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Africa 2013 : Déclaration finale

We, participants of the first regional conference of the International Association for Ecology and Health and the second African research meeting on Ecosystem Approaches and Human Health, assembled 1st - 3rd October 2013 in Grand-Bassam (Côte d’Ivoire), Are convinced that:
• Sustainable development needs to take into account the ecological and social aspects by capacity building for behavioural change, social equity and inclusion of all stake-holders in decision-making
• To pursue this, scientific research plays a key role in being open, integrated and inter-/trans-disciplinary
• Within the field of health, a “Ecohealth” and “One Heath” have shown promising results that must be exploited a converging manner Given the urgency of these problems and the need for scientific results to deal with these, it is important to consider or reconsider the collaboration between researchers, practitioners and policy-makers to transform their results into genuine tools used for of development. Communications presented during the conference have demonstrated:
• One Health Care(including all aspects according to WHO) in the context of global change: o It is important to encourage and facilitate innovation and research collaborations within a secure environment that takes into account the economic, environmental, political and social aspects o Demographic surveillance systems provide opportunities for the validation and applications of such innovation
• Moving towards Integrated Approaches (“Ecohealth”, “One Health”, etc.): o The great challenges of global health require new technology, well-maintained governance including capacity building and transfer of skills, as well as effective community participation, in the search for sustainable and cost-effective solutions o Assuring food security contributes towards improved human physical and mental health, towards better food quality, and towards increased income revenue which in turn promotes improved access to health care
• On the Relationship between population, research and policy-makers: o Researchers need to focus more attention on the research needs expressed by policy-makers and communities o Researchers and practitioners becoming policy-makers themselves would be key to drive forward and add value to scientific research o Scientific research should be systematically communicated in a way that is approachable and understandable for both policy-makers and the public Convinced of the aforementioned issues, we &9472; active researchers and practitioners within African countries &9472; urge that African governments revitalize their commitment to all the international declarations and conventions based on the links between health and the environment, in particular: o The Libreville Declaration on Health and Environment in Africa (2008) Researchers and practitioners approach health issues in a social and ecological context engaging in the following:
• Actively contribute to promote the aforementioned declarations
• Further develop strategies for a coherent synergy in research and output within health and the environment, including the exploitation of local (traditional) knowledge
• Foster the emergence of a generation able to overcome the challenges in innovation for health and environment
• Strengthening national, sub-regional and regional capacities in trans-disciplinary research to ensure better preventions of health related and environmental related problems
• Promote and enhance scientific results within the vision of “Ecohealth” and “One Heath” ;
• Encourage the promotion of young scientists to ensure a succession of quality and quantity in issues related to “Ecohealth” and “One Heath”
• Create partnerships to increase awareness to policy-makers developing research on health and the environment
• Influence academic institutions and councils through creating new tenures positions that put Ecohealth approaches forward in research to address society problems A committee comprising of key actors will be established by the organizing committee of the conference of Africa 2013 to follow-up on the declaration until Montréal 2014 and the second regional African conference. Created in Grand-Bassam on 3rd October 2013

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