1.1 Support integrative approaches to human health that recognize the connections among people, wildlife, the environment, and climate.

The circumpolar North is vulnerable to the health impacts of climate change. A “One Health” approach to these vulnerabilities recognizes that human health, animal health, and ecosystem health are inextricably linked. This is particularly true in subsistence communities, where a One Health approach can link networks of diverse knowledge holders and transdisciplinary specialists to advance understanding of complex climate-associated health risks and to provide community-based strategies for early identification and mitigation of health risks in humans, animals, and the environment (Ruscio et al. 2015).

Performance elements from the Arctic research plan

  • 1.1.1 In collaboration with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), advance and support a regional One Health approach for assessing interactions at the Arctic human-animal-environment interface to enhance understanding of, and response to, the complexities of climate change for Arctic residents
  • 1.1.2 In collaboration with the ANTHC, support community-based monitoring and IK and LK by maintaining and strengthening the Local Environmental Observer (LEO) Network to help describe connections between climate change, environmental impacts, and health effects.
  • 1.1.3 In coordination with the ANTHC, use the Alaska Native Maternal Organics Monitoring Study (MOM) to monitor the spatial distribution, contaminant levels, and biological effects in species having body burdens of human caused Persistent Organic Pollutants21 (POPs) at or above levels of concern; and improve understanding of the adverse effects of POPs on human populations, especially on child development.
  • 1.1.4 Increase understanding of how both natural climate change and the effects of human activities are affecting the ecosystem by documenting observations of changing sea ice conditions, with implications for development and subsistence. Efforts like Arctic Crashes: Humans, Animals in a Rapidly-Changing World and Northern Alaska Sea Ice Project Jukebox are examples of contributions to this performance element.
  • 1.1.5 Support the Rural Alaska Monitoring Program (RAMP), a community-based environmental monitoring network in Alaska Native communities to collect samples and data on zoonotic pathogens, mercury, and organic contaminants in land and sea mammals used for subsistence.

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