Evaluating the Governance of Emergent Pandemic Zoonoses: A Systems and Legal Analysis

October 7, 2020 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Although mitigating the current pandemic is critically important, a governance response is needed to prevent future pandemics. We need actionable evidence that focuses on the regulation of wildlife trade from which SARS and SARS-Cov2 are believed to have emerged. Specifically understanding the social, legal and cultural dynamics that affect the regulation of wildlife markets in countries where zoonotic epidemics (Ebola) and pandemics (SARs, and SAR CoV-2) emerged, including China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Philippines.

The purpose of this project is to evaluate the governance gap in stewardship of international wildlife trade supply chains given their implications for food and health security by analyzing the intersection of global biodiversity, environmental, agricultural and public health governance systems. Specifically, to answer the following questions:

How can the global health, biodiversity, trade and environmental governance systems be better coordinated to break the causal link between zoonotic diseases and wildlife trade?

How might changes in the local food and wildlife systems interact with governance systems to impact on livelihoods, cultural practices and food security?

What are the policy design solutions needed to implement the emergent evidence from the institutional, legal and systems analysis?

A solutions-oriented research approach will use multiple methods and disciplinary lenses to culminate in an integrative policy design and implementation approach. We will answer the RQs by focusing our research on a range of international governance secretariats and within three case study countries, namely: China, the Philippines and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Within each participating country an institutional and legal epidemiologic analysis will provide policy surveillance and mapping of international and national policy. A systems analysis will be used to identify local contextual interdependencies among laws, regulations, and their implications for the behaviour of social and political actors and communities supplemented by in-depth qualitative case studies. The legal epidemiologic analysis will identify which international and national policy recommendations recommended by the Berlin Principles (as well as existing international law, such Convention on Biological Diversity) have been enacted and track subsequent One Health indicators of relevance.

The empirical evidence generated will be integrated into a report and set of policy recommendations that will be utilized in a process to inform the development of a policy design and implementation toolkit for international organizations, national and local stakeholders who will be engaged throughout the research process.

Please note: this is a closed event


Mary E Wiktorowicz, Member of Faculty, Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research
Tarra Penney, Member of Faculty, Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research