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Background The global planetary health community increasingly recognises the need to prepare students to investigate and address connections between environmental change and human health. As we strive to support education on planetary health themes for students of all ages, understanding students’ concepts of linkages between the health of people and animals, and their shared environments might advance educational approaches. Children living in villages bordering Ruaha National Park in Iringa Region, Tanzania, have direct experience of these connections as they share a water-stressed but biodiverse environment with domestic animals and wildlife. Livelihoods in these villages depend predominantly on crop and livestock production, including extensive pastoralist livestock keeping. Through qualitative research, we aim to explore and describe Tanzanian primary school students’ understanding of connections between human health and the environment.