Science at work 17 January 2023
Serge Morand appointed member of the One Health High-Level Expert Panel
Proposed at the initiative of France, with the support of Germany, the creation of this expert panel was officially announced during the Paris Peace Forum on 12 November 2020 by the French and German Ministers of Foreign Affairs and the heads of the WHO, OIE, FAO and UNEP. The panel has just been launched by the four international organisations. The goal of this interdisciplinary group of 26 independent experts is to inform public decision-making with a view to preventing and addressing future health crises.
The group of scientists will conduct its research according to the One Health approach, which recognises the linkages between human, animal and environmental health, and stresses the need to consult specialists from multiple sectors in order to address health threats. Of the 26 experts selected by the international organisations, Serge Morand, CIRAD-CNRS, is the only French expert, chosen for his work at the interface between environment, biodiversity, animal health and human health.
An ecologist and parasitologist by training, Serge Morand has a wealth of field experience in collaboration with local communities and the authorities in charge of animal, human, agricultural and environmental health (hospitals, veterinary services, national parks, etc.). Over the last 10 years, he has coordinated some 30 field studies in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines and Vietnam, which have given rise to more than 200 academic publications, reference and outreach works, as well as numerous lessons.
Serge Morand is a pioneer in the field of the socio-ecology of health, which links environmental and land-use changes to biodiversity, the social economy, evolutionary ecology and the epidemiology of zoonotic diseases at the interface between human and animal health (One Health / EcoHealth / Planetary Health). He thus has unique expertise in multidisciplinary research, ranging from the genetic analysis of infectious agents (and their resistance to antibiotics), to the evolutionary ecology of reservoirs and vectors, and the modelling and geospatial analysis of disease transmission.
For several years, he has been developing thinking and practices on the ethics of individual and community engagement (consent, participatory approaches, etc.), as well as on health and environmental governance.
“I am delighted to join this interdisciplinary group whose members all have very complementary areas of expertise, and to contribute to its future work towards shared health”, says Serge Morand.
The members of the panel will meet at least three times a year and will produce reports and recommendations to advise the four international organisations in the development of a long-term global plan of action to avert new outbreaks of diseases.
The work of the panel can build on research by the PREZODE initiative, launched by three French research organisations (IRD, CIRAD, INRAE) with a number of international partners.