The Cost of Inaction – The Importance of Pandemic Prevention at the Source

The Alliance Secretariat hosted the side event “The Cost of Inaction – The Importance of Pandemic Prevention at the Source”, on Saturday 16th October at the World Health Summit 2022 in Berlin. The panelists represented various spheres within a One Health approach, emphasizing on a holistic perspective to bolster pandemic prevention at the source to reduce costs and provide co-benefits to climate and biodiversity.  

You may click on the following link to watch the recorded session on YouTube: 

WS 06 – The Cost of Inaction – The Importance of Pandemic Prevention at the Source – YouTube 

Prof. Andy Dobson, Dr. Catherine Machalaba and Dr. Eckart v. Hirschhausen at the World Health Summit.
About the panelists: 

Prof. Dr. Andrew Dobson 

Princeton University | Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology | Professor | United States of America 

Jochen Flasbarth 

Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) | State Secretary | Germany 

Dr. Catherine Machalaba 

EcoHealth Alliance | Senior Policy Advisor and Senior Scientist | United States of America 

Dr. María Neira 

World Health Organization (WHO) | Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health | Director 

Dr. Eckart von Hirschhausen 

Physician, Science Journalist, Founder of Healthy Planet – Healthy People Foundation and World Health Summit Ambassador | Germany 

Dr. María Neira and Jochen Flasbarth at World Health Summit 2022, Berlin, Germany & Digital, October 16-18, 2022. Photo: World Health Summit
About the event: 

Scientists calculate the cost of preventing further pandemics – via forest protection and improved wildlife trade regulation – over the next decade would amount to just 2% of the estimated financial damage caused by COVID-19. Such prevention strategies would also come with considerable co-benefits for climate and biodiversity. Research shows the proportion of pathogens crossing from one stage to the next, from pre-emergence to pandemic stage decreases as the costs for stopping those increases. In this inverse correlation: the earlier we prevent, the more cost-efficient it is. 

Yet attention is currently focused on later-stage prevention, preparedness and response. According to WHO’s Cristina Romanelli, only 3% of current efforts to stop future pandemics goes to primary prevention (pre-spillover), while the remaining 97% is invested in secondary prevention and preparedness measures. 

In the wake of immediate reactions to COVID-19 – most of which were taken under immense pressure to respond to and manage an ongoing crisis – many key actors, are now contemplating how to avoid and handle possible future pandemics more intelligently, efficiently and effectively. Considering this challenge, we ask: How can lessons learned from COVID-19 and primary prevention take a more prominent role in global responses to reduce the risk of future pandemics? What would such a policy path look like? And how might it incorporate regulations in line with WHO’s Manifesto (“Prescriptions for a healthy and green recovery from COVID-19”) that recognize the incredible opportunity for investments contributing to solving the triple, intersecting crises of health, climate and biodiversity? 

Screening review: “Breaking Boundaries – the Science of our Planet” with J. Rockström

Documentary screening review with Prof. Dr. Johan Rockström, joint director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) Germany and Tanja Gönner, Chair of the Management Board of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ). 

The Earth’s boundaries have already been pushed far beyond stable living conditions. Still, there is room for cautious optimism. But the window for action is closing rapidly.  

During the film screening of the acclaimed documentary “Breaking Boundaries – the science of our Planet” at the GIZ Berlin Representation, participants learned about planetary boundaries which indicate the safe operating space for humanity.  

Prof. Johan Rockström introduced the concept of planetary boundaries in 2009. In the movie, he defines 9 parameters, including climate change, water and land use, as boundaries that represent crucial tipping points on which humanity’s existence depends. The documentary approaches the complex topic through a creative way with touching images and stories.  

After the film screening, the on-site and online participants had the chance to ask questions to both panelists, followed by a lively discussion facilitated by Maike Voss, Director of the Center for Planetary Health Policy. Prof. Rockström stressed that the global community cannot wait for a new era to arise. The current economic paradigm needs to be changed because it does not respond to the needs of a global transition towards sustainability within a safe operating space.  Furthermore, it is of utmost importance to integrate local communities and their knowledge into the transition to a sustainable future for the planet and all living beings. The knowledge required is already there, but it urgently needs to be translated into policies and actions. Tanja Gönner pointed out during her input the active role of GIZ and the Alliance to contribute to this goal.  

With the film screening, the Alliance aimed to sensitize various audiences for the concept of planetary boundaries and to amplify the discourse on the environmental limits of our planet and translating science into action. 

For further insights please have a look at the video documentation:

Film Screening of ‘Breaking Boundaries: The Science of Our Planet’

Wednesday, October 12th, 2022, at 17:30 CEST

online and at the GIZ offices, Reichpietschufer 20, 10785 Berlin.

The Alliance Secretariat is organizing a hybrid screening of the acclaimed documentary “Breaking Boundaries” on October 12th: high-level guests and GIZ board member Ms. Tanja Gönner will discuss essential consequences with Prof. Dr. Johan Rockström of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). With this event we take to opportunity to learn about the safe operating space for humanity and discuss the environment-health-nexus at which the work of the International Alliance is embedded, with Johan Rockström.

At 17:45 CEST you may click on the following link to enter the Livestream

About the event

Following the film screening, Prof. Rockström will enter a discussion with you and invited guests. We are looking forward to exploring and debating possible consequences and recommendations to the German politics in general, and German development cooperation in particular. This open and frank discussion should bring to light opportunities but also the real challenges we are now facing considering this evidence. The event will be held in English with:

  • Prof. Johan Rockström, Co-Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), exploring and debating with
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Sabine Gabrysch, Professor for Climate change and Health, Charité, and
  • Ms. Tanja Gönner, Chair, Management Board of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH,
  • facilitated by Maike Voss, Director, Center for Planetary Health Policy (CPHP), and Managing Director, Allianz Klimawandel und Gesundheit (KLUG).

About the film

Breaking Boundaries featuring Sir David Attenborough and Professor Johan Rockström explores the science behind the impact humanity has had on Earth since the dawn of civilization, revealing an urgent truth about the health of our planet. The film details just how far we’ve pushed Earth beyond the boundaries that have kept our planet stable for millennia, and what steps need to be taken to turn things around. At the core of Breaking Boundaries lies a key message of action: stay innovative, cooperate, and make the next decade one that safeguards the future of our planet. The science is clear on what humanity needs to do. Only when we listen to these facts – and pay attention to the undeniable urgency – can we create a future where nature and people thrive.

POSTPONED: Expert Talk on Radical Listening with Kinari Webb – Health In Harmony

New Date Coming Coon

Indigenous peoples make up just 5% of the world’s population, yet they manage 25% of the earth’s land and support 80% of the earth’s biodiversity. Tropical forest protection is key to lowering the Earth’s temperature by 1.5 degrees Celsius and meeting the pledge set forth by the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015. Appropriate mechanisms must be identified to create a trustworthy environment to listen, learn and understand the importance of being guided by Indigenous and local communities to be able to develop inclusive and effective lines of action for primary pandemic prevention. Radical Listening is an example of contextualizing the perspectives of rainforest communities as implemented by Health in Harmony.

Internationally coordinated and cooperative approaches to identify and reduce health risks from our distorted relationship with nature and wildlife must be inclusive and respectful of Indigenous knowledge systems and their communities needs and traditions.To create a platform to foster exchange, aiming to reduce the risk of future pandemics, the International Alliance against Health Risks in Wildlife Trade is cordially inviting you to the upcoming

Expert Talk with Kinari Webb

New Date will be announced soon.

By partnering with local organizations and governments, Health In Harmony works alongside 135,000 Indigenous, Traditional, and rainforest peoples, protecting over 8.8 million hectares of high-conservation value rainforest in Indonesia, Madagascar, and Brazil.

Kinari Web will explore how this approach relates to the Alliance’s work, what insights from Health in Harmony’s scientifically confirmed work should be included in regulatory frameworks, and what conclusions might be drawn for members of the Alliance.

About the speaker
Kinari Webb, MD, is the founder of Health In Harmony, an international nonprofit dedicated to reversing global heating, understanding that rainforests are essential for the survival of humanity, and a cofounder of Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI). Dr. Webb graduated from Yale University School of Medicine with honors and currently splits her time between Indonesia, international site assessments, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Her debut novel, Guardians of the Trees, was released in 2021.

About the Alliance
The International Alliance against Health Risks in Wildlife Trade serves as an inclusive and interdisciplinary platform to discuss challenges and formulate solutions vis-á-vis human-wildlife interfaces and associated health risks and the emergence and spread of zoonotic pathogens from wildlife. The Alliance is aiming to enhance international and national awareness, knowledge, policies and action, not least by narrowing the gap between science and implementation.

We are very much looking forward to jointly learning from Kinari Webbs findings. Please feel free to forward and share this invitation (PDF attached) with interested colleagues.

Expert Talk on how wildlife movement data could help in preventing the spread of infectious diseases with Martin Wikelski

August 23rd at 14:00 – 15:15 CEST

About this Event

Identifying and reducing human health risks from wildlife trade within a One Health framework needs an internationally coordinated and cooperative approach. Preventing future pandemic outbreaks will need to also address health risks in dealing with wildlife trade, contact and potential spillover, and thus prevention at the source. To create a platform to foster exchange, aiming to reduce the risk of future pandemics, the International Alliance against Health Risks in Wildlife Trade is cordially inviting you to the upcoming

As the founding Director of the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior and Professor in Biology at the University of Konstanz, Prof. Dr. Martin Wikelski investigates global animal movement with the goal of creating an intelligent sensor network of animals—the “Internet of Animals”—and protecting animals worldwide. He has pioneered a system for continuously tracking thousands of animals from space, ICARUS, and in doing so has opened up a frontier in harnessing animal observation as a tool for conservation and more effective management of and response to health risks. Martin Wikelski will share some of the latest data on animal movement around the planet. He will highlight how this helps us to preserve biodiversity, to secure our global food supplies, to anticipate pandemics and potentially to predict natural disasters. Previously, he worked at, among others, University of Washington, Seattle, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Princeton University.

Recording: Expert Talk with Nicole Redvers

April 28th 2022 at 16:00 – 17:30 CEST

About this Event

Identifying and reducing human health risks from wildlife trade needs an internationally coordinated and cooperative approach. To this end, the International Alliance against Health Risks in Wildlife Trade serves as an inclusive and interdisciplinary platform to discuss challenges and formulate solutions vis-á-vis human-wildlife interfaces and associated health risks. In order to prevent future pandemic outbreaks there is the urge of shifting actions towards a more long-term perspective rather than only focussing on immediate crisis management. Thats why one major area will be to address health risks in dealing with wildlife trade to prevent potential spillover events at the source.

During this online session, Dr. Nicole Redvers provided insights on the wildlife contact and trade related discussion. She elaborated on inclusion of Indigenous Peoples and international protection mechanisms. These mechanisms need to be considered when developing and operationalizing processes that may affect Indigenous cultural identity, traditional knowledges, and practices as it pertains to wildlife subsistence. She also talked about potential implications within the One Health and greater Planetary Health approaches to deal with complex problems.

About the Speaker

Dr. Nicole Redvers, ND, MPH, is a member of the Deninu K’ue First Nation in Denendeh (NWT, Canada) and has worked with Indigenous patients, scholars, and communities around the globe her entire career. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and the Department of Indigenous Health at the University of North Dakota where she helped developed and launch the first Indigenous health PhD program. Dr. Redvers is co-founder and current board chair of the Canadian charity the Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation based in Yellowknife, NWT, providing traditional Indigenous-rooted Land-based wellness supports to northerners.  She has been actively involved at regional, national, and international levels promoting the inclusion of Indigenous perspectives in both human and planetary health research and practice. She is author of the trade paperback book titled, ‘The Science of the Sacred: Bridging Global Indigenous Medicine Systems and Modern Scientific Principles’.

Recording: Expert Talk with Catherine Machalaba

March 29th 2022 at 14:30 – 15:45 CEST

About this Event

Identifying and reducing human health risks from wildlife trade needs an internationally coordinated and cooperative approach. To this end, the International Alliance against Health Risks in Wildlife Trade serves as an inclusive and interdisciplinary platform to discuss challenges and formulate solutions vis-á-vis human-wildlife interfaces and associated health risks. In moving from immediate crisis management of the ongoing global pandemic towards a more long-term perspective, many have realized that preventing future pandemic outbreaks will need to also address health risks in dealing with wildlife trade and potential spillover, and thus prevention at the source.

During this online session Dr. Catherine Machalaba gave insights into how to operationalize One Health approaches for more coordinated, preventive, and cost-effective systems that promote human, animal, and environmental health given their integral links. She elaborated on entry points, trade-offs and co-benefits when designing effective policy options, including land use changes, wildlife trade and livestock management, and where to start as a feasible minimum that has to be done.

About the Speaker

Catherine Machalaba is the Principal Scientist for Health and Policy at EcoHealth Alliance. She was a lead author of the World Bank Operational Framework for Strengthening Human, Animal and Environmental Public Health Systems at their Interface (“One Health Operational Framework”) published in 2018 to assist countries and donor institutions in implementing One Health approaches. She is active in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), including serving for 10 years as Program Officer for its Species Survival Commission’s Wildlife Health Specialist Group. She is also a member of the One Health High-Level Expert Panel to the FAO, OIE, UNEP, and WHO (OHHLEP). She holds a master’s degree in public health and a PhD in environmental and planetary health sciences. 

OIE Webinar “Global Wildlife Health”

Thursday, March 3rd 2022

World Wildlife Day aims to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. In 2022, the OIE will organize a webinar across five regions and in twelve different time zones, connecting wildlife health stakeholders globally. The webinar will be held in two sessions—eastern hemisphere and western hemisphere—and the three official OIE languages (English, French and Spanish).

The OIE is addressing challenges involving wildlife health through implementation of the OIE Wildlife Health Framework. They look to the global community to protect wildlife health to achieve One Health. Towards this goal, the OIE Regional Representation in Asia and the Pacific, in association with the OIE Sub-Regional Representation for Eastern Africa and the OIE Regional Representation for the Americas, are organizing a webinar on “Global wildlife health” on World Wildlife Day in 2022.

OIE invites you to join the event, which will take place on Zoom® with livestreaming on YouTube®. Active participation from the live audience is encouraged.

Thursday 3 March 2022

  • Session 1 (in English and French)
    at 2am Buenos Aires / 6am Paris / 8am Nairobi / 2pm Tokyo  
  • Session 2 (in English, French and Spanish)
    at 11am Buenos Aires / 3pm Paris / 5pm Nairobi / 11pm Tokyo 

Participation

The event is open for participants globally. The target audience will be multi-sectoral participants with an interest in wildlife health. OIE particularly invites university students and young professionals to join the webinar. 

Agenda

Welcome            Dr Lesa Thompson, OIE Regional Representation for Asia and the Pacific, Tokyo

Opening remarks             Special guest speaker

Spotlight on the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)        [Chair: Lesa Thompson]

  • Current and future OIE activities on wildlife
    Dr Keith Hamilton, Preparedness and Resilience Department, OIE headquarters, Paris
  • Global situation of wildlife disease surveillance
    Dr Mariana Delgado, Preparedness and Resilience Department, OIE headquarters, Paris
  • Early detection systems for wildlife
    Dr Yacinthe Guigma, EBO-SURSY, OIE Regional Representation for Africa, Bamako
  • Interactive session          Mentimeter® quiz & participant opinions

Wildlife health globe-trotting      [Chair: Patrick Bastiaensen]

  • Session introduction
    Dr Patrick Bastiaensen, OIE Sub-Regional Representation for Eastern Africa, Nairobi
  • Asia and the Pacific
    Dr Hirofumi Kugita, OIE Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific, Tokyo
  • African swine fever in wild pigs in Asia and the Pacific
    Dr Brendan Cowled, Executive Consultant and Director, AusVet, Canberra
  • Middle East
    Dr Ghazi Yehia, OIE Regional Representative for the Middle East, Beirut
  • Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) in wildlife in the Middle East
    Dr Ahmad Al-Majali, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Al Ramtha, ‎Irbid‎
  • Europe
    Dr Budimir Plavsic, OIE Regional Representative for Europe, Moscow
  • Rabies in wildlife in Europe
    Dr. Maxim Sîrbu, National Food Safety Agency, Republic of Moldova, Chișinău

Break

  • Africa
    Dr Karim Tounkara, OIE Regional Representative for Africa, Bamako
  • Anthrax in wildlife in Africa
    Dr Augusta Kivunyza, Kitui County Veterinary Services, Kenya Zoonotic Diseases Unit, Nairobi
  • Americas
    Dr Luis Barcos, OIE Regional Representative for the Americas, Buenos Aires
  • White nose syndrome in the Americas
    Dr Jordi Segers, Scientific Coordinator Bats, Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative, Halifax

Ecosystem health and biodiversity     [Chair: Maria-Eugenia Chimenti]

  • Ecosystem health for biodiversity
    Dr Marcela Uhart, University of California Davis, OIE Working Group for Wildlife, Davis
  • Interactive session          Mentimeter® participant opinions & questions for speakers

Closing remarks               Dr Monique Eloit, OIE Director General, OIE headquarters, Paris

Close     Dr Maria-Eugenia Chimenti, OIE Regional Representation for the Americas, Buenos Aires

One Health Webinar – Selva Maya GIZ regional programme

February 2nd at 10:00 – 11:30 CST (Mx-GT-BZ)

You are invited to participate in the GIZ regional programme Selva Maya first One Health webinar and discuss with experts from academia and public institutions the importance of disease surveillance and primary prevention.

Recording: Expert Talk with Richard Kock and Hernán Cáceres-Escobar

January 18th at 16:30 – 17:45 CET

About this Event

Identifying and reducing human health risks from wildlife trade needs an internationally coordinated and cooperative approach. To this end, the International Alliance against Health Risks in Wildlife Trade serves as an inclusive and interdisciplinary platform to discuss challenges and formulate solutions vis-á-vis human-wildlife interfaces and associated health risks and the emergence and spread of zoonotic pathogens from wildlife.

During this online session Richard Kock and Hernán Cáceres-Escobar shared their insights from investigating the links between wildlife and the emergence of human infectious zoonoses and EIDs. They are both lead authors of the upcoming “Situation analysis on the roles and risks of wildlife in the emergence of human infectious diseases” by the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC). As member of the Alliance, you may access their “Highlights” in the Alliance’s Library.

About the Speakers

Richard Kock is a wildlife veterinary ecologist, infectious disease researcher and conservationist and was co-chair of the IUCN SSC Wildlife Health Specialist Group (2004-2021). He has worked almost entirely in the field of wildlife health and disease since 1980 with a focus on African and Asian ecosystems. He is on the WHO IHR and OIE Crisis Management Committee expert list, an Associate Research Fellow at Chatham House and past Council Member of the Wildlife Disease Association where he remains active on various task forces and committees, and is an adjunct Professor at Tufts University and Njala University. He holds a chair in Wildlife Health and Emerging Diseases, leading a research portfolio currently of £1.5 million pounds in the fields of wildlife health and zoonosis at the Pathobiology and Population Sciences Department at the Royal Veterinary College.

Hernán Cáceres-Escobar is a veterinarian and conservation scientist. He studies the links between anthropogenic-driven environmental change, biodiversity loss, and emerging infectious diseases. He uses transdisciplinary participatory approaches and modelling techniques to develop innovative evidence-based interventions and policies for an ever-changing world. He has a diverse international background and practical experience working with multi-cultural teams at the interface of science, policy, and practice with local and indigenous communities, government agencies, NGOs, IGOs, industry partners, and academics. In his current position at Sapienza University, he is combining his skills to explore how anthropogenic-driven environmental change affects disease hazards to create future scenarios of risk.

Session Recording

If you missed the presentation, you can find the recorded session here: