Synergies of Planetary Health Research Initiative

Synergies of Planetary Health Research Initiative

Biodiversity loss and climate change present a double challenge to human and planetary health. Research innovation is essential to bolster actions to build resilience against compounding effects that act as threat multipliers and accelerate tipping points.

Degradation of ecosystems weakens adaptive capacity to climate impacts and posing a threat to human well-being, through multiple factors ranging from food security and clean water. Feedback loops pose a serious threat to the prospects of sustainable development, threatening to undo major progress made toward poverty eradication, human health and well-being, and building strong institutions. According to Global Sustainable Development Report published in 2019, biodiversity loss and climate change damage the prospects of Sustainable Development Goals across multiple indicators, including eradicating poverty, hunger and malnutrition, improved human health, terrestrial and marine ecosystem health, and more.

There is an enormous transformative potential in collaborative actions by governments and a wide range of actors, e.g., cities and regions, businesses and investors, civil society organizations, labour unions, universities, and many other local and regional actors. Today, this potential is recognized and supported across multiple international organizations for meeting these global challenges.

Synergies of Planetary Health Research Initiative is an international, multi-disciplinary hub for research innovation, partnership-building, knowledge-sharing, and global outreach that heeds this potential. Projects undertaken through the Initiative support maximizing synergies across local and non-state actions, governments, and international organizations to respond to global environmental challenges.


Statement to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity for International Day for Biological Diversity 2020

Nature-based solutions: Catalyzing action for biodiversity, climate, and health

Project cover page synergies



    1. Expand and strengthen climate action by nonstate and local actors and build linkages between actions for biodiversity, climate change, human and ecosystems health, and sustainable development
    2. Develop conceptual tools to address imbalances and inequities and promoting just transformations
    3. Narrow knowledge gaps regarding non-state and local actor engagement on biodiversity and climate actions, including actions with high potential for large scale adaptation to health impacts of climate change
    4. Maximize synergies across health, water and food safety, sustainable land use and nature-based solutions, sustainable urban centres and communities, biodiversity targets, in harmony with the full range of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

What We Do

Research projects under the Initiative:

      1. Combine critical perspectives with empirical focus to build a new narrative for the relationship between people, planet and nature. Projects bridge theory and practice for strengthening local and nonstate actions to address global challenges.
      2. Produce cutting edge research to build synergies across multiple action areas on climate, biodiversity, and adaptation to health impacts of environmental change, compatible with Sustainable Development Goals
      3. provide research support for strengthening global governance through linkages across UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, UN Convention on Biological Diversity, UN Convention for Combating Desertification, and Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030

Project Team


Idil Boran, Principal Investigator

Professor, Department of Philosophy, York University
Member of Faculty, Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research, York University
Associate Researcher, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Bonn - Germany

Dr. Idil Boran is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy, York University, specializing in social and political thought, and an Associated Researcher with the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), an affiliation established in 2018. Boran has actively participated in UN Climate Change conferences, including the COPs, organizing and speaking at side events since 2012.

Alongside journal publications on global climate change governance, Boran is the author of Political Theory and Global Climate Action: Recasting the Public Sphere (Routledge, 2019).

Sander Chan, Principal Investigator

German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

Miriam Garcia, Co-Investigator

Institute for International Relations, University of São Paulo

Rebecca Babcock, Research Assistant

Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research, York University

Institutional Partners

Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research

York University

Klimalog: Research and dialogue for climate-smart and just transformation

German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

University of São Paulo


Boran, I. (2019). Political Theory and Global Climate Action: Recasting the Public Sphere. Abington: Routledge.

Chan, S., Boran, I., van Asselt, H., Iacobuta, G., Niles, N., Rietig, K., ... Wambugu, G. (2019). Promises and risks of nonstate action in climate and sustainability governance. WIREs Climate Change, e572.

Boran, I & Chan, S. (2019). Accelerating the future we need: Rethinking Global Climate Action beyond 2020, Current Column of the German Development Institute (24 June, 2019)

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