University and Stockholm Resilience Center, Stockholm, Sweden.
Sofia Hammarstrand, MD, phd student, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

13.25–14.05 Keynote: Introduction to Planetary Health
Sam Myers, MD, MPH Harvard, U.S.A

Myers is a Principal Research Scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and is the founding Director of the Planetary Health Alliance.
His work spans over several areas of planetary health including 1) the global nutritional impacts of rising concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere; 2) the health impacts of land management decisions in SE Asia associated with biomass burning and particulate air pollution 3) the global consequences of fisheries decline for human nutrition and health; 4) the global impact of animal pollinator declines on human nutrition today and in the future; and 5) the impact of climate shocks on human nutrition as mediated through global food trade.

As the Director of the Planetary Health Alliance, he oversees a multi-institutional effort (over 300 organizations in over 60 countries) focused on understanding and quantifying the human health impacts of disrupting Earth’s natural systems and translating that understanding into policy decisions and social action globally.

Myers is a Commissioner on the Lancet-Rockefeller Foundation Commission on Planetary Health and co-editor with Howard Frumkin of Planetary Health: Protecting Nature to Protect Ourselves.

14.10–15.05 Healthy ecosystems are a prerequisite for human health

  • 14.10–14.35 Part 1: Perspectives from the Arctic
    Birgitta Evengård, MD, PhD, Professor Infectious Diseases, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
    Evengård works in the project CLINF at a Nordic center of excellence, NCoE, which works to promote collaboration between prominent researchers and research environments. Within CLINF, she has studied climate change and its impact on ecosystems and human and animal health in the north with a changed infection panorama. She is at present a member of the Lancet Commission for Health in the Arctic, the Executive board EU Polar-Net 2 and an AMAP/SDWG Health group in the Arctic Council.

  • 14.40–15.05 Part 2: Perspectives from Sub-Saharan Africa
    Helena Nordenstedt, MD, PhD, Specialized physician in internal medicine, Associate Professor in Global Health, Department of Global Public Health, KI, Stockholm, Sweden
    Nordenstedt is an associate professor and teacher in global health with broad research interests and experience. Nordenstedt’s projects range from learning from the experiences of infectious disease outbreaks and combating new outbreaks, to non-communicable diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease and diabetes, with a focus on low-income countries. Dr Nordenstedt is also a senior advisor and previous head of research at Gapminder.

–15.30 Coffee break

15.30–15.55 Loss of biodiversity and metropolitan landscapes – what is the impact on health

Åsa Fahlman, associate professor, World Wildlife Fund
Wildlife veterinary with focus on preservation of wild animals, natural areas and animal well-fare. She is also engaged in inter-disciplinary cooperation in order to promote and reach One Health.

Tom Arnbom, associate professor, zoological ecology, World Wildlife Fund, Stockholm, Sweden
Arnbom is WWF-Sweden's senior advisor, focused on Arctic and marine issues. He also has a vast experience with 10 years in Media as a translator of English films into Swedish, director of natural history films and ghost writer for TV-presenters.

16.00–16.25 Climate change and heat related mortality – also in Sweden
Bertil Forsberg, professor of environmental medicine, Umeå, Sweden
Forsberg research focuses on air pollution and health, health effects of extreme weather and climate change, methods for health impact assessment and respiratory health.

16.30–16.55 Climate change and health- from impacts to action

Sir Andy Haines, MD, professor of Environmental Change and Public Health, Centre on Climate Change and Planetary Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK 
Andy Haines was formerly a family doctor and Professor of Primary Health Care at UCL. He developed an interest in climate change and health in the 1990’s. He has been a member of several Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the assessment exercises. He was Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine from 2001- 2010. He chaired the Scientific Advisory Panel for the 2013 WHO World Health Report, the Rockefeller /Lancet Commission on Planetary Health (2014-15) and the European Academies Science Advisory Council working group on climate change and health (2018-19). He currently co-chairs the InterAcademy Partnership working group on climate change and health and is also co-chairing the Lancet Pathfinder Commission on health in the zero-carbon economy. He has published many papers on topics such as the effects of environmental change on health and the health co-benefits of low carbon policies. His current research focuses on climate change mitigation, sustainable healthy food systems and complex urban systems for sustainability.

17.00–17.10 Summary of day 1

17.15 Symposia Mingle at the Swedish Society of Medicine

Thursday, September 22

Aim: To create understanding for and put light on examples of health-planetary win-win situations with focus on diet and the power of food.

8.45–9.00 Welcome

9.00–9.25 Introduction. Approaches and building blocks for sustainable transformation – moving from doomsday to an agenda of opportunities

Johan Kuylenstierna, Director General, Formas

Kuylenstierna has worked with international environment and climate issues for the past 30 years. He started his career as a polar researcher and he is now one of the most well-known climate experts in Sweden.

9.309.55 Lessons from evolution by natural selection: an unprecedented opportunity to use biomimetics to improve planetary health

Peter Stenvinkel,
Professor in Nephrology, Dept of Nephrology, CLINTEC, Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital,
Stockholm, Sweden.
Prof. Stenvinkel conducts translational research with focus on risk factors for metabolic, cardiovascular and nutritional complications in chronic kidney disease (CKD). He also conducts biomimetic studies to learn from solutions developed in nature in collaboration with ecologists, biologists, and veterinarians.

10.0010.20 The power is on your plate

Brent Loken, PhD, researcher, global food lead scientist for World Wildlife Fund

Loken is a global sustainability and food system scientist. His work focuses on feeding everyone on the planet healthy diets within the planetary boundaries. Previously, Loken worked for EAT, where he was a lead author on the EAT-Lancet report on Food, Planet, Health.

10.2010.45 Coffee break

10.45–11.15 Environmentally sustainable diet linked to health benefits

Anna Stubbendorff, PhD-student at the medical faculty and Agenda 2030 graduate school at Lund University

Stubbendorff‘s work focuses on sustainable nutrition and health effects of sustainable diets.

11.2012.00 Realistic dietary shifts towards improved nutrition and sustainability in Sweden – a win-win for human health and the planet

Patricia Eustachio Colombo, postdoc, Cambridge University, UK and affiliated researcher, KI, Stockholm, Sweden

Dr Patricia Eustachio Colombo is a Career Development Fellow at the MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge, and affiliated to Karolinska Institutet. Her research is centred on nutrition, epidemiology, and planetary health. Patricia’s current project aims to quantify health and environmental impacts of different policy scenarios, as well as research relevant to the prevention and personalised treatment of obesity, diabetes and related chronic diseases.

Liselotte Schäfer Elinder, professor, KI, Stockholm, Sweden
Schäfer Elinder’s work focuses in epidemiological studies of healthy and sustainable dietary habits and physical activity and their upstream determinants in relation to health outcomes as well as multidisciplinary research on the development, implementation and evaluation of interventions and tools to promote health and prevent obesity and chronic diseases.

12.00–13.00 Lunch
According to EAT-Lancet recommendations.

Aim: To create understanding of the urgency of now, the importance and the power of interdisciplinary cooperation and the importance of action from the medical professionals, and to provide inspiring tools for implementation and action.

13.0013.30 Planetary Health, Health Equity, and Making Change: The role of community organizing in protecting our planet and health

Garaub Basu, MD, affiliate, department of Global Health & Social Medicine Harvard Medical School and Co-Director, Center for Health Equity Education & Advocacy, Cambridge Health Alliance

Basu is also a leader for climate health organizing fellows program, where they try to create a vibrant educational space and community to develop a cadre of health professionals who are inspired and enabled to develop and advance climate solutions.

13.35–14.05 Building Planetary Health Movements Locally to Globally

Teddie Potter, clinical professor, director of planetary health, special coordinator doctor of nursing practice in health innovation and leadership, University of Minnesota, U.S.A

Potter’s research and academic interests include: Cultural Transformation; Partnership-Based Health Care; Collaborative Online International Learning; Interdisciplinary teaching, practice, and research; Movement building; Collaboration and partnership.

14.1014.40 Planetary Health Emergency – How can we act?

Martin Hermann, MD, psychotherapist, president of KLUG, the German alliance for climate change and health and teaches at Center for International Health University of Munich, the School for Philosophy (HfP) Munich and the Planetary Health Academy
The main focus of his work has been initiating and implementing transformational change in global settings. In addition, he does research in developing methodologies for organizational change and leadership education using the paradigm of complexity and Hannah Arendt’s perspective on action and power.

14.40–15.05 Coffee break

15.05–15.35 Inspiration lecture/outlook: Breaking the silos

Ahmed Osama Ahmed Hassan, researcher and infectious disease epidemiologist/ expert with main interest in Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases, Neglected Tropical Diseases and Antimicrobial Resistance( AMR), Lancet One Health Commission, Sudan, Umeå

He uses “The One Health Approach” where multidisciplinary teams work together to understand the interplay between environment, animal health and human health as well as to ensure health for all.

15.35–15.55 Summary of day 2 as well as summary of the whole symposia

The lectures will be recorded and avaliable for participants afterwards.

Contact: Maria Wolodarski,

Planetary Health

Welcome to Berzelius Symposium 105: Planetary Health on September 21-22 at the Swedish Society of Medicine, Klara Östra Kyrkogata 10, Stockholm, or Zoom.

Planetärt perspektiv på hälsa

Det är bråttom att radikalt minska människans påverkan på jorden, och det kommer att behövas omfattande förändringar på alla plan i samhället, inte minst inom forskning, utveckling och undervisning.