Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience


The 2014 Human Development Report ‘Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerability and Building Resilience’ was just launched in Tokyo today! This year’s report calls once more for universal provision of social services and stronger policies for social protection and full employment to advance and secure development progress. According to this years’ HDR 1.2 billion people live with $1.25 or less a day and almost 1.5 billion people in 91 developing countries are living in poverty with overlapping deprivations in health, education and living standards. Learn more about structural vulnerabilities and ways to strengthen resilience here.

Find the media package here

For previous HDR’s see here

2014 Sustainability Champion Award through the FairWild Standard


The Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative’s partner TRAFFIC along with other partners of the FairWild Foundation developed the FairWild Standard – a pioneering tool to promote biodiversity conservation through sustainable use. The certification system is applied globally to assess the harvest and trade of wild medicinal plants and ensure a sustainable and fair management. More and more pioneering companies such as Pukka Herbs Ltd. focusing on ethical and sustainable practice are sourcing FairWild-certified wild plant ingredients and helping to shape ethical consumerism. That lead Pukka Herbs Ltd. to become a winner at the 2014 2degrees Sustainable Business Champions awards.

Learn more about the award and TRAFFIC’s involvement here. Read more about the FairWild Standard’s genesis here.


Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative receives international recognition


Spreading the good news again, read more about the recent statement of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) on the importance of addressing issues around biodiversity, food and health as well as the Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative here.

The Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit-sharing of genetic resources will enter into force


The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) agreed in October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan will enter into force on October 12 2014. The protocol finally reached 51 of 50 required ratifications to enter into force. Against the background of the Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative’s work on linking biodiversity, health, traditional knowledge and livelihoods, the protocol plays an important role towards achieving international development goals. Through implementing the Nagoya Protocol the international community hopes to “create incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity while guaranteeing equity in the sharing of benefits” (CBD Executive Secretary Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias). The first meeting of parties to the protocol will be held during the upcoming twelfth Conference of Parties of the CBD from 13-17 October in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Learn more about the protocol here and find a full list of signatories and ratifications here. Read more about capacity development measures focused on implementing the Nagoya Protocol here.

Shedding light on the concept of commons through pratcical expieriences


As part of the Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) InitiativeUNU-IAS is contributing its long-standing experience in policy research, advocacy and capacity development for sustainable development. Highlighting the social, economic and environmental dimensions, UNU-IAS has been addressing key issues around biodiversity and is fostering the linkages to health through the BaCH Initiative. Here, questions and implications around the use of common resources are playing a significant role. The recent UNU Our World issue covers a brilliant overview called ‘Documenting the commons’. Learn more about UNU’s work on commons, a Japanese experience and  read some thoughts on the future of commons here.

International recognition for the Biodiversity and Community Health Initiative


During the last meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) in Montreal, the international community recognised the relevance of our work once more! It was further highlighted that cross-cutting initiatives on biodiversity, food, nutrition and health are key to reach international development goals. Together with our partner Bioversity International, we were acknowledged for our work to foster the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 and achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, in particular Target 14. Read the statement here and find out more about the linkages between health and biodiversity here.


Using medicinal plants for animal health to ensure healthy and sustainable dairy products


The Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative’s partners just facilitated a successful experience exchange enabling Dutch farmers and veterinarians to visit the Institute of Ayurvedic and Integrated Medicine (I-­AIM) in Bangalore, India. This exchange is part of a series of activities to assist the Dutch livestock sector to reduce antibiotic use by 70% till the end of this year. Watch the short clip and find out more about this main steps towards sustainable dairy products without antibiotics and its impact on our health and animals here.

Learn more about the exchange here. For further information on the project see here.

World Forest Week

World Forest Week

The Committee on Forestry of the FAO brings together heads of forest services and other senior government officials to identify emerging policy and technical issues, to seek solutions and to advise FAO and others on appropriate action. Right now, the COFO is being held in conjunction with World Forest Week – a series of meetings and events sponsored by FAO and its partner organisations and institutions. The World Forest Week is an opportunity for sharing knowledge and best practices. Find out more about the agenda here.

Watch COFO 22 live by webcast each day in six languages, starting from 10:00 CET here.

Medicine in the Mountains: Health and Development in High Asia


If you happen to be in Berlin this week, join the Tibet Colloquim highlighting ‘Medicine in the Mountains’ and issues around health and development in High Asia on 25 June 2014. Drs. Sienna Craig and Kenneth Bauer will discuss their forthcoming monograph, Medicine in the Drawing from decades of field experience in the Himalayas and Tibet. Both will highlight case studies on health care in high altitude but also emphasise the role of local cultural histories and ideals – an issue which the Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative is addressing globally. Find out more about the event here.