The health of humans, animals, and the environment are closely intertwined—human health in particular heavily depends on the health of the others. Unsustainable practices in agriculture, natural resources management, and urbanization, as well as international movement, and the increasing use of antibiotics negatively impact the health of the environment and the species that live in them, humans included.
The One Health concept recognizes these connections between humans, animals, plants, and the environment and promotes collaboration between multiple levels, sectors, and disciplines to address the multifaceted environmental challenges that the Asia-Pacific region faces. It is a key approach to mitigating and managing the risk of zoonoses, to address anti-microbial resistance as well as issues related to plant and animal health, and food safety.
While One Health is not a new concept, it could be strengthened to encompass the full scope of the environment and its implementation faces multiple challenges: the lack of, political support, financing, capacity building, monitoring, and evaluation as well as surveillance. Moreover, a strengthened collaboration between all relevant disciplines and actors, and at all levels is required to ensure impactful application of One Health concept in Asia and the Pacific and effective contributions to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.