Logo Tropentag

Tropentag 2021, September 15 - 17, hybrid conference, Germany

"Towards shifting paradigms in agriculture for a healthy and sustainable future"

Adapting the One Health Approach to Pastoral Contexts

Constanze Boenig, Wibke Crewett, Igor Pilawski

Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Germany, Germany


The One Health (OH) approach is currently widely acknowledged as an effective strategy towards reaching the SDGs. It emphasises the necessity to not only address human health, environmental health and animal health equally, but also to acknowledge complex interlinkages of those three pillars. OH seeks to create effective strategies to sustain the wellbeing of humans and animals and at the same time respect our planetary boundaries. However, in practice OH is currently not widely implemented. The existing examples are mainly found in the public health sector.
OH is a particularly powerful approach to create strategies to support the wellbeing of communities that live in close proximity to livestock, in climate sensitive environments and in marginalised locations, such as pastoralists and agro-pastoralists. Pastoral communities are particularly threatened by multiple challenges, such as zoonotic diseases, biodiversity loss and inaccessible human health services, which OH seeks to tackle. However, to date there is relatively few attempts to effectively implement holistic OH projects that tackle all three dimensions of OH and its linkages. One reason is that we still miss tailored concepts that guide the design of comprehensive projects and programs in the agricultural sphere. We therefore propose a OH framework tailored to the needs of agricultural pastoral and agro-pastoralist communities. The framework builds on an analysis of three pioneering OH projects in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, which are currently being implemented by Vétérinaires sans Frontières Germany. We use secondary project documentation and expert interviews in order to identify implementation challenges of OH projects while enriching existing OH frameworks by specifications relevant for agricultural projects. A comparison of practical needs of OH design and existing OH concepts highlights some gaps in current OH concepts: unclear concepts of transdisciplinary integration and insufficient attention to institutional embeddedness of the OH approach. We deduct a comprehensive framework for OH project design for pastoral and agro-pastoral communities meant to support the community of practice that seeks to support that marginalised group. We hereby advance current knowledge in OH towards better applicability and demonstrate its use from an agricultural perspective.

Keywords: Concept, Eastern Africa, One Health, pastoralism, Vétérinaires sans Frontières

Contact Address: Wibke Crewett, Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Germany, Marienstraße 19-20, 10117 Berlin, Germany, e-mail: wibke.crewett@togev.de

Valid HTML 3.2!