European Health Summit
The European Health Summit (EHS) took place on 8 December 2022 at the Egmont Palace in Brussels. As the planet continues to face the multiple impacts of COVID-19 on human health, well-being and economies, governments across the globe must take the necessary steps to help prevent future pandemics of zoonotic origin.
The One Health approach recognises the essential links between human, animal, and environmental health, and more fundamentally that biodiversity and intact ecosystems are foundational in maintaining the health of all , food systems and economies we all require. The COVID-19 pandemic, and other disease outbreaks of animal origin such as Ebola and Monkeypox, and their dramatic societal and economic costs highlight the urgency of applying a One Health approach across sectors and policies. Operationalizing the One Health approach is paramount in directing our future health in this acutely and irrevocably changed world. COVID-19 has shown us the exorbitant cost of inaction.
In a session of the European Health Summit, Prof. Chris Walzer, WCS Executive Director for Health, and Bernard Mazijn, Chief of Staff to Ms. Zakia Khattabi, Minister for Climate, Environment, Sustainable Development and Green Deal of Belgium, discussed why investing in the integration of health and the environment is critical for pandemic prevention, and why a fully integrated cross-sectoral One Health approach provides the necessary framework for recovery from COVID-19. Redefining missions paired with significant investments and structural changes across public administrations are urgently necessary to enable holistic One Health approaches and fully integrate the health and environment sectors.
From left to right: Amalie Holmgaard Mersh (Euractiv), Bernard Mazijn (Cabinet of Belgian Env. Minister Khattabi) , Prof. Chris Walzer (WCS)
- Bernard Mazijn, Chief of Staff to Ms. Zakia Khattabi, Minister for Climate, Environment, Sustainable Development and Green Deal of Belgium
- Prof. Chris Walzer, Executive Director of Health, Wildlife Conservation Society
Amalie Holmgaard Mersh, Health Reporter, Euractiv
Pandemic prevention at source
Links between Ecological Integrity and Human Health
Best Practices to Confront Pandemics at the Source
WCS Recommendations to Reduce Pandemic Risk