President, Fukuoka Prefecture "One Health"
International Forum Executive Committee
Governor, Fukuoka Prefecture
Thank you very much for attending the "One Health" International Forum 2022 in Fukuoka. This forum has been organized in an effort against such problems as zoonotic infections, including COVID-19, which affect both humans and animals, through the One Health approach with world-class researchers of various fields, and to send their findings out to the world from Fukuoka Prefecture, the birthplace of the "Fukuoka Memorandum."
Because the relationship between animals and humans has been changed due to the changes in the use of lands caused by population growth, forestry development and conversions to agricultural land, resulting in deterioration of the ecosystem and climate changes, pathogens originally carried by wild animals have, through various processes, come to affect humans. Such zoonotic infections are said to account for approximately 60% of all infections affecting humans.
This is why initiatives based on the One Health concept, that the "health of humans, animals, and the environment are all interconnected," are important to deal with zoonotic infections, which are caused by problems crossing over diverse fields.
In order to maintain the health of humans, animals, the environment as one, and to pass these activities on to the next generation, our prefecture has enforced the Fukuoka Prefecture One Health Promotion Basic Ordinance in January 2021, consisting of six basic policies.
An action plan for the prefecture based on this ordinance is scheduled to be designed during the current fiscal year, and we hope to make it a model for the whole country.
As part of these efforts, the Fukuoka Institute of Health and Environmental Sciences, which has functions related to human health and environmental preservation, will be rebuilt with cutting-edge facilities and equipment to deal with various issues relating to One Health, including emerging infectious diseases. And an animal health center will be newly organized to handle livestock, pets, and wild animals in an integrated manner. The Fukuoka Prefectural One Health Center (provisional name), a mutual collaboration between these organizations, is also being planned.
This forum has a theme of "Implementing One Health Approach in the New Age," and we have many prestigious experts from both within and outside Japan participating in presentations. In particular, these include keynote speeches from Rebecca Johnson, professor emerita at the University of Missouri, who founded "TigerPlace," a facility for older adults that promotes life with pets and helps to build a society in which humans and animals can live in harmony, and David Quammen, the author of the world's best-seller "Spillover," who pointed out the coronavirus among the next pathogens that could cause a pandemic.
It is our desire that this forum will further deepen the understanding of One Health in the minds of as many people as possible and further expand the actions and activities based on the concept of One Health.