Despite the multiplicity of policies, goals and targets with regard to health, environment and development, we are still far from achieving their objectives, chiefly because health development focuses more on biomedicine than on broader determinants and inter-sectoral linkages to health. The mainstream system therefore, inadequately recognizes pluralistic approaches.
However, with diversity of choice becoming more important, and with academics and the public increasingly concurring that any single system of knowledge cannot solve the mounting problems of humanity, broad goals and indicators for development are often criticized for their “universal” approach. Experts argue that a primary health care (PHC) approach and the goal of universal health access are essential to achieve MDGs and this should be through appropriate, acceptable and affordable health care.
In line with the key tenets of a primary health care (PHC) approach, this also calls for promoting community and individual self-reliance through a participatory approach and making appropriate use of local resources.
The following three of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) focus on health and others:
|MDG 4 – Reduce child mortality by two-thirds by 2015|
|MDG 5 – Reduce maternal mortality by 75 per cent|
|MDG 6 – Tackle HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis|
In the table below, we highlight the specific goals and targets that pertain to health related MDGs with remarks on their relevance to community-based approaches using traditional medicine and biological resources to achieve health security and development aims.
Here, we outline potential areas of engagement of traditional medicine or community resource governance mechanisms with relevant targets of each of the goals, and relate the same to the Aichi targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
We believe that such areas of engagement based on sustainable use of natural resources, improving health, nutrition and livelihoods will have a positive effect on the welfare of local communities.
MDGs and Aichi Targets – Linkages and Potential Areas of Engagement with Traditional Medicine, Nutrition and Governance*
|Goal||Relevant Targets||Potential Areas of
|Aichi Targets of the CBD and
||T1, 2, 4, 13, 18,19 (Awareness of values of biodiversity, poverty reduction strategies, sustainable production and consumption, genetic diversity, local traditional knowledge, increase knowledge, S&T) T4, 6, 7, 8, 13,18 (Sustainable production and consumption, sustainable harvesting, sustainable management, pollution reduction, genetic diversity, local traditional knowledge) T1, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 18, 19 (Awareness of values of biodiversity, sustainable management, reduce pollution, invasive alien species, vulnerable ecosystems, prevention of extinctions, genetic diversity, ecosystem resilience, local traditional knowledge, increase knowledge, S&T)|
|Goal 4: Reduce
(Reduce under-five mortality rate)
||T1, 14, 18, 19 (Awareness of values of biodiversity, ecosystem services, local traditional knowledge, increase knowledge, S&T)|
|Goal 5: Improve
(Reduce maternal mortality ratio)
(Universal access to reproductive health)
||T12, 14, 18, 19 (Prevention in extinctions, ecosystem services, local traditional knowledge, increase knowledge, S&T)|
|Goal 6: Combat
(Halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS)
(Universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS)
(Halt and begin to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases by 2015)
||T5, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20 (Reduction in habitat loss, sustainable management, pollution reduction, genetic diversity, ecosystem services, ecosystem resilience, local traditional knowledge, increase knowledge, S&T, increase in financial resources)|
|Goal 7: Ensure
(Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving by 2010 a significant reduction in the rate of loss)
(Reduce proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation)
||T3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 18, 19 (Reduction in negative subsidies, sustainable production and consumption, reduction in habitat loss, sustainable harvesting, sustainable management, pollution reduction, invasive alien species, ecosystem services, ecosystem resilience, local traditional knowledge, increase knowledge, S&T)|
|Goal 8: Develop
(Develop trading and financial system) Target 8.E
(Enhance co–operation for access to essential drugs)
||T19, 20 (Increase knowledge, S&T,
increase in financial resources)
|1||Aichi biodiversity targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity: T1 (awareness of values of biodiversity), T2 (poverty reduction strategies), T3 (reduction of negative subsidies), T4 (sustainable production and consumption), T5 (reduction in habitat loss), T6 (sustainable harvesting), T7 (sustainable management), T8 (reduction in pollution), T9 (invasive alien species), T10 (vulnerable ecosystems), T11 (protected areas), T12 (prevention of extinctions), T13 (genetic diversity), T14 (ecosystem services), T15 (ecosystem resilience), T16 (Nagoya Protocol), T17 (Adoption and implementation of NBSAPs), T18 (local/ traditional knowledge), T19 (increase knowledge, S&T), T20 (increase financial resources). For more information, please see https://www.cbd.int/sp/targets/ .|
|2||Studies indicate that around 60 per cent of deliveries are carried out solely by traditional birth attendants in the developing world.|