The primary goal of the Planetary Health Forum is to facilitate unconventional alliances and provide a platform for cross-sectional discussions on the future of health within planetary boundaries. The exchange and working together between generations is a key element here. We are convinced that we need stronger and younger voices for planetary health.
For this reason, we have launched a Youth Sponsorship Programme. Please meet the Youth Delegates for the first conference on planetary health in Germany: Karolina Kneller and Katharina Kewitz study medicine at Charité – University Medicine Berlin and the University of Lübeck respectively. Elise Dufitihirwe has just started her Bachelor’s degree in Health Communication at Bielefeld University. Nele Linka Reuter studies Public Health at the Berlin School of Public Health at the Charité Berlin, and Katharina Weiss successfully completed her Master’s degree in European Health Economics and Management in August 2023.
As Youth Delegates, the five will now be actively involved in shaping the Planetary Health Forum, providing critical support and contributing their ideas and visions.
„It is high time in today’s crises to recognise that health is intersectional and political. The good thing is: if we let go of outdated solutions, we see that at the end of the day, climate and biodiversity protection, anti-discrimination, the fight against poverty and achievement of equity are also health issues. We need to ask and respond to those questions to create a healthy and equitable future within planetary boundaries.“
„Adolescents and young people are urgently needed as trailblazers for a healthy life within planetary boundaries. Their creativity and commitment to environmental protection are shaping a sustainable vision. As a member of this generation, I will emphasise our role in shaping a healthy future at the Planetary Health Forum.“
„The deep interdependence of health, environment and public wellbeing is the very reason why I am committed to planetary health. When we care equally about our physical well-being and the sustainability of our environment, synergies and co-benefits emerge which means win-wins that benefit our health and the planet’s health. It is this vision that drives me.“
„Whenever my courage started to dwindle in recent years, I gathered strength from conversations and discussions with like-minded people. It is only by mutual exchange that we can turn despair into determination and move from thinking to acting. My hope is that the Planetary Health Forum will finally bring us one step further on the path to constructive solutions and that the participants will commit to taking an active role in the process of transformation.“
„I advocate for planetary health because I feel empathy. Empathy for those whose homes are becoming inhabitable because of the climate crisis. Empathy for those who fear the future because it is uncertain whether we will be able to achieve the 1.5-degree target. Empathy for the living beings on our planet that are threatened with extinction because of our behaviour. We must see Planetary Health not only as an inevitable task, but also as a promising opportunity for a better future for all.“