One Health is an integrated, unifying approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimize the health of humans, animals, plants, and the wider environment, including ecosystems. It recognizes that the health of each of them is closely linked and interdependent.
The health and well-being of the environment is a critical foundation for the health and well-being of humans, animals and plants because every form of environmental degradation has direct or indirect negative consequences for human and animal health. The impacts of this environmental degradation are compounded by climate change which can multiply these threats, as is evident by the increase in extreme weather events and floods. Changes in the environment as a result of climate change can have exacerbating effects to ecological systems including the destruction of habitats, compromising feed and food security, shifting the range and distribution of disease vectors, and increasing the spread of infectious diseases. To efficiently prevent and mitigate these threats, the biodiversity conservation, environmental, public health and animal health/veterinary sectors need to understand these interlinkages, speak with one voice, and implement One Health with a harmonized approach.
The mandates and priorities of the environmental sector need to be fully integrated into the One Health approach, including through the integration of environmental priorities and data in One Health decision-making and actions, increasing the understanding of environmental issues in the One Health community, and strengthening the capacity of the environmental sector and institutions to have an equal voice at the One Health table and in decision-making.
The One Health Joint Plan of Action (OH JPA) was developed by the Quadripartite (composed of FAO, UNEP, WHO and WOAH) in response to international requests to prevent future pandemics and to promote health sustainably through the One Health approach. The OH JPA outlines six action tracks, and in particular Action track six (AT6) of the OH JPA focuses on mainstreaming the health of the environment and ecosystems into the One Health approach.
This side event will be composed of a high-level panel with speakers from international organizations, academia, and governments to have a discussion on how environmental challenges such as climate change can be tackled from a One Health perspective. The discussion will also delve into AT6 of the OH JPA, focusing on how the environmental sector can be better integrated into One Health implementation.
Ms Cristina Romanelli – Programme Officer, Biodiversity, Climate Change and Health, World Health Organization
Dr Amina Benyaha – Scientist, WHO One Health Initiative (OHI), Healthier Population Division Office (HEP/HEA), World Health Organization
- Dr Maria Neira – Director of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health, World Health Organization
- Dr Chadia Wannous – One Health Global Coordinator, World Organisation for Animal Health
- Dr Zitouni Ould-Dada – Deputy Director, Climate and Environment Division, Food and Agriculture Organization
- Ms Dianna Kopansky – Policy & Programme Expert: Peatlands, Forests & Ecosystems, Global Peatlands Initiative Coordinator, United Nations Environment Programme
- Dr Ayman Hamada – Under-secretary for Biodiversity, Ministry of Environment of Egypt
- Dr Catherine Machalaba – Principal Scientist for Health & Policy, EcoHealth Alliance, Member of the One Health High-Level Expert Panel
Available on the Global Climate and Health Alliance YouTube channel.