The United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), a leading partner of the Biodiversity and Community Health Initiative (BacH),has been advocating for a more holistic approach to measure the quality of life over the last decade. Read more about why sustainable development and green growth requires to look beyond the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a proxy indicator of a nation’s welfare here
Despite the recognition for the linkages between biodiversity and health, there is a need to further strengthen traditional understanding and practices relating to health at the community level. Such a comprehensive assessment of the many factors contributing to health—including biological resources, knowledge and human resources, socio-cultural resources and related policy processes—should involve attention to medicinal plant and animal products, dietary and nutritional aspects, access to these resources, ecosystem integrity, landscape values, rights of practitioners and opportunities for livelihood enhancement. Read more about how the Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative was launched during the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 11) in Hyderabad, India in October 2012 here in Traffic’s webstory
The UNDP Equator Initiative, one of the Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative’s partners, awarded the Medicinal Plants Association for its ground-breaking work on protecting and cultivating endemic species of medicinal plants in the St. Catherine Reserve in Sinai, Egypt with the Equator Prize. By creating a market supply chains for locally produced medicinal herbs, handicrafts and honey, the association creates sustainable livelihood alternatives. Find out more about the association’s work with the Bedouin population on sustainable harvesting, biodiversity and ecosystem health for local wellbeing here.