Human beings are experiencing profound changes in their ecology. Climate change and urbanization are dramatically changing the environment in which humans have evolved over thousands of years and this has major impacts. The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 12.5 million deaths per year (~23% of all annual deaths worldwide) are currently attributable to modiﬁable environmental factors, most of which are related to climate change and/or urbanization (WHO, 2016). Taken together, environmental impacts have important health and societal outcomes and are becoming recognised as public health problems.
People’s lives are dependent on the environment not only for good health, but also for education, housing, economic opportunity, and social connection. How can we and future generations sustainably thrive in the midst of a profoundly changing environment ?
Concerted international action is needed to mitigate the effects of environmental factors, particularly in light of climate change. Emerging evidence shows an urgent need to establish surveillance systems to monitor prevalence of health outcomes related to environmental factors throughout the world. At the same time, increased efforts should be made to educate individual citizens and societies about the health effects of environmental factors, and appropriate mitigation protocols should be incorporated within health and safety legislation.
At FAME Lab, we imagine a world where the vast majority of people understand how the environment impacts their lives and plan their activities in harmonious accordance with the long-term well-being of humanity. Our goal is to get closer to that, to stand as a beacon that points towards that, and to offer the tools we can and inspire others to help us build tools to get to that world.
We strive to help society understand and adapt to the impacts of environmental factors. Understanding and addressing the drivers of poor outcomes in health, productivity, and performance will, undoubtedly, accelerate improvements in quality of life for all people – in a sustainably and justly.
The FAME Lab was founded in 2008 to study the Functional Architecture of Mammals in their Environment. We have participated in >20 large-scale projects funded by the EU and other international organizations (>19M euro funding in the last decade), we have published >200 papers in scientific journals, and we have presented our work in >300 international conferences. We also disseminate our work through twitter, facebook, youtube, and instagram.
WHO. Preventing disease through healthy environments: a global assessment of the burden of disease from environmental risks. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2016.