In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, health has become an imperative topic in the international agenda. The current emergency is forcing us to pay greater attention to the risks, often under-estimated, linked with the spreading of new infectious diseases in a globalized world.

Over the past months, researchers claimed that unsustainable development models have accelerated environmental degradation and the subsequent spill over of viruses, causing infectious diseases to arise and spread. In fact, the high pressure on ecosystems leads to major risks for plant, animal and human health.

To cope with these challenges, the United Nations have developed the “One Health approach”, based on the nexus among human, animal and plant health. This approach seeks to integrate multiple sectors to have a more coordinated response and achieve better public health outcomes.

As advocated by FAO, holistic and ecosystem-based approaches that focus on prevention and the health of the ecosystem are to be preferred, as these present a cost-effective solution. Therefore, it is today more urgent than ever for the international development cooperation to promote cross-sectoral programmes using agro-ecological approaches and focusing at the same time on human well-being.

In this framework, the event intends to cast a common understanding on the nexus among food, agriculture and health and on their systemic connection. Panellists will be asked to provide their views on models, tools and methodologies to address this nexus in the Mediterranean region, in line with the objectives of the UN 2030 Agenda.

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