Slide 15 of a presentation on one-health approaches made by ILRI director general Jimmy Smith at the 5th biennial conference of the International Association for Ecology & Health in Montreal 11−15 Aug 2014; the presentation was titled: ‘Healthy people, animals and ecosystems for global food and nutritional security’.
Jimmy Smith, the director general of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), made a keynote presentation on ‘one-health’ at the 5th biennial conference of the International Association for Ecology & Health, held in Montreal, Canada, 11−15 Aug 2014. Smith’s presentation was titled: ‘Healthy people, animals and ecosystems for global food and nutritional security’. ILRI colleagues who input to the making of this presentation were Delia Grace, Fred Unger, Hung Nguyen, Purvi Mehta-Bhatt, Bernard Bett and Shirley Tarawali. This was the very first event of 2014 at which ILRI began officially to mark its 40-year anniversary (the first officially official event to mark our anniversary occurred a month later, in the Czech Republic, at the Tropentag2014 Conference; all our anniversary events are tagged #ILRI40). You can view the whole slide presentation here: Healthy people, animals and ecosystems for global food and nutritional security, ILRI, Aug 2014.
The one-health argument Smith and his colleagues make is essentially as follows.
- Finding ways to better feed and nourish a population of some 10 billion people by 2050 daunts today’s agricultural scientists, livestock scientists in particular.
- Much of the world’s livestock food comes from small mixed farms in developing countries. Strong growth in developing-country crop-livestock systems presents big opportunities.
- We need to produce much more animal-source foods (meat, milk and eggs) and do so in much more sustainable ways — without hurting our environment or threatening public health.
- The health of people, animals and ecologies depend utterly on each other — and in ways we only partially yet understand.
- Feeding our growing world sustainably requires breaking down walls between the livestock, health, environmental sectors.
- Failure to use holistic approaches will fail to find win-win-win solutions for all three sectors.
- Disaster in any one sector impinges on the others.
The nutritional divides among 7 billion people today are severe, with a double burden of hunger and obesity.
Poor animal health remains a huge burden in developing countries. A deadly dozen zoonotic diseases each year kill 2.2 million people and sicken 2.4 billion, with the greatest burden of zoonoses falling on one billion poor livestock keepers. Diseases from poor countries threaten global industries. And some 75% of emerging diseases come from animals, including livestock.
Regarding the ‘goods’ and ‘bads’ of livestock production, while livestock emit greenhouse gases, improving production efficiencies is key to reducing their carbon footprints. Although livestock feed can compete with staple crops and biofuels for water and other natural resources, pastures can help store carbon. And while manure can pollute land and water, it is also an important source of organic matter for soil fertility in developing countries.
Jimmy Smith then gives examples of ten science options for helping to create sustainable and equitable livestock futures for the benefit of all, and shows how ILRI is employing One-Health approaches to generate these win-win-win options.
Smith concludes by arguing that not only are human, animal and ecological health inextricably linked, but they also together form a foundation for global food and nutritional security:
• More food, especially animal-source food, must be produced in new ways that don’t harm our health or environment.
• Human, animal and ecological health are inextricably linked and together form a foundation for food and nutritional security.
• Research is needed not only to produce new knowledge and technologies but also to join up diverse disciplinary and sector expertise in new kinds of productive partnerships.
Blog posts about other ILRI@40 events:
- Livestock policy paradoxes: Promulgating a crisis? Or providing a solution, 5 Jan 2015
- A ‘who’s who’ in livestock research-for-development gathering in Ethiopia, 3 Jan 2015
- Storify highlights of special livestock session at the Borlaug Dialogue in Iowa, 2 Jan 2015
- Highlights of a special ‘livestock evening’ at the Borlaug Symposium, 31 Dec 2014
- Animal agriculture research director envisions developing-world livestock sector in 2054, 7 Nov 2014
- Help smallholders protect their environments and adapt to climate change–IFAD president challenges livestock researchers, 7 Nov 2014
- Addis Ababa conference marks 40-yr anniversary of world’s leading livestock-research-for-development institute, 5 Nov 2014
- African animal agriculture: Grasping opportunities as a great livestock transition gets under way, 4 Nov 2014
- A major presentation on ‘the power of livestock’ to transform today’s resource-scarce agricultural lands, 27 Oct 2014
- In Des Moines for the World Food Prize? Join the special BMGF-ILRI livestock roundtable this evening, 15 Oct 2014
- ILRI turns 40: Nairobi headquarters marks the anniversary, 6 Oct 2014
- This week ILRI hosts a major conference in Nairobi on livestock-based options for development, 29 Sep 2014
- Livestock innovation systems: Research contributions from ILRI over the decades, 23 Sep 2014
- Natural resources: Abundant or scarce? (That would depend on just how ‘natural’ we think human resources are), 18 Sep 2014
- Livestock options to meet development goals: ILRI side event at Tropentag Conference in Prague, 17 Sep
- ILRI@tropentag 2014: Livestock-based options for sustainable food and nutritional security and healthy lives, 16 Sep 2014
- The International Livestock Research Institute turns 40–Join us at an ILRI@40 event!, 4 July 2014