One Health is “the main approach for addressing the complex health challenges facing our society, such as ecosystem degradation, food system failures, infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance”.
Among other actions, the Action Plan envisions the development of an implementation guidance for countries, international partners, and stakeholders, including civil society, professional associations, academia, and research institutions.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) have launched the first joint plan on One Health. The One Health Joint Plan of Action (2022-2026) seeks to improve the health of humans, animals, plants, and the environment, while contributing to sustainable development.
The five-year plan outlines six action tracks:
- enhancing One Health capacities to strengthen health systems;
- reducing the risks from emerging and re-emerging zoonotic epidemics and pandemics;
- controlling and eliminating endemic zoonotic, neglected tropical, and vector-borne diseases;
- strengthening the assessment, management, and communication of food safety risks;
- curbing the silent pandemic of antimicrobial resistance; and
- integrating the environment into One Health.
For each of these areas, the Joint Action Plan lays out a set of activities that aim to strengthen collaboration, communication, capacity building, and coordination across all sectors responsible for addressing health concerns at the human-animal-plant-environment interface. The actions include the development of an implementation guidance for countries, international partners, and stakeholders, including civil society, professional associations, academia, and research institutions.
The Plan’s operational objectives include:
- providing a framework for collective and coordinated action to mainstream the One Health approach at all levels;
- providing upstream policy and legislative advice and technical assistance to help set national targets and priorities; and
- promoting multinational, multi-sector, multidisciplinary collaboration, learning and exchange of knowledge, solutions, and technologies.
According to a UNEP press release, One Health is “the main approach for addressing the complex health challenges facing our society, such as ecosystem degradation, food system failures, infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance.”
“It’s clear that a One Health approach must be central to our shared work to strengthen the world’s defenses against epidemics and pandemics such as COVID-19,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“The Joint Plan of Action will drive down health risks through an integrated approach to human, animal and environment health,” UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen emphasized.
The Plan was launched on 17 October – the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. [Publication: One Health Joint Plan of Action (2022-2026): Working Together for the Health of Humans, Animals, Plants and the Environment] [Publication Landing Page] [UNEP Press Release]