The U.S. Department of State is sponsoring a conference focused on microbial threats in the Arctic region November 6-7. Hosted by Volkswagen Foundation in Hannover, Germany, the event is co-sponsored by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; the European Academies of Science; the Volkswagen Foundation; USAID; and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 60 participants, from all eight Arctic states, are expected to attend.
The conference will focus on what is known and what critical knowledge gaps remain regarding infectious agents emerging from thawing permafrost and ice in polar climates. The conference will also feature a state-of-the-science overview and information to help frame new actions that advance research, surveillance, and response capacity.
This event is part of the U.S. contribution to One Arctic, One Health¸ an Arctic Council project now in its fifth year of operation. The project aims to develop a circumpolar network of One Health experts that can share knowledge, conduct exercises, and spur collaborative investigations of One Health phenomena. One Health is a joint risk management approach that addresses risks at the nexus of people, animals, and their shared environment. One Health is a globally and regionally recognized best practice for advancing health security.