In 2008, as a reaction to the “Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza” (HPAI) outbreak, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in collaboration with the World Health organization (WHO), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Wildlife Conservation Society, published a report entitled “Contributing to One World, One Health. A Strategic Framework for Reducing Risks of Infectious Diseases at the Animal-Human-Ecosystems Interface.” The goal of this report was to help “win the disease battles of the 21st century while ensuring the biological integrity of the Earth for future generations” (p.51). This report makes for sobering reading today, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic: for the “root causes” of such diseases and their pandemic potential, as well as the proposed “strategic framework” required to prevent or mitigate their emergence were clearly set out back then, and just as clearly ignored or downplayed, at least by most countries in the world. The One World, One Health framework has yet to receive serious critical study.
This research project will provide a critical interpretation of the “One World, One Health” framework in light of the current experience of the COVID-19 pandemic and the human/governmental responses to it (in so far as some trends can be already discerned or will be more clearly discerned in the coming months for the duration of the research project).