CBD> Health and Biodiversity

Introduction to 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, 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, 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.

The current rate of biodiversity loss may potentially have grave consequences and hamper efforts to meet a range of sustainable development goals, including those related to poverty, hunger and health, by increasing the vulnerability of the poor and reducing their options for sustainable development. The poor and the marginalized, in particular children, will suffer first and most severely as they rely directly on biodiversity and associated ecosystem services for their very survival.
 
Our fundamental reliance on biodiversity and ecosystem services offers significant opportunities to more consistently recognize and manage biodiversity’s services for human health and to contribute to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use at all scales. We can improve our understanding of the complex linkages between biodiversity, ecosystem services and human health as well as promote co-benefits through joint policies and implementation activities by strengthening collaboration with the health sector and better integrating biodiversity into national health strategies and programmes and health into national biodiversity strategies and activities.

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 Health and Biodiversity at COP 12
                                              
                                             
 
                                               Health documents at COP 12:   
                                           

                                               Interlinkages between Biodiversity and Human Health 
                                              
                                               State of knowledge review on biodiversity and health
       
                                          
     
                                               Health Side events at COP 12:

               
                                                Summary of health-related side events at COP 12                                               

                                               Tackling the common drivers of disease: A One Health Approach 
                                               7 October 2014, 18:30-19-45                              

                                               Framing biodiversity and human health in the context of the post-2015 Development Agenda
                                               8 October 2014, 13:15-14:45

                                              
Health Documents for COP 11: 

Cooperation with other conventions, international organizations and initiatives
     
Collaborative and mainstreaming activities with the health sector: progress report

COP 11 Press Brief - Health and Biodiversity 
     
Health Side Events at COP 11:


Summary of health-related side events at COP 11

"Biodiversity and Health: Strengthening Synergies and Collaboration" side event flyer     
Monday 8 October at 13:15

Healthy Planet, Healthy People Guide 
Wednesday 10 October at 13:15

Cities and Biodiversity Outlook; released! For more information click here
Global Launch Event Monday 15 October at 10:35
Panel Discussion Tuesday 16 October at 11:15
 
  
Last updated in October 2014