Planetary health focuses on the changes humans are making to their environment and its multidimensional impacts on ecosystems and human health. Planetary health recognises that human health and the health of our planet are interconnected. This course aims to understand how essential it is to integrate a planetary health lens and strategy into humanitarian action. Its programme reviews how human-caused changes disrupt natural ecosystems, causing climate change, air and water pollution, biodiversity loss, disruption to our food production system, and changing patterns of diseases. It emphasises the importance of humanitarian organisations reaching out to help people at risk and working to reduce the environmental impact of their aid efforts. The planetary crisis is a public health crisis. Human and animal health depends on the planet’s well-being and its ecosystems.

Scholarships are available for this course. Learn the eligibility criteria and how to apply here.

At the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the importance of framing humanitarian crises through a planetary lens;
  • recognise the environmental crisis as a catalyst or exacerbator of humanitarian crises, and that most vulnerable countries and people are most affected;
  • understand how climate change, pollution of air and water, biodiversity loss, disruption to our food production system, and changing patterns of diseases are affecting human health and healthcare systems;
  • analyse how acute climate-related shocks (e.g. floods, sea level rising) or chronic (e.g. drought and desertification) increase human mobility;
  • learn more about policies addressing the environmental crisis;
  • examine how organisations address environmental degradation through operational adaptation and mitigation practices to limit their ecological footprint;
  • utiles tools available to conduct environmental and health assessments.


Structure of the course

• Definition and scope of planetary health
• Conflict and the environment
• Conflict-related issues and social/gender inclusion
• Food and water scarcity
• Infectious diseases
• Anticipating extreme weather events to reduce their impact
• Climate change, migration and health nexus
• Air pollution and health systems
• The loss of biodiversity



Around 20-25 hours of work each week, including:
• Asynchronous self-study activities (such as case studies, videos, recorded slideshows, readings, etc.)
• Synchronous live sessions.



• Professionals in the humanitarian, development or social sector looking to explore options for mitigation and adaptation to systemic disruptions of planetary health.

• Professionals in the health sector who seek to develop their understanding of the interconnection between health, climate, environment and humanitarian responses.

• Professionals from other sectors (policy-making, donor agencies, government officials) who wish to develop their competencies in the health and humanitarian sectors.

Admission requirements:

  1. a university qualification (bachelor’s degree or equivalent);
  2. at least three years of relevant professional experience;
  3. excellent command of English;
  4. motivation working in the humanitarian sector.


Documents required:

  • CV (Résumé)
  • Copy of your highest diploma
  • Work certificate or official document of your current job position
  • Proof of English language competence (TOEIC/TOEFL/IELTS or equivalent); see details here
  • Scanned copy of passport and a passport photo (jpg).


More information about the admission process is available on our application page.

  • Planetary HealthDates 2 - 13 October 2023
  • Planetary HealthDuration Two weeks
  • Planetary HealthLocation Online
  • Planetary HealthLanguage English
  • Planetary HealthCREDITS 2 ECTS
  • Fee CHF 1'700
  • Application Deadline 10 September 2023