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One Health – A holistic Paradigm

The deliberations and discussions of the GRF One Health Summit Davos 2012 on “One Health, One Planet, One Future: Risks and opportunities” have shown that One Health has evolved to a broad and holistic paradigm that addresses and frames the complex interactions between human health, livestock, pet and wildlife health, climate, ecosystems, agriculture, food systems and human development. It includes aspects of nutrition, agriculture, the safety and security of food supplies, environmental stewardship and the management of natural resources, water, energy, and ecosystems services, as well as questions of awareness, behaviour and learning, governance, economics, and disaster preparedness. Keeping in mind that more than half of the worldwide population is living in urban areas and rural exodus continues to grow; One Health may become a crucial approach to successfully cope with all the drivers and consequences in urbanization dynamics.

Recently, One Health has begun to move beyond the status of a mere concept to become a truly global movement at the interface of science, society, policy and practice. It is deeply interdisciplinary and cross-sectorial and provides a fascinating, powerful framework that a variety of professional communities and social groups can adhere to.

Our best hope is that the One Health paradigm will be helpful in reversing the worst of current problems at the human-animal-environment and development interface thus fostering a more sustainable way of life on Mother Earth.

 

Dr Walter J. Ammann Chairman