November 17, 18, 2020
COVID-19 has shown us the exorbitant cost of inaction.
The world needs to urgently operationalize the concept of One Health.
The ongoing global health crisis has highlighted the close connections between health and other security issues, including wildlife trade for human consumption, as well as the biodiversity and climate crises. This two-day virtual event, co-hosted by WCS and the German Federal Foreign Office, builds on the Berlin Principles to identify how to move forward. The five sessions will highlight and elaborate on what One Health looks like in practice and how to operationalize it, whilst also working to prevent future zoonotic pandemics.
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
"We know that governments and others for decades failed to heed the warning signs consistently about risks of global zoonotic pandemics," said WCS's Christian Walzer.
In the News
By WCS's Annie Mark for Mongabay
Using the Berlin Principles and a One Health approach, scientists, practitioners, and policy makers can show how nature conservation underpins human health.
By Niels Annen and WCS's Cristian Samper for Euractiv
No particular country or sector of society holds enough knowledge and resources to single-handedly prevent the emergence or spread of diseases.
Get the latest WCS reports, news, and commentary on the ongoing global pandemic.
Building on 2019
This event will follow on the previous meeting. In October, 2019, the German Federal Foreign Office and WCS co-hosted the One Planet, One Health, One Future event in the Foreign Office building in Berlin. Co-hosts Minister of State Mr. Niels Annen and WCS President and CEO Cristián Samper endorsed the Berlin Principles on One Health, which were launched at the event.
The Berlin Principles
We urge world leaders, governments, civil society, the global health and conservation communities, academia and scientific institutions, business, finance leaders, and investment holders to:
- Recognize and take action to retain the essential health links between humans, wildlife, domesticated animals and plants, and all nature; and ensure the conservation and protection of biodiversity which, interwoven with intact and functional ecosystems, provides the critical foundational infrastructure of life, health, and well-being on our planet;
- Take action to develop strong institutions that integrate understanding of human and animal health with the health of the environment, and invest in the translation of robust science-based knowledge into policy and practice;
- Take action to combat the current climate crisis, which is creating new severe threats to human, animal, and environmental health, and exacerbating existing challenges;
- Recognize that decisions regarding the use of land, air, sea, and freshwater directly impact health and well-being of humans, animals, and ecosystems and that alterations in ecosystems paired with decreased resilience generate shifts in communicable and non-communicable disease emergence, exacerbation and spread; and take action to eliminate or mitigate these impacts;
- Devise adaptive, holistic, and forward-looking approaches to the detection, prevention, monitoring, control, and mitigation of emerging/resurging diseases and exacerbating communicable and non-communicable diseases, that incorporate the complex interconnections among species, ecosystems, and human society, while accounting fully for harmful economic drivers, and perverse subsidies;
- Take action to meaningfully integrate biodiversity conservation perspectives and human health and well-being when developing solutions for communicable and non-communicable disease threats;
- Increase cross-sectoral investment in the global human, livestock, wildlife, plant, and ecosystem health infrastructure and international funding mechanisms for the protection of ecosystems, commensurate with the serious nature of emerging/resurging and exacerbating communicable and non-communicable disease threats to life on our planet;
- Enhance capacity for cross-sectoral and trans-disciplinary health surveillance and clear, timely information-sharing to improve coordination of responses among governments and non-governmental organizations, health, academia and other institutions, the private sector and other stakeholders;
- Form participatory, collaborative relationships among governments, NGOs, Indigenous Peoples, and local communities while strengthening the public sector to meet the challenges of global health and biodiversity conservation;
- Invest in educating and raising awareness for global citizenship and holistic planetary health approaches among children and adults in schools, communities, and universities while also influencing policy processes to increase recognition that human health ultimately depends on ecosystem integrity and a healthy planet.