The good, the bad and the ugly: framing debates on nature in a One Health community

Nicolas Antoine-Moussiaux*, Luc Janssens de Bisthoven, Stéphane Leyens, Timo Assmuth, Hans Keune, Jakob Zinsstag, J.J.A. Hugé, Maarten P. M. Vanhove

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Originating in medical and veterinary spheres, the One Health concept stands as an open call for collaboration also between these disciplines or professions and those of environmental and social science. However, the communities of practice in question show uneasy or under-developed collaborations, due to a variety of factors. We argue that an important factor is the way issues are raised and questions are formulated, i.e., their framing. Based on complementary perspectives on health and knowledge, this overview provides an inter- and trans-disciplinary analysis of the role of the framing of « nature » in One Health discourses as a barrier or a facilitator to collaboration, as revealed by the scientific literature. We find that the lack of reflection by scientists about the framing under which they operate appears as a major factor of misunderstanding between disciplines, and a barrier for inter- and trans-disciplinary solutions to improve management of health risks and benefits. Hence, to build such solutions, framing will have to be a conscious and repeated step in the process, acknowledging and explaining the diversity of viewpoints and values. The interdisciplinary dialogues inherent in this process promote translation between scientific domains, policy-makers and citizens, with a critical but pluralistic recourse to various framings of health risks and benefits associated with nature, and a deep awareness of their practical and ethical consequences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1729–1738
Number of pages10
JournalSustainability Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Biodiversity
  • Ecosystem Services
  • Nature
  • One Health


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