Latest News

25 January 2024

Towards Transformations: Lahti brings cities and specialists together to advance on Planetary Health

Towards Transformations: Lahti brings cities and specialists together to advance on Planetary Health

Science-informed knowledge and solutions for tackling challenges around planetary health are essential for transformative action. How do we tackle these challenges in our cities, regions and across the globe? The upcoming Lahti People and Planet Conference 2024 is bringing together scientists, topical experts, clinicians and leaders to convene on solutions to improve human health and well-being. 

GoGreenRoutes is a proud contributor to this event, as we believe that collaboration is essential to bring solutions to health and environmental issues to the greater public. To understand the impact that this cross-cutting topic can have for communities, it is important to raise awareness for the different ongoing initiatives in play. 

The concept of ‘planetary health’ is based on the understanding that “human health and human civilisation depend on flourishing and balanced natural systems and wise stewardship of those ecosystems” (Lancet 2020). The issue of how to deploy the planetary health approach to align with the ambitions of the European Green Deal came into play at a Helsinki conference in December 2019. 

This is to say, Finnish experts have been a champion of the concept early on and these collaborative discussions contributed towards the development of the Helsinki Declaration 2020, a call of urgency for government actors and decision makers to consider the role that health plays for humans and the environment. 

Nature Step to Health 

Lahti is a strong driver of the Nature Step to Health Programme initiated in 2021 by Wellbeing Services County of Päijät-Häme, The City of Lahti and Lahti University Campus. The local Lahti Health Forest, for example, is well visited and makes these concepts a tangible reality through educational tours and community activities. You can learn more about the City of Lahti’s connection to the programme in this informational video and by reading an interview by Finland’s first ‘Planetary Health Physician’, Dr. Hanna Haveri.

The goals and tasks of Nature Step to Health are meant to correspond to regional needs and the program serves as a best practice example for other municipalities. At the upcoming Lahti People Planet Conference, a full programme is designed to expose participants to cross-cutting sessions to expand on these best practices. For example, the session, 'Healthy and sustainable futures-fact or fiction?’ will leverage ongoing discourse on incorporation of One Health and Planetary Health approaches to create actionable pathways towards these ambitions. 

Through their direct involvement with Planetary Health and the Nature Step to Health programme, experts from Lahti University Campus have a great wealth of knowledge on the subject and have hopes that the Lahti People Planet Conference can have a positive impact to spread the knowledge that Finnish regional authorities have gained thus far to upscale in other localities in a way that meets local needs. 

Step to Lathi People Planet 

The Lahti People Planet: from Theory to Solutions 2024: Towards Transformation Conference will bring together experts from across Europe to advance on the objectives of Planetary Health. You can learn more about the conference, taking place 13-15 February, on their main website

You can still register for the conference until 29 January 22:59 CET

In the meantime, you can stay up to date with the topic by reading up on the Helsinki Declaration 2020, Call for urgent action, and the Nature Step to Health 2022-2032 agenda