, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 300–307 | Cite as

Ecohealth as a Field: Looking Forward

  • Johanne Saint-CharlesEmail author
  • Jena Webb
  • Andres Sanchez
  • Hein Mallee
  • Berna van Wendel de Joode
  • Hung Nguyen-Viet


This forum paper proposes a reflection on the “field of ecohealth” and on how best to sustain a supportive environment that enables the evolution of diverse partnerships and forms of collaboration in the field. It is based on the results of a preconference workshop held in October 2012, in Kunming, China at the fourth biennial conference of the International Association for Ecology and Health. Attended by 105 persons from 38 countries, this workshop aimed to have a large-group and encompassing discussion about ecohealth as an emerging field, touching on subjects such as actors, processes, structures, standards, and resources. Notes taken were used to conduct a qualitative thematic analysis combined with a semantic network analysis. Commonalities highlighted by these discussions draw a portrait of a field in which human health, complex systems thinking, action, and ecosystem health are considered central issues. The need to reach outside of academia to government and the general public was identified as a shared goal. A disconnect between participants’ main concerns and what they perceived as the main concerns of funding agencies emerged as a primary roadblock for the future.


ecohealth field building future 



The authors wish to thank the International Development Research Center of Canada for financial support for the organization of the workshop.


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Copyright information

© International Association for Ecology and Health 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johanne Saint-Charles
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jena Webb
    • 1
  • Andres Sanchez
    • 2
  • Hein Mallee
    • 3
  • Berna van Wendel de Joode
    • 4
  • Hung Nguyen-Viet
    • 5
  1. 1.Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Well-Being, Health, Society and EnvironmentUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontrealCanada
  2. 2.International Development Research CentreOttawaCanada
  3. 3.Research Institute for Humanity and NatureKyotoJapan
  4. 4.Central American Institute for Studies on Toxic Substances (IRET)Universidad NacionalHerediaCosta Rica
  5. 5.Center for Public Health and Ecosystem Research at the Hanoi School of Public HealthHanoiVietnam

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