In 2000, leaders of 189 nations meeting as the Millennium Summit in New York agreed to pursue a set of Millennium Development Goals for improving human well-being in developing countries by 2015. The eight goals include four overtly health-related ones: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, and combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other disease.

To Jonathan Patz, director of global environmental health at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, these health-related goals are inextricably tied to another of the eight: ensuring environmental sustainability.

As world leaders meet this week to assess progress made on the MDGs, we present a 2012 interview from our archives in which Patz shared his thoughts about the connections between the environment and human health.