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The initiative

The challenge

The greatest burden on human health and livelihoods, amounting globally to about 1 billion cases of illness and millions of deaths every year, is caused by epidemic and endemic zoonoses that are persistent regional health problems around the world. Zoonoses have their origin in pathogens hosted by animals (wildlife and domestic animals) and are a substantial threat to global health and global security. They have caused economic damages exceeding hundreds of billions of US dollars in the past 20 years and this number will still rise with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has already a cost estimated at more than 11,700 billion dollars. Zoonotic agents also represent the largest number of infectious disease agents in humans and projections indicate that their number might significantly increase in the future.

Thus, it is now time to act far ahead of epidemic and pandemic crises by implementing ambitious scientific and operational programs dedicated to the prevention of zoonotic diseases' emergence and spread, before they have reached human populations.

The vision and mission

In line with the recommendations of the report on biodiversity and pandemics published by IPBES (2020), PREZODE supports science-based policies aiming at risk mitigation of zoonotic diseases emergence. PREZODE will help coordinate a large portfolio of regional, national and international projects and programs concerning the emergence of zoonotic infectious diseases and implement innovative methods to improve prevention and mitigate emergence risks. 

The initiative will support science-based transitions towards adapted and resilient socio-ecosystems, reducing the risks of zoonotic emergence while increasing biodiversity and fighting against poverty and food insecurity. PREZODE will develop:

• A framework for the international coordination of research and innovation projects and programs, of One Health monitoring networks, and of participatory projects with stakeholders; 

• A platform for sharing knowledge brought by past, current and future projects and capitalizing on experimentations across world regions;

• An online resource center for decision-makers to enable public policies supporting emergence risk reduction strategies for zoonotic infectious diseases.


Vimbiso Chidoti (Univ. Of Zimbabwe) weighs a captured bat in a bag while Hélène De Nys (CIRAD-ASTRE) observes the process. The bats will then be released. Hurungwe site. © IRD-Cirad - Angela Jimu, CAZCOM project


PREZODE is an international One Health initiative supporting emergence risk reduction strategies for zoonotic infectious diseases. PREZODE will integrate research on animal, human and environmental health to better understand zoonotic emergence risks, co-design with stakeholders monitoring and early warning systems, and support science-based policies aiming at risk mitigation of zoonotic diseases emergence.

Launched in January 2021 during the One Planet Summit on Biodiversity, PREZODE has received support from the FAO and the President of the European Commission, as well as expressions of interest from a large number of research organizations and universities internationally. In 2021, the initiative will be developed through a co-design process of the strategic agenda and of the governance, in consultation with all stakeholders (international organizations, countries, national and regional authorities, research and development partners, funders, other initiatives), before being launched operationally in 2022. PREZODE will follow the recommendations of the forthcoming High-Level Expert Panel on One Health of the Tripartite +.

VIDEO: Building the PREZODE international initiative for Preventing Zoonotic Disease Emergence. Extract of the Plenary Session (18/12/2020) and of regional workshops (14-17/12/2020).

Launched at the One Planet Summit on biodiversity

French President Emmanuel Macron announced the initiative on 11 January 2021, at the One Planet Summit organized by the French government.

You can watch the video where:

One Planet Summit

French President Emmanual Macron announces the launch of PREZODE initiative during the One Planet Summit, 11/01/2021

They said

FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu noted during the One Planet Summit for biodiversity in Paris that the Organization welcomes the PREZODE (PREventing ZOonotic Disease Emergence) initiative and he added that PREZODE can count on FAO's fieldwork and global experience, citing the One Health "ECTAD" network of over 400 animal health experts working in 36 African and Asian countries as an example, as well as the Organization's reference centers, and laboratory surveillance program.


European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen emphasized the need to work “closely with our international partners on research - in the spirit of the PREZODE initiative launched by France and the Member States, which the European Commission welcomes