, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 220–226 | Cite as

Toward Operational Criteria for Ecosystem Approaches to Health

  • Carsten H. Richter
  • Jennifer A. Steele
  • Hung Nguyen-Viet
  • Jianchu Xu
  • Bruce A. Wilcox


More than a decade has passed since Forget and Lebel (2001) introduced the “ecosystem approach to human health”. Since this first conceptual elaboration, a significant literature has developed describing validity, utility, and general guidelines for a newly emerging research community. Numerous initiatives, many supported by Canada’s International Development Research Center (IDRC), ranging from narrowly focused research studies to large-scale interventions, have focused on health challenges within diverse social-ecological settings. We note that while “ecohealth” was first introduced as a fusion of the “ecosystem approach to human health”, in the following abbreviated as “ecosystem approach”, and IDRC’s “ecohealth program”, the term is also used in a more generic way. For example, in naming this journal, ecohealth was suggested to broadly include research and practice addressing problems at the interface of the ecological and health sciences (Wilcox et al. 2004; Wilcox...


Ecosystem Management Ecosystem Approach Transdisciplinary Research Healthy Ecosystem International Development Research 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The research was part of IDRC-supported project on “Field Building Leadership Initiative (FBLI) in Southeast Asia”. Additional support is also provided from CGIAR Research Program 7: Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).


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Copyright information

© International Association for Ecology and Health 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carsten H. Richter
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jennifer A. Steele
    • 3
  • Hung Nguyen-Viet
    • 4
    • 5
  • Jianchu Xu
    • 6
  • Bruce A. Wilcox
    • 7
  1. 1.Center for Mountain Ecosystem Studies, Kunming Institute of BotanyChinese Academy of SciencesKunmingChina
  2. 2.Graduate University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health, Cummings School of Veterinary MedicineTufts UniversityNorth GraftonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Epidemiology and Public HealthSwiss Tropical and Public Health InstituteBaselSwitzerland
  5. 5.Centre for Public Health and Ecosystem Research (CENPHER) and International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)Hanoi School of Public Health (HPPH)HanoiVietnam
  6. 6.World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)KunmingChina
  7. 7.Global Health Asia, Integrative Education and Research Programme, Faculty of Public HealthMahidol UniversityBangkokThailand

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