The Field Building Leadership Initiative was a major five-year initiative to build the field of Ecohealth in Southeast Asia. It was funded primarily by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) with match funding from participating institutions. The Initiative's long-term vision is to build a well-established field of Ecohealth that is sustainable, institutionalized, influential in global processes that drive environmental and health policy and practice, and supported by a strong community of practice. The project included research, capacity building, knowledge translation and networking. Veterinarians without Borders-Canada wass ideally placed to help drive such initiatives because of our unique strengths in building connections between animal, human and environmental health.
By applying ecohealth approaches – the transdisciplinary and systems study of dynamic relationships and interactions among animals, ecosystems and human health--to research and development the project contributed to more sustainable agricultural practices and livelihoods as well as healthier people and environments. Six principles were consciously applied throughout this initiative: Systems Thinking; Transdisciplinary Research; Participation; Sustainability; Gender and Social Equity; and Knowledge to Action.