Panel Discussion – Public Health/Planetary Health/One Health

The current pandemic has starkly revealed what the most thoughtful experts from a wide range of fields, from public health to environmental justice to ecology, have been telling us for decades: human health is completely interconnected with the health of ecosystems and with social equity. If we continue the intense degradation of wildlife habitats, the perennial emergence of virulent zoonotic diseases is all but inevitable. If we don’t rethink our current food system, we’ll continue to confront problems ranging from deforestation to obesity. If we don’t decarbonize our economy, we’ll confront ever-worsening health and environmental degradation. If we don’t address gross social and environmental injustices and structural racism, pollution-induced illnesses and epidemics will be impossible to contain. How do we rise to the challenge and radically restructure our entire approach to health?

With: William B. Karesh, Ph.D., Executive Vice President for Health and Policy at EcoHealth Alliance, President of the World Animal Health Organization (OIE) Working Group on Wildlife Diseases and chair of the IUCN Wildlife Health Specialist GroupHoward Frumkin, Professor Emeritus, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington School of Public Health, co-editor of the new groundbreaking collection Planetary Health: Protecting Nature to Protect Ourselves (Island Press). Moderated by J.P. Harpignies, Bioneers Senior Producer.

This discussion took place at the 2020 Bioneers Conference. Watch more panels, keynote addresses, and performances from the conference.


Panelists

Howard Frumkin, MD, MPH, Dr.Ph, a physician and epidemiologist, Professor Emeritus of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington, previously led the Our Planet, Our Health initiative at the Wellcome Trust. His many other positions have included: Dean of the University of Washington School of Public Health, Director of the National Center for Environmental Health at the CDC, and Chair of Environmental and Occupational Health at Emory University. He has served on the boards or advisory committees of a wide range of leading scientific, professional, academic and governmental institutions and is the author or co-author of over 250 scientific journal articles and nine books, including Making Healthy Places: Designing and Building for Health, Well-Being, and Sustainability; Environmental Health: From Global to Local; and most recently: Planetary Health: Protecting Nature to Protect Ourselves (Island Press, 2020).

William B. Karesh, Ph.D., a leading global expert on infectious diseases, wildlife and the environment, is Executive Vice President for Health and Policy at EcoHealth Alliance, President of the World Animal Health Organization Working Group on Wildlife Diseases, chair of the IUCN Wildlife Health Specialist Group; and serves on the WHO’s International Health Regulations Roster of Experts focused on the human-animal interface and wildlife health. Currently EPT Partner Liaison for the USAID Emerging Pandemic Threats PREDICT-2 program, Dr. Karesh coined the term “One Health” in 2003 to describe the interdependence of healthy ecosystems, animals and people and has pioneered solutions-oriented initiatives with this concept as the guiding principle in programs under his direction in over 45 countries from Argentina to Zambia. He has published 180+ scientific papers and written for broader audience publications, including his highly acclaimed first book for a general audience, Appointment at the Ends of the World.

J.P. Harpignies, Bioneers Senior Producer, affiliated with Bioneers since 1990, is a Brooklyn, NYC-based consultant, conference producer, copy-editor and writer. A former Program Director at the New York Open Center and a senior review team member for the Buckminster Fuller Challenge from 2010 to 2017, he has authored or edited several books, including Political Ecosystems, Delusions of Normality, Visionary Plant Consciousness, and, most recently, Animal Encounters.

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