Preventing Zoonotic Spillover at its Source: Integrated One Health Approaches Founded on Healthy Ecosystems

Session Date: April 21, 2021

Session Description: When political and financial capital are wisely invested in measures to protect the health of ecosystems and their wildlife inhabitants, human health is a return on investment. Preventing future zoonotic pandemics requires a robust One Health approach that recognizes protecting human health as an ecological service. The Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) calls for governments to fill key gaps in infectious disease prevention, but to be successful it must explicitly address the ecosystem-disease dynamics associated with land use change—the primary driver of pathogen transmission from wildlife to humans. Our expert team will provide an overview of ‘land use-induced spillover’—the process whereby land use changes drive the ecological conditions that facilitate spillover of zoonotic pathogens from infected wildlife to humans—and introduce practical measures that can be taken by governments, donor agencies, development assistance organizations, and others to institutionalize and prioritize ecological resilience (‘landscape immunity’) into their practices. In addition, we explore opportunities for integrating human health within payment for ecological services schemes and ‘ecological countermeasures’ as restorative land management practices to safeguard human health from future pandemics.

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