Our members are encouraged and supported to act locally and connect globally to share and promote skills and qualities that protect the diversity and integrity of our Earth’s ecosystems. Our members benefit from training and support from an intentional community of scholars and practitioners whose work effort goes toward addressing widening disparities in health, the pollution of land, water, the atmosphere and wildlife loss. A basic tenet held in common by our members is that health and wellbeing cannot be sustained in a resource depleted, polluted and socially unstable planet. This is why ecohealth international engages in approaches to health that sustain ecosystem health, foster social stability and promote the peaceful coexistence of humans, animals and their environments.
We work in partnership and focus on the synergies between like-minded associations, committees, councils and social movements to align our thinking, language and points of action to protect and promote the sustainability of ecosystems both now and for future generations. We collaborate with members of One Health and Planetary Health initiatives around the world, and whilst many members are invested in earth system sciences, we also remain committed to the promotion of worldviews which are founded in ecological, ethical and spiritual traditions that positively link our human experiences to the places in which we live.
Statement of Ecohealth International on COVID-19
Ecohealth International is an association with regional chapters across Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas, established in 2016 (www.ecohealthinternational.org), building on the legacy of the International Association of Ecology and Health (founded in 2006). Ecohealth International in consideration of the individual, organisational, and societal turmoil created by the COVID-19 pandemic, hereby:
- Commends the extraordinary life-saving actions and sacrifice of our front-line healthcare workers and praises the commitment of communities and individuals employing specific public health measures such as non-pharmaceutical interventions.
- Emphasize that emergence and spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19 can only be prevented and controlled by communication, coordination, cooperation and collaboration across multiple sectors and international partners, through whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches, to find optimal outcomes for human, animal, and environment health.
- Highlight that humanity’s ability to respond to and prevent future pandemics will benefit from understanding the deep and complex interconnectedness between humans, other species, and the environment, especially in the context of agricultural food systems. This is made possible by viewing humans as constituents within ecosystems whose actions shape the capacities of these natural systems to provide buffers from disease emergence.
- Acknowledge that the source of the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is still debated. A common hypothesis states that the virus originated at the human-animal interface as have other emerging pathogens. However, if future evidence suggests an alternative explanation for the origin of SARS-CoV-2 (for example a laboratory accident), this will not diminish the importance of integrated approaches to health in global pandemic prevention and preparedness efforts.
- Recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic also highlights the wider social and environmental determinants of health and the cascading impacts of disturbances to natural systems that are fuelled by agriculture and food systems, anthropogenic climate change, growing populations, consumerism, poverty, conflict, and migration.
- Assert that vulnerable populations and places are at high risk of having poor health outcomes and becoming epicentres for the emergence of pathogens with pandemic potential and should therefore be priorities for intervention. This includes Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs) whose health, wellbeing, cultures, and livelihoods are intrinsically connected to the health of place, as well as populations with elevated levels of poverty, high prevalence of non-communicable diseases, and/ or degraded natural systems.
- Support efforts to strengthen the surveillance capacity across the human, animal and environmental nexus, including through the participation of IPLCs, for early detection of high-risk pathogens along non-human animal exchange or market chains.
- Support an integrated approach to policy change for prevention of future outbreaks of zoonotic infectious disease or diseases of non-human animal origin, considering restoring and protecting ecosystems, and reducing dependency on industrial agricultural systems.
- Promote respect for nature, and all its constituents including humans, domesticated and wild species, by protecting them from anthropogenic harm.
- Discourage unnecessary contact with wildlife species except where sustainable use is possible and appropriate, especially for communities embedded in natural systems and dependent on natural resources; and support sustainable conservation and stewardship.
- Support policy for managing the condition of the environments in which we live, such as considering restricting the expansion of large-scale extractive uses in intact landscapes, planning infrastructure development to avoid habitat fragmentation, avoiding disruption of natural fire and flood regimes, and restoring damaged ecological systems to sustain future life on earth. This would ensure that climate targets are met and that the planetary carrying capacity is not overstretched, so that future generations can benefit from a liveable planet earth.
- Support preparedness and sustainability by promoting gender equity, diversity, inclusion, and recognition of wider health stakeholders including ecologists, social scientists, and local communities for sustainable health outcomes. Our work is guided by the principles of social and environmental justice. This also opens opportunities to link to the sustainable development goals put forward by the United Nations.
- Emphasize, and stress our desire to collaborate on issues of shared concern in the COVID-19 pandemic, future infectious disease outbreaks, and global health challenges, particularly those relating to the human-animal-environment interface. We are especially interested to contribute upstream thinking about the systems approach to health, highlighting the connectedness of the current challenges, and the need to take action to prevent disease emergence with actions that optimize sustainability of all species and ecosystems.
Please be advised that the Board of the International Association for Ecology and Health will be putting forward a motion at the upcoming Annual General Meeting at the EcoHealth Conference in Cali, Colombia to dissolve the International Association for Ecology and Health and introduce the Ecohealth International Trust. For more information, please see our draft Constitution
The Lancet Planetary Health is a gold open access title in The Lancet’s growing family of specialty journals, joining The Lancet Public Health and The Lancet Global Health to provide a third pillar in The Lancet’s open-access programme. Building on the foundation of The Rockefeller Foundation – Lancet Commission on planetary health, this monthly journal is committed to publishing high-quality original research Articles, Editorials, Comments, and Correspondence that cover the interplay between health and the determinants of health in our living and physical world. In keeping with other journals in the Lancet family, The Lancet Planetary Health offers rapid publication online within 8-12 weeks from submission. The journal is indexed in MEDLINE/PubMed and Scopus.
To register go here: https://www.thelancet.com/lanplh/about?code=lancet-site
Following our successful 2016 Biennial Conference in Melbourne Australia in December 2016, the Journal EcoHealth Board became solely managed by EcoHealth Alliance. For more information about EcoHealth Journal, please visit http://ecohealth.net
The International Journal of Public Health will produce a special issue “Environmental and Health Equity” to coincide with the Ecohealth International conference in Cali, Colombia in August 2018. Fabian Mendez, Irene Vélez Torres (Cali) and Martine Vrijheid (Barcelona) organized the peer review for all articles and will pre-select four articles for an award to be given to recipients at the Cali Conference.
Creating impact for One Health and EcoHealth: advancements in implementation, evaluation and governance, 10-12 September 2018 in Bologna, Italy
The meeting aims to explore how EcoHealth and One Health approaches are being evaluated and implemented in practice, to learn about changes in institutional and regulatory structures at national and international levels, and to discuss how the process of translating science into practice can be promoted further.
Registration deadline: 12 August 2018
The third issue of IAEH E-Newsletter is now available
This issue focuses on incredible work of women in our EcoHealth community. Women are making a significant difference and many women’s lives have been transformed through our work with EcoHealth principles, projects and people. The newsletter brings about case stories from around the world on the leadership role of women in promoting One Health activities. Click here to read the E-newsletter, issue 3. If you have any feedback, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The second issue of IAEH E-Newsletter is out
The second issue of the IAEH newsletter is now available. it provides updates on our latest news and events, and hope that you will enjoy reading it and thank you so much for being part of the Association. Click here to read the E-newsletter, issue 2. If you have any feedback, please contact email@example.com
South-South collaboration in tackling antimicrobial resistance in Asia
Agriculture and health experts from five southern Asian countries have pledged to work together to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to advance agricultural development and human health in the region. This commitment was made during an international conference on ‘Intensifying Food Systems and Health: Emphasis on Antimicrobial Use in Agricultural Systems’ held 4-6 April 2018 in Jaipur, India. The meeting brought together over 50 experts from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Vietnam who discussed ways of strengthening long-term partnerships around intensifying food safety systems and health research. Read more here
Our New Constitution – Draft for Consultation
As a separate organisation we have had the opportunity to draft a new constitution to underpin our future regional focus,funding opportunities and partnership arrangements. As a Board, we have been committed to strengthening regional efforts within our EcoHealth community and to account for principles embedded in the Sustainable Development Goals. Our current Constitution states that members of the Association need to have six months to consider the new draft, prior to it being ratified at the EcoHealth Association Conference in Cali, Colombia in August 2018. Click here to read the draft constitution. Any comments or queries can be provided to firstname.lastname@example.org
New Membership Fee Structure
Now that we have separated from the Journal and have established different operational costs per annum, we can review our membership fees and encourage representation and membership base growth, aligned within different Regional Chapters identified in the Constitution. The proposed membership categories are contained within the proposed Constitution and are as follows:
All these memberships categories can be offered as multiyear options on the website and does not include the Journal as part of the Subscription costs.