1. Introducing the scientific perimeter
The "One Health" concept promotes an integrated, systemic approach to human, animal and ecosystem health at local, national and global scales. This approach provides a better understanding of the causes and consequences of the functioning and evolution of our societies (in terms of demographics, mobilities, economic conditions, lifestyles, well-being and public health, etc.), global environmental changes, including climate change and the erosion of biodiversity as well as the proliferation of emerging diseases. It thus helps to guide public policies on health prevention or innovation in a diverse economic and socio-cultural context. It also aims at taking a holistic view of health, environmental management and biodiversity pressures in order to better prevent and respond to emerging diseases at pandemic risk.
For instance, the current Covid-19 pandemic, which affects human society globally, has an impact not only on the health of populations but also in socio-economic terms, with negative aspects in terms of loss of income and on the worsening of global food insecurity and malnutrition. Its causes are multiple and go beyond the scope of virology and epidemiology and its consequences go beyond the scope of public health. Such an approach also allows for the consideration of socio-economic inequalities at different spatial and temporal scales. These inequalities concern not only access to health care systems, the capacity of health care systems, but also increase the vulnerability of human and animal populations as well as ecosystems with regard to environmental changes.
In fact, it is no longer possible to talk about human and animal health without taking into account the environment in which living beings evolve. It is now clear that solutions can only be found on the basis of the results of multidisciplinary research (in animal health, human health, environmental health, as well as in the humanities and social sciences), whether at the basic research level or at the level of translational research. Giving full measure to the concept of "One Health" thus involves working on the interfaces between different sciences: human and veterinary medicine, agronomy and ecology, sociology, geography, etc.
2. Scientific diplomacy
France is positioning itself as a leading player in multilateral diplomatic discussions to tackle the issues raised by the "One Health" scientific approach.
For example, the Prezode initiative, launched by the French President at the "One Planet Summit" on January 11th 2021, aims at preventing in particular the risks of zoonotic emergences and pandemics, by reducing pressures on biodiversity. This international initiative, initiated by three French research institutes – INRAE, CIRAD and IRD – in conjunction with a dozen of other research organizations in France, Germany and the Netherlands*, has already brought together more than a thousand researchers, from 50 different countries, spanning 5 continents, especially in the southern regions (Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America) where the risks of zoonotic emergences are particularly high. In this research area, France has a large number of long-term partnered devices and networks in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America, which will facilitate the deployment of an integrated and multi-actor approach.
*In France, this includes ANSES, the Pasteur Institute, ANRS-MIE, INSERM, CNRS and CNES. In Germany, the Helmholtz Association, the Friedrich Loeffler Institute and the Institute of Virology of Charity, and in the Netherlands, the Wageningen University.
This call for applications is in line with such strategic initiatives and particular attention will be paid to projects addressing those issues.
Any project that is part of the One Health approach outlined above, will be eligible for the MOPGA 4 applications call.