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Identifying One Health priorities in Asia and the Pacific region

Thirty-sixth Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (APRC36)

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    One Health and the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework
    Guidance for United Nations Country Teams 2023
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    This Guidance Note for Resident Coordinators and United Nations Country Teams (UNCT) aims to ensure that One Health is adequately included in the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks (UNSDCF). The UNSDCF should support mainstreaming One Health approaches into national development plans and enable better streamlining and integration of relevant One Health activities in order to contribute to the strengthening of overall health systems. One Health is an integrated, unifying approach to sustainably optimize the health of people, animals, plants and ecosystems by acting together to manage health threats and promote good health. One Health approaches are increasingly being taken up by countries, given the frequency and severity of threats linking the health of humans, animals, plants and the environment. The approach is vital to addressing ongoing multidimensional health challenges, including: emerging infectious diseases and pandemics like COVID-19; the burden of zoonotic diseases; the upsurge of food, land and water safety hazards; the impacts of pollution; the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance; and the degradation of natural ecosystems and biodiversity. This Guidance Note has been developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) (known collectively as the Quadripartite). The guidelines should be considered in the content of the Quadripartite One Health Joint Plan of Action (2022-2026) which provides the vision and guidance for the inclusion of a One Health approach at country level and within the UNSDCF.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Global assessment of soil pollution
    Summary for policymakers
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    Soil pollution is invisible to the human eye, but it compromises the quality of the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe and puts human and environmental health at risk. Most contaminants originate from human activities such as industrial processes and mining, poor waste management, unsustainable farming practices, accidents ranging from small chemical spills to accidents at nuclear power plants, and the many effects of armed conflicts. Pollution knows no borders: contaminants are spread throughout terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and many are distributed globally by atmospheric transport. In addition, they are redistributed through the global economy by way of food and production chains. Soil pollution has been internationally recognized as a major threat to soil health, and it affects the soil’s ability to provide ecosystems services, including the production of safe and sufficient food, compromising global food security. Soil pollution hinders the achievement of many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including those related to poverty elimination (SDG 1), zero hunger (SDG 2) and good health and well-being (SDG 3). Soil pollution hits the most vulnerable hardest, especially children and women (SDG 5). The supply of safe drinking water is threatened by the leaching of contaminants into groundwater and runoff (SDG 6). CO2 and N2O emissions from unsustainably managed soils accelerate climate change (SDG 13). Soil pollution contributes to land degradation and loss of terrestrial (SDG 15) and aquatic (SDG 14) biodiversity, and decreased security and resilience of cities (SDG 11), among others. The report addresses the extent and future trends of soil pollution, considering both point source and diffuse soil pollution, and describes the risks and impacts of soil pollution on health, the environment and food security – including land degradation and the burden of disease resulting from exposure to polluted soil. The process to develop the report involved in-depth regional assessments of soil pollution, and the regional chapters provide an overview of soil pollution issues at the global scale that is long overdue (Figure 1). The Editorial Board comprised over 30 international experts representing the ITPS, the Regional Soil Partnerships, relevant international fora and expert groups, and the private sector. The Summary for Policymakers presents the main findings of the report, together with options for action to facilitate global policy considerations in the UNEA process. The main report is a comprehensive publication which is available on the FAO website.
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    Policy brief
    From reacting to preventing pandemics: Building Animal Health Wildlife Systems for One Health in East Asia and Pacific
    Executive Summary
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    Investing in One Health – cross-sectoral, multidisciplinary coordination and collaboration across the human health, animal health, and environmental health sectors – is crucial for maintaining healthy agricultural and food systems and addressing global health security risks. Such action can reduce the threat of future pandemics through upstream preventive actions, early detection, and agile responses to zoonotic and emerging infectious diseases outbreaks, coupled with measures for promoting food safety, includinganti-microbial resistance. This regional review, conducted jointly by the World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, assesses the socioeconomic impacts of zoonotic diseases and epidemics across the East Asia and Pacific region, providing a background on why emerging infectious diseases are occurring more frequently in this region. This review looks at the benefits of using a risk-based approach, assesses the management of animal and wildlife health and the ability to identify and respond to emerging threats and protect the health, agricultural production, and ecosystem services. It provides recommendations on priority activities to be undertaken, and offers governments and their development partners the evidence and analysis needed to make more and better investments in wildlife systems and animal health to improve global health security.

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