Zoonotic Diseases and One Health
New zoonotic diseases are emerging at an alarming rate. And while these diseases harmlessly circulate within wildlife populations in their natural habitat, illegal wildlife trade is increasing the risk of these pathogens spreading to us.

Recognising that the health of people is closely connected to the health of animals and our shared environment, the One Health approach addresses the threat of emerging zoonotic diseases related to wildlife trade through multisectoral, transdisciplinary collaboration both locally, regionally and globally. Most countries lack formal mechanisms for coordination and integration of activities across health, agricultural and environmental sectors (which are traditionally based in separate ministries or government agencies with different mandates on activities and spending) – which makes putting One Health policies into practice challenging, despite broad support.

What WWF is doing

To support the development and application of One Health initiatives, WWF works to:

  • Develop a framework which provides guidance to the Asia-Pacific region’s governments to assess the relative risk of potential new incidents of serious emerging infectious diseases associated with the trade in wildlife, and field test this tool
  • Facilitate an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Policy Framework on One Health and a Risk Assessments Toolkit to contribute to the ASEAN Comprehensive Resilience Framework
  • Support wildlife enforcement networking in the Golden Triangle border region as well as between Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia
  • Advocate for the passing of a legislative bill to include wildlife crime under the Organised and Serious Crime Ordinance in Hong Kong

Future actions:

  • Organise a counter-wildlife trafficking partnership forum in Thailand to bring together ASEAN government and donors to discuss how to integrate One Health principles into their policy frameworks