SNAPP TEAM:Ecological Levers for Health
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Can we discover new ecologically-based solutions for health and environmental problems by identifying conservation interventions that are linked to improved human health?

“Ecological levers of health” are conservation interventions that have direct, measurable benefits for human health. For example, in West Africa, restoring natural river flow allowed native species to return to the river, which in turn preyed upon animal vectors of schistosomiasis: a debilitating human infectious disease. The river flow restoration proved more effective for controlling the spread of the disease than medical interventions alone. This group is searching for more examples of these ecological levers for health to reduce the burdens of the world’s most important human infectious diseases while also safeguarding or restoring ecosystem integrity and functioning.

 

OUR APPROACH: This working group will identify clear links between infectious disease transmission and environmental change, with actionable solutions at the local and regional level. By synthesizing existing win-win solutions that can benefit people and nature, this team will contribute to Planetary Health research, investment, and evaluation agenda for the 21st century.

Team Status: ONGOING
Team Critical Challenge: The Value of Nature
Goals
  • Analyze existing data and models on human-disease-environment systems for which evidence exists and opportunities are present to intervene through “ecological levers for health” at local or regional levels
  • Contextualize concrete examples and synthesize how they can advance a “planetary health” agenda for the 21st century
  • Develop metrics and modules to quantify and monitor the feedbacks between health, development and conservation efforts
Key Products
Fighting poverty with synthesis science

This article from the National Center of Ecological Analysis and Synthesis describes how ecological levers for health can help to alleviate poverty

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Team
Leaders
Kevin Lafferty
US Geological Survey (USGS)
Susanne Sokolow
Stanford University
Members
Alison Peel
Griffith University
Andres Garchitorena
Harvard University
Andy Dobson
Princeton University
Andy MacDonald
Stanford University
Armand Kuris
University of California, Santa Barbara
Chelsea Wood
University of Washington
David Lopez-Carr
University of California, Santa Barbara
Erin Mordecai
Stanford University
Gary Tabor
Center for Large Landscape Conservation
Giulio De Leo
Stanford University
Heather Tallis
The Nature Conservancy
Isabel Jones
Stanford University
John Openshaw
Stanford University
Justin Remais
University of California, Berkeley
Lisa Mandle
Stanford University
Matt Bonds
Harvard University
Raina Plowright
Montana State University
Sandra Laney
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Sarah Olson
Wildlife Conservation Society
Skylar Hopkins
National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), University of California, Santa Barbara
Taylor Ricketts
University of Vermont
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