Traditional Healthcare methods in India & Sri Lanka


As part of its work to promote cross-border dialogue and understanding, the Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative’s partner COMPAS published a paper jointly with the Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems in 2006. The paper which is part of the COMPAS series on Worldviews and sciences highlights different traditional knowledge systems in both countries as well as their current relevance and applications. Learn more about traditional knowledge on snake bite treatment, traditional orthopaedic practices and many other key issues here

Capacity Development for Endogenous Development beyond borders


Find out more about the groundbreaking work of the Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative’s partner COMPAS (COMPAring and Supporting endogenous development). This pioneering network is supporting field programmes of Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and Non-GovernmentalOrganisations (NGOs) to develop, test and improve the endogenous development approach in dialogue with modern western based science. As such, COMPAS systematises the experiences in such a way that other NGOs and government agencies can make use of the endogenous development approach. Intercultural dialogues amongst CBOs, NGOs, universities and research centres across countries and continents are facilitated to enable systematisation beyond the national level. COMPAS’ vast work covers issues related to: AgricultureBiodiversity conservationCommunity protocolsEducationLivelihoodsSacred natural sitesTraditional leadership and Traditional Medicine

Find out more here

“What Role Should Traditional Medicine Play in Public Health Policy?”


Emilia Janska, a former UNU-IAS Postdoctoral Fellow dedicated her research to traditional medicine practices and the efforts to integrate them in the local public health system. In her UNU-IAS Working Paper, Emilia takes stock of the role of traditional and alternative complementary medicine highlighting four case studies, two from developed countries (Japan, Canada) and two from developing countries (Peru, Trinidad and Tobago). To find out more about experiences, differing approaches, possible obstacles, and best practices in integrating traditional knowledge into national health policies or creating multi-stakeholder partnerships read more here

Read more about Emilia’s Diary from the field here

The value of traditional medicine for achieving the MDGs


The Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative’s partner the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) through its Biodiplomacy Initiative pioneered a programme investigating modalities to integrate traditional medical knowledge into the public health systems of developing countries almost a decade ago back in 2004. Ever since UNU-IAS has been synergising leading expert’s experience and expertise to explore ways on how to integrate traditional medicine in public health to address the lack of health care in a mutually respectful, culturally sensitive way.

For further information on the programme see here

Health and Biodiversity


We rely on biodiversity to stay healthy. Biodiversity sustains our food supply, is a source of medicines, and supports the provision of clean air and fresh water while also contributing to economic development, cultural and spiritual enrichment.

The Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative’s partner the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) briefly highlights facts for the linkage between health and biodiversity. Read more here

How Our Health Depends on Biodiversity


Eric Chivian M.D., founder and director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School jointly with his colleague Aaron Bernstein M.D., M.P.H. are emphasising the essential role of biodiversity for our health within the short summary of their award-winning Oxford University Press book ‘Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity‘. The book was co-sponsored by the BaCH Initiative’s partners SCBD, UNEP and UNDP as well as IUCN. Both authors prepared the summary for the United Nations on the occasion of the International Year of Biodiversity to stress the drastic impact of biodiversity loss on human health.

Read more here

Subscribe for the ‘elixir of life’


Amruth literally means ‘elixir of life‘. It is also a Sanskrit synonym for Tinospora cordifolia, a wonder plant known for its rejuvenating properties.To raise awareness for the crucial role of medicinal plants and sustainable management of these resources, FRLHT – one of the Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative’s key partners publishes a bi-monthly, English-language magazine. Amruth is taps India’s rich native medical heritage and is as such fully devoted to issues, news and features relating to all aspects of the conservation of medicinal plants.

Subscribe here

Our Planet Our Health Our future


The discussion paper was jointly launched by Margaret Chan and Braulio Diaz at the Rio +20 Conference on Sustainable Development as a result of a unique collaboration between WHO, CBD, UNFCCC and UNCCD. Building on their vast experience the authors highlightthe potential of the three so-called Rio Conventions arising from the 1992 Earth Summit – the CBD, the UNFCC and the UNCCD to jointly maintain well-functioning ecosystems for the benefit of humanity. Read more here