One Health Day: Working together to address environmental changes that contribute to greater incidence of disease

On Health Day 2022, the three Australian leaders highlight the importance of working together to address environmental changes that contribute to disease threats affecting human, animal, plant and environmental health.

Threats to wildlife populations, production animals and the global human population from animal diseases have never been greater.

Australia’s wildlife, including many nationally iconic species, are threatened by climate change, habitat loss, bushfires, invasive species and disease pressures.

Endemic and emerging wildlife diseases have the potential to threaten and endanger species, which can then create detrimental ripple effects on entire ecosystems, and with the potential to impact environmental health and human.

Australia is at the forefront of collaborating through a One Health approach with the national One Health “Wildlife Surveillance Initiative” launched in April 2022.

This initiative strengthens wildlife disease surveillance, investigation and diagnosis activities in Australia, to strengthen our ability to prevent, detect and respond to emerging diseases, including those with pandemic potential.

Australian Veterinary Director Dr Mark Schipp said we are already seeing the impact of anthropogenic climate change contributing to a greater incidence of diseases affecting animal health, such as Japanese encephalitis and avian flu.

“It is imperative that we all work together to meet these challenges. It is equally important that we monitor new and emerging diseases that can be transmitted from species to species, including humans,” Dr Schipp said.

“The Human Spillover and Emerging Disease Scanning (HASEDS) group was established earlier this year in collaboration with Wildlife Health Australia to apply a One Health approach to identifying animal diseases and the drivers of their emergence.”

Australian Plant Protection Officer Dr Gabrielle Vivian-Smith said plants make up 80% of the food we eat and produce 98% of the oxygen we breathe, so healthy plants plants is essential for healthy people and a healthy environment.

“These relationships are interdependent but under increasing tension,” Dr. Vivian-Smith said.

“Plant pests and diseases can spread through human activities and establish themselves in new areas in a changing climate, so it is vital that we work together because ultimately they all influence each other. others.”

Australian Environmental Biosafety Officer Dr Robyn Cleland said our environment is the glue that holds everything together.

“Healthy ecosystems and wildlife are essential to human and agricultural health and to our quality of life,” said Dr Cleland.

“Changing land use, climate change and invasive species are having a significant impact on our ecosystems.

“We must work together to take care of our environment, so that it can continue to take care of us”

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