CBD and WHO Joint Work Program on Health and Biodiversity

Health is often considered as a basic human right, and is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as not simply being free from illness, but in a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. Biodiversity can be considered as the foundation for human health as it underpins the functioning of the ecosystems on which we depend for our food and fresh water; aids in regulating climate, floods and disease; provides recreational benefits and offers aesthetic and spiritual enrichment. Biodiversity also contributes to local livelihoods, to both traditional and modern medicines and to economic development.

All human health ultimately depends on ecosystem services that are made possible by biodiversity and the products derived from them. While the inter-linkages between biodiversity, ecosystem services and human health are inherently complex, inter-disciplinary research is aiming to develop a more thorough understanding of these essential relationships.

At its tenth meeting in 2010, the Conference of the Parties(COP) adopted, in decision X/2, the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 with 20 global targets known as the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, to guide national and international efforts to conserve biodiversity. While all the Targets have potential linkages to health and well-being, Aichi Target 14 focuses explicitly on ecosystem services that contribute to health, livelihoods and well-being. Actions that support implementation of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets provide opportunities to improve both global human health and ecosystem health. In that perspective, the COP also adopted a decision calling on the Secretariat of the Convention to further strengthen collaboration with the World Health Organization as well as other relevant organizations and initiatives with a view to promoting the consideration of biodiversity issues in health programmes and plans as appropriate, including the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, and as a contribution to the achievement of other global commitments. By 2012, with a strengthened mandate for global cooperation on biodiversity and health, the Secretariat’s Joint Work Programme on Biodiversity and Health with the World Health Organization was formally established pursuant to COP decision XII/21.
Continue reading…..- https://www.cbd.int/health/

Inter-linkages between Human Health and Biodiversity in the ASEAN Region – A Regional Workshop

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New!! A Regional Workshop to Address Inter-linkages between Human Health and Biodiversity in the ASEAN Region was held on 5-7 November 2018 in Manila, Philippines. The workshop was part of a series of regional capacity-building workshops jointly convened by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat and WHO to address issues at the intersection of biodiversity and human health; bringing together representatives from ministries of health and those responsible for biodiversity conservation. The broad objective of the workshop was to support countries in mainstreaming critical linkages at the biodiversity-health nexus and their relevance to the Strategic Plan and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets; to support countries in mainstreaming biodiversity in public health strategies; and to incorporate public health considerations in biodiversity strategies and SDGs. This was particularly significant in the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity-Conference of Parties (COP14), in Sharm el sheikh, Egypt (17 – 29 November 2018) which had biodiversity and health prominently in its agenda, demonstrating the political momentum in the global setting on linking biodiversity and human health.

The workshop was attended by representatives from ASEAN Member States (AMS) from the health and environment ministries through the Senior Officials Meeting on Health Development (SOMHD) and the ASEAN Working Group on Nature Conservation and Biodiversity (AWGNCB) sectoral bodies. In particular, representatives from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand as well as by representatives from the Health Division and the Environment Division of the ASEAN Secretariat participated in the workshop. The workshop was co-hosted by the Department of Environment of Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Health (DOH) of the Philippines and co-organized by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), the World Health Organization (WHO), ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) and the United Nations University – International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH)

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