Bracing for superbugs: strengthening environmental action in the one health response to antimicrobial resistance

Up to 10 million people could die annually by 2050 due to anti-microbial resistance (AMR), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said in this report, highlighting the need to curtail pollution created by the pharmaceuticals, agricultural and healthcare sectors. 

The report Bracing for Superbugs: Strengthening environmental action in the One Health response to antimicrobial resistance provides evidence that the environment plays a key role in the development, transmission and spread of AMR. Prevention is at the core of the action and environment is a key part of the solution. The report aims to demystify and unpack the different, while interconnected, aspects of the environmental dimensions of AMR, offering a comprehensive overview of scientific findings on the subject. It provides actionable evidence of the importance of the environment in the development, transmission and spread of AMR, and it shows that environmental dimensions of AMR are multifaceted and the response rests on collaboration between sectors. A concerted systems approach such as “One Health,” which recognizes that the health of people, animals, plants and the environment are closely linked and interdependent, is the approach needed to tackle it.