In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a concerted effort to engage the environment sector in One Health efforts for upstream disease prevention. To this end, the first ever pilot environment sector country mapping and needs assessment workshop took place in May in Vientiane, Lao PDR organized by the World Bank in collaboration with Food and Agriculture Organization – Asia and Pacific Region technical team and SAFOSO, as part of its effort to develop Laos Country One Health Profile. This workshop marks a very important step in the engagement of the environment sector in One Health.
The workshop provided participants with a better understanding of the role of the environment sector in One Health, of the different players in the environment sector that can be engaged in One Health, of the baseline capacity levels for 41 indicators in biodiversity, wildlife, & ecosystems, and it identified important One Health risks in the environment sector in Lao PDR. The outcomes of the workshop will contribute to a comprehensive One Health assessment at national level.
The workshop used a hybrid format of both in-person participation in Vientiane and virtual participation with a total of about 40 participants from 15 different organizations including Lao PDR Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute, National University of Laos, Wildlife Conservation Society, International Union for Conservation of Nature, U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency, United States Agency for International Development, World Health Organization, Agriculture and Finance Consultants, and the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity.
Further environment sector country mapping and needs assessments are planned for the Southeast Asia region in 2022.
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