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Wildlife & Health Alliance: Mission

  • Join resources to identify risks for human health from handling, trading and consuming wildlife and its products
  • Advocate the importance of integrating different perspectives from the One Health spectrum including all sectors and stakeholders that are involved in handling and managing wildlife
  • Raise awareness about potential health risks for the individuum and communities that may arise from contact with wildlife and promote adequate behavior
  • Enhance national and international awareness to promote political action
  • Enable relevant evidence-based policies and political strategies, understand their consequences and improve their implementation

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Voices of the Alliance Members

With this short film alliance members from around the globe share what it means to be part of this interdisciplinary platform and why they chose to join the International Alliance against Health Risks in Wildlife Trade.

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Importance of
One Health

One Health describes a holistic approach that recognizes the systemic interconnections between human health and society, animal health as well as environmental health and the climate. The One Health concept is collaborative, multi-sectoral and transdisciplinary and works at local, regional, national and global levels with focus on sustainable and preventive measures to reduce risks to health and wellbeing of humans, animals and the environment.

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Wildlife & Health Alliance: Background

The world we live in is inextricably linked – this includes humans as well as animals and the environment. For instance, almost 75% of all newly emerging infectious diseases known today are zoonoses – diseases that have been transferred from animals to humans, many of these have been originated from wildlife. Land use changes, including destruction of nature and the unsustainable use of natural resources increase risks of zoonotic spillover and other impacts for human health showing that as environmental health, animal health and human health are fundamentally interconnected. 

In the emergence and transmission of such diseases, unsustainable and  precarious use of and contact with wildlife and their products including the commercial trade and consumption of wildlife meat, is considered to represent one of the key drivers of health risks – a danger that we see today can lead to global pandemics with severe health, socio-economic and environmental impacts. With the One Health concept in mind, we need a joint and effective approach to identify and address human health risks from wildlife contact.

 

Strategies to identify and contain potential risks are complex and context- and culture-sensitive and require interdisciplinary knowledge exchange, inclusively coordinated planning and actions between many different actors in fields of development cooperation, nature conservation, ecosystem, human and animal health as well as a strong political will that is supported by scientific and implementation experience evidence.

Our Goals

The Alliance is committed to the following goals

  • Substantially reduce the risks of zoonotic spillovers and step up responses to human health risks caused by contact with wildlife.
  • Enhance international and national awareness, knowledge and policies to narrow the gap between science and implementation.

Members of the Alliance will

  • act in line with the goals of the Alliance as well as their respective interests and capacities,
  • contribute with local, national, regional and international activities to the common goals,
  • communicate openly and transparently about their activities and plans with the Alliance and its members,
  • acknowledge the diversity of all the different actors and action fields involved
  • create and participate in spaces for knowledge sharing and common learning,
  • explore possibilities for cooperation and common actions,
  • set milestones in order to speed up progress with regard to the common goals,
  • contribute to the public visibility of the Alliance and the progress made.

Potential areas of action of the Alliance and its members include

  • Promoting and facilitating international dialogue and cooperation of experts from governments, intergovernmental organizations and civil society on human health risks due to handling of wildlife.
  • Substantially reducing specific human health risks, e.g. by:

    o  supporting traceability approaches and techniques and related emerging technologies along wildlife supply chains;

    o  supporting and enabling risk mapping on the contact with wildlife  through a One Health approach;

    o  analyzing capacity needs to develop policies and interventions at the national and intergovernmental levels;

    o  contributing to best practice management and health & safety practices to reduce risks of zoonoses;

    o  contributing to the definition, identification, management, and control of high-risk practices and to the identification and management of species with high risks of potential spill-over;

    o  improving the regulatory frameworks and capacities of key stakeholders along wildlife value chains (e.g. health authorities, law enforcement authorities and agencies)

    • Contributing to the design and the implementation of social and behavior change initiatives with regard to the use and consumption of species with increased risks to human health
    • Contributing to the development and the implementation of a sustainable, participatory and inclusive wildlife sector, considering indigenous rights and needs as well as traditional knowledge, including the production of locally produced, sustainable domestic animal and plant food sources.

Membership

The Alliance is driven by science-based knowledge and offers a platform for the interdisciplinary members in order to collaborate and expand their individual radius in various ways.  The Alliance includes international organizations, national governments, scientific institutions, NGOs and civil society as well as representatives of local and indigenous communities. The membership is based on transparency, equal terms and equal say.

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In this short film alliance members from around the globe share what it means to be part of this interdisciplinary platform and why they chose to join the International Alliance against Health Risks in Wildlife Trade.

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