UNEP and India collaborate on AMR in the environment

19 August 2021 | Muriel Cozier

‘AMR in the environment is an issue inadequately recognised by stakeholders…’

The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have launched a collaborative project which is aimed at recognizing and addressing the environmental dimension of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The collaborative project: ‘Priorities for the Environmental Dimension of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in India,’ aims to strengthen environmental aspects of national and state-level AMR strategies and action plans. It will carry out secondary research and stakeholder consultations to improve understanding of the environmental dimension of AMR in India. UNEP added that the work will also contribute to a regional brief on the impact of environment on AMR, which is being prepared by its Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.

ICMR-National Institute for Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) will implement the project. NICED will generate information on environmental risk factors for developing AMR, spread of AMR and strategies for its containment. This will provide guidance on collective action and policy, UNEP said.

Since 2017, the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) has recognised AMR as an increasing threat to global health, food, security, and sustainable development. As such, it underlined the need for further research to understand the role of environment in the development and spread of AMR. UNEP is working to provide evidence that can inform national and global strategies.

India’s Government commented ‘AMR in the environment is an issue inadequately recognised by stakeholders. It is critical to understand that we have to engage with the environment as an important part of our AMR response.’

During June 2021, the European Food Safety Authority published an assessment of the role played by food production, and its environment in the emergence and spread of AMR.

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