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Recognizing the complex and multidisciplinary issues raised by the interface of human, animal and ecosystem health (“One Health”) that require enhanced coordination and collaboration among sectors and agencies, nationally and internationally, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) (the “Partners”) launched on 29 March 2021 a joint call for expression of interest to constitute a One Health High Level Expert Panel (OHHLEP).

From over 700 applications received, 26 international experts were appointed in May 2021 to serve as members on the One Health High Level Expert Panel (OHHLEP). The Panel is multidisciplinary, with experts who have a range of technical knowledge, skills and experience relevant to One Health.

The OHHLEP will provide guidance on One Health-related matters that support improved cooperation among governments. It has an advisory role to the Partners and is expected to support their provision of evidence-based scientific and policy advice to address the challenges raised by One Health.

The areas of focus of the OHHLEP will be subject to regular review by the Partners. Initially, the OHHLEP will focus on:

  • providing policy relevant scientific assessment on the emergence of health crises arising from the human-animal-ecosystem interface, as well as research gaps; and
  • guidance on development of a long-term strategic approach to reducing the risk of zoonotic pandemics, with an associated monitoring and early warning framework, and the synergies needed to institutionalize and implement the One Health approach, including in areas that drive pandemic risk.

The OHHLEP’s advice will contribute to enhancing strategic orientations and coordination, and to providing high political visibility on the subject of One Health.