A Latin American, Caribbean and Canadian Collaboration in Ecohealth

EkoSanté is a collaboration arising from Communities of Practice in Ecosystem Approaches to Health (CoPEH) in Canada (CoPEH-CAN) and Latin America and the Caribbean (CoPEH-LAC). EkoSanté was formalised in 2013 after receiving financial support from the Canadian International Development Research Center (IDRC). It was designed as a four-year project constructed around three main goals.

This web site offers you tools and information about ecosystem approaches to health in Canada and Latin-America and the Carribeans. Most importantly, you can find discover who’s doing what and contact people working on topics of interest to you: Discover Ecohealth Researchers.

More information on the on-going work of CoPEH-Canada can be found on their website.

Ecosystem Approaches to Health

The fast pace of change is an intrinsic feature of our times, bringing societies across the globe to contend with multiple and simultaneous challenges (eg., climate variability, extreme weather events, rapid urbanization, economic instability, movement of people and goods and deterioration of ecosystems). This often leads to increased inequities between different social groups with regards to their health and well-being. 

In the struggle for a healthier, more equitable and more sustainable world, we often act as if development is a simple social process of management and predictable interactions between people and ecosystems; the reality is much more complex. New approaches, transcending disciplines and sectors, for research, policy, practice and training are needed. It is in response to this need that ecosystem approaches to health have emerged.

These are approaches that:

 - « aim, in research and in practice, to better understand and promote health and well-being (of humans, animals and ecosystems) in the context of the complex interactions between health, social inequalities and ecosystem sustainability. 

– provide a relevant and innovative analytical and methodological framework for managing complex issues at the intersection of the environment, society, and health at different time and geographic scales.

– are developed from participatory research practices that guide the integration of disciplines and different forms of knowledge (eg scientist, indigenous, local), the fight for social and gender equity and the identification of relevant actions. »

(Source : CoPEH-Canada, downloaded June 12, 2018)