PREZODE, an initiative to prevent emerging zoonotic risks and pandemics, was announced on the occasion of the One Planet Summit for biodiversity held on 11 January. Initiated by three French research institutes – INRAE, CIRAD and IRD – PREZODE already mobilised more than 1,000 researchers from 50 countries on 5 continents.
Under the aegis of France, and notably the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation and the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, PREZODE will combine research and practical steps at international.
Over the past 50 years, the emergence of health crises linked to zoonoses has been picking up speed. Indeed, some 75% of these human infectious diseases which originate from animal reservoirs are due to pressure exerted on biodiversity. The crisis linked to the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the world, taking a very heavy human, economic and social toll. Now more than ever, a One Health approach that does not separate human health, animal welfare and the environment is in order, to prevent or manage new pandemics.
The PREZODE initiative aims to keep the risk of emerging zoonoses and pandemics in check. It is built on and strengthens existing cooperation between regions of the world (Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, Middle East, Latin America and Europe) that are most exposed to emerging zoonotic diseases. PREZODE is designed to incorporate and reinforce networks in human health, animal welfare and the environment. In line with the One Health concept, it aims to better evaluate and detect emerging zoonotic threats and develop preventive measures with all players to protect humans, the planet, and socio-ecosystems.
This initiative is in line with the creation of the One-Health High-Level Expert Council announced on 12 November 2020 at the Paris Peace Forum and is in line with recent recommendations of the report on biodiversity and pandemics published by IPBES in October 2020.
Benjamin Roche, biologist at IRD, contributing expert to the IPBES report on biodiversity and pandemics, One Health Scientific Advisor to the president of IRD.
Jean-François Soussana, Vice President of International Policy at INRAE.
Thierry Lefrançois, Director of the Biological Systems Department at CIRAD.