Accessibility statement

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pipe polluting lake

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Health Of Populations and Ecosystems (HOPE)

Our children, and our children’s children, will pay with their health for the damage we inflict on the world’s ecosystems today.

The way we live is changing the Earth’s ecosystems - its soil and water systems, the climate, the purity of the air we breathe, and the biodiversity around us. Individually and collectively, we are changing the planet on which human life depends – a huge experiment in which we are all participating. These changes are already affecting human health, but it is future generations – our children and our children’s children – who will pay the price.

  • Human life is sustained by our oceans, forests, woodlands, deserts, farmlands, rivers and the plants and animals that live in them. If the Earth’s ecosystems fail, we fail.
  • We can no longer plan strategies for health without taking account of how our lifestyles are affecting the Earth’s ecosystems – and for the worse.
  • Yet there has been very little research linking people’s health to the health of the planet. Similarly, there is very little focus on the connections between health and environmental policy in national and local government decision making.

Governments can no longer plan strategies for improving people’s health without an appreciation of the connections between the health of people and the planet. Researchers and policy planners need to put people and planet alongside each other and consider health and environmental impacts together.

What is HOPE?

The project was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) under its transforming social science initiative and is in the ESRC Research Catalogue. Three doctoral studentships  were linked to the project, all three students have been awarded their doctorates.

Contact us

To contact the HOPE project team, email

New output

Improving UK evidence on environmental and health behaviours