The Link Between Health and Ecology

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 7:09 PM


Can leaving nature intact prevent against the emergence of disease? Many experts seem to think so. A project entitled PREDICT, funded by the United States Agency for International Development, has made it's ambition to determine the ecology of disease. If their project is successful it will assist in health officials around the world in predicting where the next disease outbreak may occur. It is a good reminder about the inter-relatedness of humans, animals, and the environment.

Project PREDICT stems from a global organization of scientists called EcoHealth Alliance whom are committed to the conservation of biodiversity. EcoHealth is known for their innovative research on the intricate relationships between wildlife, ecosystems and human health.

Below is a unique video snapshot explaining the importance of preserving the environment in order to also preserve the health of humanity. Though it may seem that populations around the globe are separated by oceans and independent from ecological degradation elsewhere, EcoAlliance explains the exact opposite. 

EcoHealth Alliance belief- “ We believe the key to success is long term, grassroots involvement. EcoHealth Alliance, a conservation science innovator, specializes in saving biodiversity in human dominated bio-scapes where ecological health is most at risk because of habitat loss, species imbalance, pollution and other environmental issues caused by human-induced change.”

Seems like pretty important work considering almost 60% of emerging infectious diseases in humans originate from the animal kingdom. Needless to say, the further destruction of animal habitats increases this animal-to-human transfer. The impressive work of this organization is a perfect example of the importance of adopting a systems mindset. Our world is made up of various systems. There is so much complexity and interconnectedness within our world that it is essential we continue our understanding and support of upholding the integrity of these systems.

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