Wrapping up the Global One Health symposium 

We look back at a successful Global One Health Symposium in Wageningen. We are grateful for all participation and engagement, and hope all participants are as inspired and energised as we are. 

Throughout the symposium, we heard a diverse range of viewpoints on health, spanning disciplines, sectors, and geographic regions. It was great to witness the depth of expertise you all brought to the meeting, and we most enjoyed the interest demonstrated by all, in hearing from others about their work. 

Directions for the paradigm shift

One theme that resoundingly emerged from our conversations was the recognition that a healthy environment and robust ecosystems serve as critical underpinnings for thriving societies and sustainable agrifood systems worldwide. This interdependence shows that One Health and food security are directly linked, and once again underscores the urgency of better adoption of the Global One Health approach.

Operationalising the One Health approach does not only necessitate inter- or transdisciplinary collaboration by researchers and One Health practitioners, but importantly also requires robust governance, legislation, and policies that support and enable the implementation of One Health strategies at local, national, and global levels. Maybe the frontier after “Health in all policies” can be “One Health in all policies”!

Insights to bring One Health to practice

Some insights that were highlighted by my fellow organisers included:

Prof Andrew Cunningham’s keynote was very well received, and thought provoking. “Biodiversity loss drives human diseases through zoonoses, while agriculture is the main driver for habitat loss.” “If we were to stop eating meat, an area the size of USA, Europe, Australia, AND China, will become available for rewilding of nature, and biodiversity restoration.” The synthesis of the state of the art knowledge from the biodiversity – zoonoses – disease ecology and One Health nexus also nicely closed the loop: back to Dr Helen Esser’s presentation at the ERRAZE kick-off meeting in 2022. Read the recent interview with Helen that was done leading up to the symposium, on the links between forest structures and ticks, rodents and vector borne diseases.

Insights and encouragement to help enable working with a One Health approach were quoted frequently. Complex challenges were made accessible by Prof Merel Langelaar, with the words “Think big, act small”. The presentation by Pauline de Best gave many in the audience a direction for where to focus our efforts to better connect stakeholders: most can be gained at the regional and local levels, and in the environment health domain.

Lastly, the moments of philosophical reflection were valued. “One Health is currently very anthropocentric. To truly make a difference we need to find a way to put similar value and weight on the health of ecosystems.” And also: “Does a healthy ecosystem/animal have intrinsic value?” In the context of the symposium we interviewed Dr Bernice Bovenkerk on this topic.


All presentations (with exceptions as requested) will be shared online via the WUR library. As soon as it is available, the link will be published both on the event website, and on the ERRAZE webpage. While the library is processing our request, we can share the Keynote presentations, and the three introductions to the panel discussions (on the Cross-agency One Health Task Force, on the GloPID-R & STAR-IDAZ Living Roadmap, and on the international approach to Pandemic Preparedness). 

The Book of Abstracts will remain available via https://doi.org/10.18174/655105

The symposium’s Certificate of Attendance will be sent in a separate email.

And finally…

Did you meet someone whom you’d like to contact? Let us know if we can help establish the connection. And, let’s grow the Global One Health Expert Map further! Include your information and look up your colleagues and collaborators.

We congratulate poster award winner Annabelle Daburon and her team with the poster of the ZoNoH project. We trust you will be able to use the sweater well in the ever changeable spring weather. 

Once again we thank all participants and in particular our Keynote Speakers, our Session Chairs, the panels and our panel moderator, and the workshop moderators. 

On behalf of all co-organisers, 

Kind regards,
Dr. Joukje Siebenga