3 min.

Mitigating future pandemics through a One Health approach

Mitigating future pandemics through a One Health approach

Join the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) at the upcoming Global Landscapes Forum on Biodiversity for a special session on the link between One Health and sustainable landscapes

In 1918, the global influenza pandemic known as the ‘Spanish flu’ infected an estimated 500 million people, killing as many as 100 million people. Since then, the world has seen an increase in zoonoses–diseases that jump from animals to humans–such as Ebola, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), COVID-19 and others.

An estimated 2.5 billion cases of illness and 2.7 million deaths are caused by zoonoses every year, which have significant impacts on health, livelihoods and economies. With rapid encroachment of protected areas, environmental degradation, expansion of agriculture and peri-urban settlements, the threats posed by zoonoses are increasing and they cannot be addressed by one sector alone.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of a One Health approach as the solution to reduce the threat of another pandemic.

One Health recognizes that the health of people, animals and their shared environment are closely interconnected. One Health is not new but has gained momentum in recent years due to changes in interactions between people, animals and the environment that have led to emerging and recurring global health threats. A multidisciplinary and multisectoral collaboration at the animal human-environmental interface is needed to tackle zoonoses and reduce their impact.

In general, environment health initiatives have been less well represented than animal, livestock and human health initiatives in global zoonoses prevention and control programs. But the environment is key to the emerging One Health approaches because land use is probably the single biggest contributor to increasing cases of zoonotic disease. If landscape policies and investments continue to be made without a One Health lens, then opportunities will be missed to address the biggest challenges of our time. 

You can learn more about these important linkages at the ILRI-hosted session A One Health approach for environmental, animal and human health, at the upcoming Global Landscapes Forum.


A man and boy walking with donkey in Doyogena District, Ethiopia (photo credit: ILRI/Georgina Smith).A man and boy walking with donkey in Doyogena District, Ethiopia (photo credit: ILRI/Georgina Smith).

This virtual interactive and participatory event will take place on Wednesday, 28 October, 9:00-10:30 UTC/GMT+1.

Registering for a ticket gives you access to follow and contribute to not only this session, but the forum’s entire two-day program.

Panel experts will highlight why those promoting a landscape approach should pay greater attention to landscape health and its relationship with animal (livestock and wildlife) and human health, as part of an integrated One Health approach. This promotes a situation where the whole (One Health) has greater value than the sum of its parts (human, livestock, environment/landscape health), and thus is better placed to address the global challenges that we face today. 

Our speakers include:


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