Biodiv Sci ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (5): 596-605.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2020133

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Creating synergy between biodiversity conservation and human health — One Health

Binbin V Li()   

  1. Environmental Research Center, Duke Kunshan University, Kunshan, Jiangsu 215316
  • Received:2020-03-31 Accepted:2020-03-31 Online:2020-05-20 Published:2020-06-19
  • Contact: Binbin V Li

Abstract:

With the pandemic of COVID-19, the linkage between wildlife, biodiversity and human health has drawn tremendous attention from the public. In the recent 20 years, there has been growing interest from the international community to understand how biodiversity influences human health, which has become one of the crucial directions to promote biodiversity conservation and research. At the same time, One Health, as a new concept and framework, promotes interdisciplinary research and action to improve the health of humans, animals and the environment altogether. This concept has been adopted and promoted by various countries and international organizations, including the Convention on Biological Conservation. This paper summarizes major pathways of how biodiversity influences human health, the definition and history of One Health, the incorporation of One Health into the biodiversity conservation agenda. In the end, using the One Health framework, this paper suggests ways to improve China’s current wildlife management system to reduce the probability of potential public health crisis. This paper also identifies some key research gaps in enhancing the role of biodiversity in protecting human health. The implementation of One Health in China should emphasize the importance of biodiversity research and conservation. By integrating research on landscape ecology, community and species interactions, climate change impacts, land-cover and land-use change with that on human health, One Health can improve its efficiency in addressing risks of public health and environmental health. At the same time, China should invest more resources in wildlife management, reinforce the linkage between biodiversity conservation and human health, and prevent and control epidemics from their very beginning.

Key words: biodiversity, public health, One Health, wildlife management