Mongabay series: Environment And Health

A clean environment, and actions to protect the integrity of ecosystems matter to human health and well-being. Every time we mess around with the environment, we feel it. These negative impacts on human health are brought on by a suite of changes such as land-use change, unjust energy transitions, climate change and biodiversity loss that interfere with the benefits of natural ecosystems that make life possible for people (ecosystem services). For example, polluted air, a river in peril, local food systems in decline, rapacious mining and rampant deforestation, harm human health. Climate change through extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and heatwaves, worsens the impacts. The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the urgency to protect, conserve and restore wildlife habitats and disappearing ecosystems. In Environment and Health, we probe these linkages and go beyond examining the impacts of the environment on human health to understand how we can shore up our actions to shape a healthier India and a resilient ecosystem.