Navigating complexity, promoting health

Insights from the emergence of ‘ecohealth’ and ‘one health’

Colin L. Soskolne, Martin J. Bunch, Colin D. Butler, Margot W. Parkes

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapter

Abstract

Ecosystem approaches to health (i.e. Ecohealth) arose in the 1990s as Canada wrestled with diverse problems ranging from Great Lakes contamination to zoonotic diseases. Ecohealth links population health with the environment and sustainable development. The approach is based on the understanding that health (good or bad) arises from inter-relationships between coupled human and natural (social-ecological) systems. To address multi-factorial, dynamic impacts on health, a new research paradigm was needed which would overcome the separation of humans and ecosystems. This paradigm shift embraces transdisciplinarity, social justice, gender equity, multi-stakeholder participation and sustainability. Rooted in systems thinking, it provides a framework to study and manage relationships between human beings and the environment in pursuit of co-benefits that simultaneously improve ecosystem health and human well-being. In 2004, a group of strategic thinkers formulated 12 Manhattan Principles calling for the international community to adopt an holistic approach to combat zoonotic ‘threats to the health of life on Earth’ under the banner ‘One World, One Health’, forming the Onehealth movement. With this, epidemiology - the science of population health - expanded its toolkit to embrace qualitative post-normal methods. These approaches are consistent with The Earth Charter and the mission of the Global Ecological Integrity Group.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEcological Integrity, Law and Governance
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Chapter8
Pages79-90
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781351185462
ISBN (Print)9780815394631
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

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Soskolne, C. L., Bunch, M. J., Butler, C. D., & Parkes, M. W. (2018). Navigating complexity, promoting health: Insights from the emergence of ‘ecohealth’ and ‘one health’. In Ecological Integrity, Law and Governance (pp. 79-90). Taylor and Francis. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351185479