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The “One Health” Definition and Principles Developed by OHHlEP
Source: | Author:toroivd | Published time: 2023-08-29 | 762 Views | Share:

The “One Health” Definition and Principles Developed by OHHlEP





The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH,), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) welcome the newly formed operational definition of One Health from their advisory panel, the One Health High Level Expert Panel (OHHLEP), whose members represent a broad range of disciplines in science and policy-related sectors relevant to One Health from around the world.  

The four organizations are working together to mainstream One Health so that they are better prepared to prevent, predict, detect, and respond to global health threats and promote sustainable development.

The One Health definition developed by the OHHLEP states:



• One Health is an integrated, unifying approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals and ecosystems.

• It recognizes the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants, and the wider environment (including ecosystems) are closely linked and inter-dependent.

• The approach mobilizes multiple sectors, disciplines and communities at varying levels of society to work together to foster well-being and tackle threats to health and ecosystems, while addressing the collective need for clean water, energy and air, safe and nutritious food, taking action on climate change, and contributing to sustainable development.



Key underlying principles include:

1. equity between sectors and disciplines;  

2. socio-political and multicultural parity (the doctrine that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities) and inclusion and engagement of communities and marginalized voices;  

3. socioecological equilibrium that seeks a harmonious balance between human–animal–environment interaction and acknowledging the importance of biodiversity, access to sufficient natural space and resources, and the intrinsic value of all living things within the ecosystem;  

4. stewardship and the responsibility of humans to change behaviour and adopt sustainable solutions that recognize the importance of animal welfare and the integrity of the whole ecosystem, thus securing the well-being of current and future generations;


5. transdisciplinary and multisectoral collaboration, which includes all relevant disciplines, both modern and traditional forms of knowledge and a broad representative array of perspectives.  


The importance of establishing a One Health definition was first raised by OHHLEP, and later agreed by the four Partners, to develop a common language and understanding around One Health. While health, food, water, energy, and environment are all wider topics with sector-specific and specialist concerns, the collaboration across sectors and disciplines will contribute to protecting health, addressing health challenges such as the emergence of infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance and promoting health and integrity of our ecosystems. Moreover, One Health, linking humans, animals and the environment, can help to address the full spectrum of disease control - from disease prevention to detection, preparedness, response, and management - and to improve and promote health and sustainability.