In April 2022, I facilitated a focus group for Eklipse, an amazing mechanism to mobilise the scientific community to provide best available knowledge to answer questions relevant to policy makers.
This focus group explored which topic will be tackled by an Eklipse expert working group to produce a relevant synthesis of current available knowledge and support better anticipation and preparation for potential future pandemics.
This focus group is a follow up of a very interesting workshop I faciltiated In 2021 offering a space for a cross-sectoral dialogue between European Commission policy makers from various sectors and experts on the post-covid priorities to better anticipate and prevent potential Emerging Infectious Diseases.
The COVID crisis has revealed how fragile we are, how vulnerable our societies are to unforeseen global pandemics and how hectic political and policy responses become when faced with such an emergency. We were not prepared! The pandemic did not come as a surprise to the scientific community who has long identified the potential risk of zoonoses linked to unprecedented land degradation and unleashed consumption of natural resources. This pandemic is a symptom of a wider systemic crisis revealing the interlinkages between all sectors and biodiversity (our societies, economies, climate change, environment, and health).
We had the pleasure to welcome Marie-Monique Robin who presented her book and soon to come documentary: the Pandemic Factory (La fabrique des Pandémies)
Participants discussed the science-policy challenges to address before a new crisis emerges. Scientists are right now pulling knowledge together (for example in the 2020 IPBES Pandemics report) but to be effective, these reviews and syntheses have to align with cross sectorial policy relevance to ensure appropriate uptake of knowledge and implementation.
The workshop report is available here