OneAquaHealth - Protecting urban aquatic ecosystems to promote One Health

Active

from 01/01/2023 until 31/12/2026

Aquatic ecosystems provide diverse habitats and support biodiversity and ecosystem services that are essential to life on Earth. However, aquatic urban ecosystems often become polluted by garbage and noise, and more. Their space decreases and their ecosystems are threatened, leading to deteriorating health conditions for humans, animals and plants. In this context, the EU-funded OneAquaHealth project aims to showcase the importance of these ecosystems for human mental and physical health while also providing a novel AI-based environmental surveillance system to monitor and protect these places.

Aim

Aquatic urban ecosystems are extremely relevant connectors between people, animals and plants and provide a valuable resource to liaise health and environmental observations with a potential impact on prediction and prevention. In urbanized areas, aquatic ecosystems constitute ecological corridors between fragmented natural areas supporting a wide biodiversity and variety of ecosystem services, improving the sustainability of cities. Yet, these ecosystems are often degraded by lack of space, cuts of riparian vegetation, artificialization of the channels, impervious areas in the margins, water pollution, noise, excessive lights, among others. This degradation can lead to numerous disservices to human populations, and increase the probability of the emergence of pathogens, lower disease resistance of wildlife and humans, increasing the probability of disease severity and diseases associated with reduced physical activity and permanence in stressful environments found in cities.
In view of this, OneAquaHealth aims to demonstrate that the health of freshwater ecosystems and human health and wellbeing in urban contexts are highly interconnected as improving one results in the improvement of the other, reestablishing the balance between nature and humans. To this aim, OneAquaHealth will promote environmental monitoring of early warning indicators that can assess that balance. It will provide decision-makers with a AI-based Environmental Surveillance System able to support adequate and timely decisions and providing effective recovery measures of aquatic ecosystems health (and consequently human health) adequate for different scenarios, including climate changes. OneAquaHealth will involve all relevant stakeholders in the process raising their awareness to the importance of urban streams and rivers and supporting them with adequate digital tools to guarantee environmental monitoring beyond the project duration.

About funding

Funding bodies: European Commission

Funding program: Horizon Europe



Created May 9, 2024, 1:57 p.m.

Updated May 9, 2024, 2:04 p.m.

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