From Nature Conservation to Planetary Health

When and Where

Monday, April 03, 2023 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
Online and Room 409
Stewart Building
149 College Street


Ranaivo Rasolofoson


This lecture is hybrid.

Location: Room 409, 149 College Street, 4th floor 

Zoom Link
Meeting ID: 894 1752 3803
Passcode: 478382

Nature conservation and sustaining human well-being are increasingly recognized as interlinked global challenges. Community Forest Management (CFM) is one of the most widespread conservation approaches. It devolves forest management to local communities to achieve both conservation and human well‐being goals. We investigate the impacts of CFM on well-being of households across Madagascar. In a case study conducted in CFM sites in the eastern rainforests of the country, we find that health is among the most important life domains to households, and forests and CFM are perceived by local communities to be important for health. This indicates that conservation needs to intentionally address human health to be locally accepted and successful. As an example of health benefits of forests, our results from a study across Haiti and Honduras suggest that moderately forested upstream watersheds enhance the effectiveness of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) efforts at reducing the prevalence of childhood diarrhea. But forests are not the only natural systems affecting human health. Our study in fishery dependent communities in Lake Victoria, Kenya, indicates that fisheries can affect early childhood development through various pathways. Threats to natural systems are public health threats. Investments in nature conservation are therefore public health investments. Efforts are needed to make conservation sensitive to human health, so that it delivers both conservation and human health benefits.

Dr. Ranaivo Rasolofoson is a Postdoctoral Associate at Duke University. He has a double PhD degree from the University of Copenhagen (Denmark) and Bangor University (Wales). Ranaivo is interested in investigating the impacts of environmental programs and environmental changes on different environmental and human well-being outcomes, with specific interest in human health and nutritional outcomes. He has looked at the impacts of community forest management and protected areas on deforestation, economic, and subjective human well-being in Madagascar. Ranaivo has also examined the links between environmental resources (forests, fishery resources), child nutrition, early childhood development, and infectious diseases in low and middle-income countries. Ranaivo explores the roles of environmental resources in shaping community resilience to the effects of shocks (extreme weather events and conflicts) on human health and nutrition.


Contact Information

Stella Kyriakakis

Contact Information


School of the Environment


149 College Street