Contributions of Biodiversity to SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing

Nearly 1 in 4 of total global deaths is attributed to environmental risk factors. The link between biodiversity and human health is increasingly recognized. Many pests and diseases are consequences of ecosystem disturbance. Healthy ecosystems help to mitigate the spread and impact of pollution by both sequestering and eliminating certain types of air, water and soil pollution. Forests regulate water flow and improve water quality. Further, many medicines have been derived from biological products and a substantial proportion of the world’s population depends on traditional medicines derived from biodiversity for their health care needs.

In addition to these direct links, there are many indirect links between biodiversity and human health. For example, diverse agricultural ecosystems contribute to sustainable production increases and to the reduced use of pesticides and other chemical inputs, all of which can have positive impacts on human health. Minimizing unnecessary disturbance to natural systems can help to avoid or mitigate the potential emergence of new pathogens and reduce the risk and incidence of infectious diseases, including zoonotic and vector-borne diseases.

Related SDG 3 Targets

  • SDG Target 3.9: By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination (related to Aichi Targets: 8, 13, 14, 16, 18)

Relevant Aichi Biodiversity Targets
Pollution reduced
Safeguarding genetic diversity
14. Ecosystem services
Access to and sharing benefits from genetic resources
Traditional knowledge

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