For the first time the 4th International One Health Congress and 6th Biennial Congress of the International Association for Ecology and Health will merge to deliver its first combined congress, One Health EcoHealth 2016 in Melbourne.

Taking place tomorrow, from 3-7 December 2016 at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) the scientific meeting will bring together researchers, policy makers and practitioners who are working towards integrated approaches and effective responses to complex global health issues.

Secured by Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) with support from the Director for Geelong Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases and Club Melbourne Ambassador, Professor Martyn Jeggo, OneHealth EcoHealth 2016 is expected to attract over 850 delegates to the State, generating $4.44 million in economic contribution.

The strength of Melbourne's scientific community, combined with the collaborative approach between scientific institutions was a major factor for Melbourne being chosen as the host destination.

"Melbourne is a city that truly embraces collaboration for the overall betterment of an industry sector as well as the city," MCB Chief Executive Officer, Karen Bolinger said.

"Melbourne Convention Bureau fostered collaboration between CSIRO, Geelong Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases, CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Deakin University and Barwon Health to bring this event to Melbourne. This cooperation demonstrates a unified commitment to advancing the field right here in our own backyard.

"This congress will be an opportunity to showcase our city's local talent as well as attract global expertise to the state, all committed to advancing global health and the health of people, animals and ecosystems," Ms Bolinger said.

Professor Martyn Jeggo said the congress is hoping to bring together members of governments, international organisations and the global medical industry in order to establish networks and research collaborations.

"Keeping government bodies in touch with the latest research could translate to effective and positive social change, which is one of the main goals of this congress.

"It is also important for Melbourne to implement new policy to ensure that we retain our international reputation as the world's most liveable city - a crown we have retained for the last six years. It is quite possible that in the future the criteria for the index may change to include environmental factors," Professor Jeggo said.

MCEC Chief Executive, Peter King said Melbourne's successful bid was in part thanks to City of Melbourne and MCEC and MCB's commitment to leading and supporting corporate social responsibility and environmental initiatives within the business events industry.

"This year, MCEC was certified Gold by sustainability benchmarking organisation, EarthCheck, and our Convention Centre was the first venue of its kind to be awarded a 6 Star Green Star environmental rating by the Green Building Council of Australia," Mr King said.

"Every day at MCEC our team works hard to ensure that our venue leads the way in operational sustainability, from eliminating the use of plastic water bottles in all of our catering to delivering on initiatives that reduce the amount of waste that ends up as landfill.

"It's encouraging to see event organisers recognising the value of hosting their events within a sustainable operating environment, and we look forward to working to reduce the environmental footprint of events even more in the future," Mr King added.

About One Health

The aim of One Health is to improve health and well-being through the prevention of risks and the mitigation of effects of crises that originate at the interface between humans, animals and diverse environments. One Health promotes coordinated, collaborative, cross-sectoral, and ‘whole-of-society' approaches to health hazards.

About EcoHealth

EcoHealth is a transdisciplinary research field that aims to improve the health of people, animals and ecosystems to address complex challenges facing our Planet. EcoHealth emphasises understanding of social and ecological systems and drivers of social determinants of health and ecosystem changes holistically.