The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH, founded as OIE) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) collaborate to drive change and transformation necessary to mitigate the impact of the current and future health challenges at the human-animal-plant-environment interface at global, regional and country level. In response to international requests to prevent future pandemics and to promote health sustainability through the One Health approach, these four organizations have developed the One Health Joint Plan of Action (2022-2026).
The document introduces the commitment of these organisations to advocate the implementation of One Health, which adds value to the existing global and regional One Health initiatives. Furthermore, the One Health Joint Plan of Action aims to strengthen capacity to address multidimensional health hazards with more resilient health systems.
The organisations seek to achieve a society able to prevent, predict, detect and respond to health threats and improve the health of people, animals, plants and the environment while contributing to sustainable development. To meet these goals, this Joint Plan of Action proposes the four organisations work together and provide a framework for action and a set of activities to sustainably advance One Health.
They also provide upstream policy and legislative advice and technical assistance to help establish national targets and priorities for the development and implementation of One Health legislation, initiatives and programmes. In addition, they urge to take stock of existing global and regional initiatives to identify and advise on synergies and overlaps, support coordination and make better use of resources to address health concerns at the human-animal-plant-environment interface.
The Joint Plan of Action is structured around six action tracks aimed at achieving sustainable food and health systems, reducing global health threats and contributing to improved ecosystem management. Each action track consists of a set of actions with specific activities, deliverables and a time frame for attaining the following objectives:
- Improve One Health capacities to strengthen health systems, by providing adequate guidance and tools for the implementation of multisectoral approaches to promote the health of humans, animals, plants and ecosystems, and to prevent and manage risks at this interface.
- Reduce the risks from emerging and re-emerging zoonotic epidemics and pandemics, by understanding the linkages and drivers of disease emergence and spread, and strengthening One Health surveillance, early warning and response systems.
- Control and eliminate endemic zoonotic, neglected tropical and vector-borne diseases, by reducing the burden and supporting countries in implementing community-centred and risk-based solutions, strengthening policy and legal frameworks from the local to the global level, and increasing political commitment and investment.
- Strengthen the assessment, management and communication of food safety risks, by promoting awareness, policy changes and action coordination amongst stakeholders to ensure that humans, animals and ecosystems achieve health and remain healthy in their interactions along the food supply chain.
- Curb the pandemic of antimicrobial resistance, by taking joint action to preserve antimicrobial efficacy and ensure sustainable and equitable access to antimicrobials for responsible use in human, animal and plant health.
- Integrate the environment into One Health, by protecting and restoring biodiversity, and preventing the degradation of ecosystems to jointly support One Health.
The One Health Plan of Action promotes the adoption of cross-cutting principles, including systems thinking and traditional knowledge of local and indigenous communities to build and establish connections across the six action tracks and examine shared underlying issues.