From Concept to One Health Approach

Perspectives and experiences integrated in Alentejo in a network for the World in a top-down process.

Faced with global scenarios, European policies, from Horizon Europe to agriculture (e.g. PAC; From Farm to Fork) and environment (e.g. European Biodiversity Strategy; European Ecological Pact), reinforce the need for coordination between areas, in an openness to inter/transdisciplinarity from the perspective of integrating knowledge for concerted actions, evident in the Innovation Agenda for Agriculture 20|30 and the 2030 Agenda - SDGs. On the other hand, the need for innovative solutions that consider the resilience of systems is recognized, from the complex perspective of conservation and protection of biodiversity, the provision of Ecosystem Services and the growth of an innovative agricultural system, for the future generation. In this conceptual perspective, which integrates the “One Health” paradigm, human society is now considered as an element belonging to the ecosystem, crucial in the transition to a low-carbon circular economy. Although this approach is formally accepted by the United Nations (e.g. WHO, FAO, WOAH, UNEP, World Bank), there are still operational limitations, e.g.: L1) disciplinary approaches that only tangentially refer to other areas; L2) different perception and valuation of the same problem, influenced by sectoral interests; L3) disciplinary education that does not integrate knowledge and does not promote a holistic vision for the integrated solution of global problems. On the other hand, there is no culture of data collection and paired samples to strengthen the “One Health” approach.

Considering the financial dimension to which each project can apply, there is a unique opportunity, in this context, to create an integrated database and biobank, which reinforce the interoperability and management of epidemiological surveillance and control systems, and which lasts beyond the end of the project. With the aim of operationalizing these two transversal structures, 2 production sectors of economic importance for Portugal, particularly for the Alentejo region (NUT II and NUT III) were considered:

Agricultural production – rice
Livestock production – Alentejo pig

Approached in an integrated way, together and from the holistic perspective of One Health:

1) Problems are discussed and measures are proposed, adapted to different realities but which face similar challenges and which therefore require equivalent solutions, to respond to zoonoses and other threats
2) Methodological approaches to collect data and samples from the environment, humans and animals, which will feed the biobank and database, are harmonized.

The limitations stated and the justification for the creation of the 2 structures fed by results obtained in the 2 case studies, demonstrate the opportunity of this proposal, organized into 4 general objectives, aligned with the operational objectives of the Emblematic 2 initiative

1) Implementation of participatory governance models that include actors from different pillars and that enhance the attraction of young people and the participation of women in agriculture – Resp. to L1 and L2,L3
2) Adaptation of technologically innovative tools for the agroenergetic and agroecological transition and to reduce antimicrobial resistance – Resp. to L2 and L3
3) (bio)Monitoring and creation of a database and a biobank to remotely evaluate indicators, study temporal trends, predict and prepare for emerging diseases – Resp. to L2 and L3
4) Promoting a digital transition that promotes education for “One Health”, leaving no one behind – Resp. to L3

The CANTE Consortium is coordinated by UÉvora and includes 12 more partners that integrate the 4 pillars defined in the Agenda for Agriculture 20|30:

– State
– Value Chain
– Territory
– Society

UÉvora is responsible for the financial and administrative management of the project and will coordinate the Guidance and Supervision Board, under the leadership of the Consortium Managers (RC and co-RC). The multidisciplinary UÉvora team includes members from 6 research centers: ICT; MED; TIDE; CHRC; CICS.NOVA UÉvora; , with scientific expertise in the Environment, Human and Animal Health, and will integrate the considered lines of action, activities and tasks. UÉvora will also be responsible for the project's Communication Plan.

Partners contributions and activities within the scope of the project:

1) INSA – Action in human health, transfer of results at level A.2.1, L.A.2.2, L.A.2.4
2) APARROZ - Operations in the area of rice production
3) Porcos Natura – Performance in the sustainable production of Alentejo pig
4) F&L- Operation in rice processing and marketing
5) IMFlorestal – Operation in the transformation of charcoal and commercialization of biochar
6) COTARROZ - Intervenes in research and innovation of sustainable practices for rice
7) CCPAMC - Performance in research and innovation of sustainable practices
8) Câmara Municipal de Évora – Role in disseminating and transmitting results
9) Hospital de Évora – Intervenes in human health and rehabilitation of the biobank for human samples
10) Natura M3 – Performance in the dissemination and transmission of results, environmental education and training
11) Faz&Erra - Role in disseminating and transmitting results

All partners collaborate in the execution of the Communication Plan, with special relevance from Natura M3 and Faz&Erra with skills in education through art and science dissemination.

Funded by the EU

Financiado pela União Europeia.