COVID-19 – How Do We Prevent the Next Outbreak?
ICEL promotes discussion on “One World, One Health”: Legal Preparations to Avert a Pandemic.
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19), it is only the latest novel infectious disease likely originated in an animal species before transferring to humans. The emergence of new transferable diseases, known as zoonotic diseases, is increasingly likely as Earth’s climate warms and animal habitats degrade. According to the “One World, One Health” Program of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), preparing for the next epidemic begins with restoring ecosystems and mitigating climate change. In October 2019, WCS and the German Federal Foreign Office developed 10 principles, known as the “Berlin Principles,” to guide governments, NGOs, and the private sector in promoting human health by promoting the health of other animal species and ecosystems. An article published in Scientific America by Professor Nicholas A. Robinson, Executive governor of ICEL and Christian Walzer, Executive Director, Health, Global Conservation Program of WCS, How Do We Prevent the Next Outbreak? (Robinson/Walzer, Mar. 25, 2020, Scientific American), proposes:
Through the Berlin Principles, communities can better “integrate understanding of human and animal health with the health of the environment” and act to restore and maintain healthy ecosystems to avert releases of diseases.
Waiting to act until a disease infects a human is too late. COVID-19 now is found across the globe, while public health officials work overtime to detect, trace, isolate and treat new cases. As government labs and pharmaceutical companies race to find a vaccine for this virus, we must not lose focus.
Instead, we must devise adaptive, holistic and forward-looking approaches to the detection, prevention, monitoring, control and mitigation of emerging infectious diseases that incorporate the complex interconnections among species, ecosystems and human society, while accounting fully for harmful economic drivers and perverse subsidies.
Presentations at Webinars:
– FAO: Lessons from COVID-19 for One Water One Health
15 April 2020
– World Commission on Environmental Law (CEL), International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), “WCEL Webinar: Using Environmental Law Tools to Address Global Pandemics”
April 24, 2020
– “One World, One Health”: Legal Preparations to Avert a Pandemic (Robinson, March 2020, Westchester Lawyer Magazine 2020
– Webinar: Environmental Law Institute: Breaking News: Pandemics Now & Next Time (WEBINAR) March 30, 2020 – 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm (in archive)
– WHO, DAO, OIE Guide: Taking a Multisectoral, One Health Approach: A Tripartite Guide to Addressing Zoonotic Diseases in Countries (2019)