Why the Nagoya Protocol matters for biodiversity and community health

The long hello

Adopted on 29 October 2010 during the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) (short Nagoya Protocol) finally reached more than 50 ratifications on 12 October – after years of negotiations. As an supplementary agreement to the CBD the Nagoya Protocol aims to support the implementation of the third CBD objective: the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. The Nagoya Protocol can be seen as a key achievement for sustainable development since it provides a transparent legal framework for users and providers on accessing, trading, sharing and monitoring the use of genetic resources.

The Nagoya Protocol requires user countries to take legal, administrative and policy measures ensuring compliance with the access and benefit-sharing law of provider countries. This implies measures to ensure fair and equitable benefit sharing from the use of traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources as well as genetic resources held by indigenous and local communities. This is supposed to be based on mutually agreed terms (MAT). Besides, countries commit themselves to introduce measures to ensure to obtain a prior and informed consent (PIC) or approval and involvement of respective indigenous and local communities before accessing traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources. This also includes genetic resources, where communities have the established right to grant access. Besides, when implementing the provisions on traditional knowledge, countries are called upon considering customary laws, community protocols and procedures of indigenous and local communities and to actively support the development of community protocols on ABS and traditional knowledge.

In light of this tremebiodiversityndous step, the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol (COP-MOP) took place in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea, from 13 to 17 October 2014.

Read more about the relevance of the Nagoya Protocol for the Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative here

Learn more about the Nagoya Protocol and its implications for the effective implementation of the CBD here

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Making the connections: environmental degradation’s impact on exotic diseases such as Ebola

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The Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative through its multiple partners strongly advocates in international policy forums to address pressing development priorities and challenges through acknowledging and fostering the linkages between biodiversity and health. In light of the current Ebola outbreak, one of the areas of main concern addressed by the EcoHealth Alliance – a BaCH Initiative partner – is the influence of environmental degradation and climate change on Ebola-like catastrophes as well as inherent functional chains. As such during the most recent Twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 12) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD-COP 12) from 6 – 17 October 2014 in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea, the BaCH Initiative strongly emphasised the need for a “One Health”. In doing so, the BaCH Initiative highlights the need to acknowledge that human disease and biodiversity loss share common drivers, providing opportunities for cross-sectoral collaboration for co-benefits for health and biodiversity.

Find out more about BaCH’s engagement in promoting a ‘One Health’ approach at the CBD-COP 12 here

Biodiversity, food security, nutrition and income through home gardens

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The Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative’s partner Bioversity International started a home garden initiative in Nepal in 2002. Based on support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in collaboration with Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD) and other partners, the initiative studied how home gardens can contribute to biodiversity, food security, nutrition and household income.

A recent impact study highlights following results:

  • Home gardeners see their yields nearly triple from 300kg per year to as much as 900kg per year.
  • Biodiversity increased in the home gardens of participating households, with 66 species under cultivation as compared to fewer than 40 species before the project.
  • Farmers now maintain higher plant diversity and cultivate a greater range of plant groups – vegetables, fruits, spices, medicinal herbs, fodder and ornamentals.
  • More households are selling their garden products and participating households doubled their overall consumption of produce.

Read more about the partners involved and the scaling up of the project here.

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Shaping international policy towards biodiversity conservation and human health

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The Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative’s partners are synergising efforts towards linking biodiversity and human healthThe Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) and the World Health Organization (WHO) jointly with other key partners and experts drafted the State of Knowledge Review on the Interlinkages between Biodiversity and Human Health. This flagship publication covers all relevant issues at the biodiversity and health nexus such as agricultural biodiversity and food security, water and air quality, nutrition and health, traditional medicine and biodiversity, and health care and pharmaceuticals.

Find out more about our partner’s involvement here. Read the draft chapters AND/or provide your comments here.

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A flagship for linking biodiversity and health

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The Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative’s overall goal is to foster the linkages between biodiversity and health for sustainable development. In light of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 the BaCH Initiative highlights how international development goals can be reached through an integrated approach. Bringing together key agencies including the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) and Bioversity International, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) jointly with the World Health Organization (WHO) will launch the State of Knowledge Review during the upcoming twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties in October 2014.

Read the draft and/or get involved and participate in the peer review process of this flagship publication here 

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Why conserving agrobiodiversity matters – the Sri Lankan case

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The Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative’s partner Bioversity International is coordinating the Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Project (B4FN) – a multi-country, multi-partner initiative led by Brazil, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Turkey and funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Part of the B4FN’s pioneering work is to raise awareness for the importance of agricultural biodiversity for food and nutrition and a sustainable diets at large. Learn more about the work in Sri Lanka by watching the short clip here

 

Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience

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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

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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.

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Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative receives international recognition

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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.