On behalf of myself and John and the whole of the Organising Committee, I would like to thank everyone who took part in making this Congress the clear success that it was! We had over 1,000 delegates from 86 different countries and managed to raise nearly AUD $1million to give scientists from developing countries an opportunity to participate in the Congress.
We had an amazing atmosphere throughout the four and a half days, as so many of you attested to, and we also heard so many excellent presentations. From all the fantastic presentations and posters we learnt of the threats facing global health. This included not just those to human health, but also animal, environmental and ecosystem health. We also heard many ways forward to tackle these, all of which called for collaboration, for the continuation of science-based debate and for, on many occasions, new ways of working to tackle these threats to our planetary health and well-being. Some of these solutions though, have been around for a while and the tenor of the Congress included an urgency to act now and for change.
Thank you to Kate Auty for moderating the panel discussions on science, policy and action and for her observations, which provide important insight into not only what the Congress was about but what we are tasked and challenged to do. The final statement from the Congress from Kate is below. We concur with Kate on the “… terrific participation from the floor on translating policy into action: touching on urgency and inaction, the role of government and of individuals, negotiation, the role of the unknowns, unintended consequences, and optimising the opportunities which arise (sometimes unexpectedly).”
We thank and acknowledge our next generation of emerging scholars and practitioners. Your voices were loud and clear at the Congress and your aspirational statement was well received.
Can we thank all of you for coming to Melbourne, for your active participation throughout the Congress and for your congenial and energetic discussion, debate and deliberations! We would particularly like to thank our hosts, CSIRO and Deakin University and all our sponsors for their generous support. We would also particularly like to thank those that provided support for the 200 odd delegates from developing countries that made their attendance possible. We thank the speakers and those presenting posters for their huge contribution to the Congress. Finally we wish also to acknowledge the enormous contribution from our meeting organisers, ARINEX and thank them for going beyond the “norm” in supporting our Congress.
We trust that you all enjoyed this meeting and that every one of you was able to take away something memorable and valuable.
Many thanks from us all
Professor Martyn Jeggo Professor John S Mackenzie AO
On behalf of the One Health EcoHealth 2016 Organising Committee
Observations about the conference from Kate Auty
We heard about challenges and about unprecedented risk.
We know that One Health EcoHealth collaborations are essential for better outcomes.
These collaborations are transdisciplinary.
The underpinning science is critical to better policy outcomes but it is not enough.
Some issues are highly complex, some are simple. Each will require targeted interventions.
We need to embrace collaboration to develop policies which can effectively impact global issues.
We have to engage with people with local interests, communicate the science more effectively and share the information, data and knowledge widely.
A theory of change will invoke all of the policy change attributes outlined in Professor Bammer’s clear and compelling presentation .
It will involve: starting where we are (geographically and in disciplinary terms), organizing comprehensively, and showing what we did.
It will only be when these attributes are aligned that we will be able to take back or enter fully into the policy domain.
Dr Kate Auty
Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment