This symposium will bring together leading experts from different fields to discuss the topic ‘Healthy ecosystems, healthy people’.
Ecosystems provide services that maintain and improve human wellbeing, such as food provisioning and disease regulation however, they can also generate ‘disservices’, such as reservoirs for new, ‘emerging’ infectious disease from wildlife.
Health is a critical aspect of human wellbeing, interacting with material and social relations to contribute to people’s freedoms and choices, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where clusters of health and disease problems disproportionately affect poor people and contribute further to their poverty.
Healthy ecosystems and healthy people go together, yet the precise relationships between these remain poorly understood.
Understanding the interactions between ecosystem change, disease regulation and human wellbeing is an interdisciplinary challenge which the scientific community is only beginning to address. In policy terms, One Health and Ecohealth are converging approaches resting on the shared principle that the health of humans, animals and ecosystems are interdependent.
There is, however, little integration in understanding the relationships between these sectors. Too often research is divided between those who focus on environmental change and ecosystem services; those who address socio-economic, poverty and wellbeing issues; and those who consider health and disease. This leads to fragmented understandings and inadequate responses.
This symposium will bring together leading experts from different fields to:
- Present new interdisciplinary frameworks for a real-world One Health approach.
- Highlight evidence from field-based settings in Africa and beyond.
- Debate implications for policy and practice.
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