About the Interagency Liaison Group

The Interagency Liaison Group (ILG) on biodiversity and health was established pursuant to a memorandum of understanding concluded between the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in July 2015, under the CBD-WHO Joint work Programme on Biodiversity and Health.

The ILG on biodiversity and health is co-chaired by the WHO and the CBD Secretariat.

The aim of the group is to enhance cooperation, promote knowledge exchange and support implementation of the interlinkages between biodiversity and human health, with a view to maximizing health and biodiversity co-benefits, addressing trade-offs, and reducing the common drivers of ecosystem change, biodiversity loss and negative health outcomes.

Activities of the ILG on biodiversity and health during its first meeting were made possible thanks to financial contributions from the European Union, the WHO and in-kind contributions from members and experts of the ILG.

First Meeting of the Interagency Liaison Group on Biodiversity and Health

The first meeting of the Group was held on 4-5 May, 2017 at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. For further information on the first meeting, select the tab below

The Interagency Liaison Group on biodiversity and health held its first meeting pursuant to COP 13 Decision Decision XIII/6 . The first meeting of the Group was held on 4-5 May, 2017 at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The report of the first meeting of the Group is available here, as well as the presentation.

Second Meeting of the Interagency Liaison Group on Biodiversity and Health

The Second Meeting of the Interagency Liaison Group took place from 4-6 May 2020 and was held online in preparation for CBD COP 15 and UNFCCC COP 26.

The meeting focused on three main themes:
1) New WHO Guidance on mainstreaming biodiversity for nutrition and health;
2) Aligning the narrative on biodiversity and health in the context of COVID-19;
3) Draft Global Plan of Action on Biodiversity and Health to be presented to the forthcoming meeting of the CBD's science body (SBSTTA 24) for consideration by Parties at the 15th Conference of the Parties.

The WHO webpage related to the joint programme of work can be accessed here.

WHO-IUCN Expert Working Group on Biodiversity, Climate, One Health and Nature-based Solutions

The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity is also a member of the newly-established WHO-IUCN Expert Working Group on Biodiversity, Climate, One Health and Nature-based Solutions, established in March 2021. The Expert Working Group builds upon and expands the scope of work carried out by the Inter-agency Liaison Group on biodiversity and health, co-chaired by WHO and the Convention on Biological Diversity between 2015 and 2020.

First Meeting of the Interagency Liaison Group on Biodiversity & Health

The first meeting of the Group was held on 4-5 May, 2017 at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

The report of the first meeting of the Group is available here. The outcomes of the first meeting of the interagency liaison group are also presented in the document on biodiversity and human health prepared for the twenty-first meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 21).

The document on biodiversity and health, CBD/SBSTTA/21/4, is available in all official languages on the SBSTTA 21 website.

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Available presentations for the First meeting of the Interagency Liaison group on biodiversity and health are available below.

Presentations

CORE MEMBERS AND EXPERT OBSERVERS

Core membership of the Interagency Liaison Group on Biodiversity and Health is comprised of designated representatives from UN agencies and partner international institutions. A select number of experts whose expertise is relevant to the activities of the Group, are also invited on an ad hoc basis, to attend meetings and, as applicable, participate in collaborative activities carried out by the Interagency Liaison Group.

Co-chairs:

UN Convention on Biological Diversity

World Health Organization, PHE

Institutional Core members:

UN agencies

UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

UN Environment (UNEP)

Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR)

United Nations University (UNU) represented by UNU International Institute for Global Health (UNU IIGH)

UN Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN)

World Health Organization and WHO regional offices (WHO)

International Organizations

CGIAR represented by Bioversity International (CGIAR)

Future Earth

International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Organization for Animal Health (OIE)

Expert observers

Experts from the following institutions were also invited to attend the first meeting of the Group:

Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC)

EcoHealth Alliance (EHA)

London School of hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ)

Planetary Health Alliance (PHA)

The Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission on Planetary Health

University of Canberra, Faculty of Health

Institute of Global Health, University of Geneva

World Bank Group

We are currently working to compile national case studies and best practices submitted by Parties in preparation for a second volume of Connecting Global Priorities: Biodiversity and Human Health. The new volume will be specifically targeted toward implementation of global commitments and bridging the science-policy interface. From Science to Implementation.

CASE STUDIES & BEST PRACTICES

Food Systems, Nutrition and Health

Infectious Diseases

Green Spaces, Urban Health and Noncommunicable Diseases

FACT SHEETS

GLOBAL

WHO Preventing disease through healthy environments: a global assessment of the burden of disease from environmental risks

New fact sheets based on the Global Assessment updated in 2016. Available in English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish.

THEMATIC

Food Security and Nutrition

Health Security

Equity and Urban Health

BIODIVERSITY & HEALTH

*CBD & WHO Fact Sheets on biodiversity and health

*COP 10 Series of Policy Briefs. 2010 by COHAB Initiative.

TOOLKITS

  • Greenspace and Ecohealth Toolkit Improving Health and Well-being through Greenspace Provision, Design and Access. (2017)
    Summary: This Toolkit includes a series of profiled case studies drawn from municipalities, public health and conservation agencies that have begun to make the connections between greenspace and community health. There are numerous examples across Ontario where municipalities and their partners have recognized the need for a healthy built environment. There are many opportunities to expand that scope and advance ecohealth in ways that systemically address greenspaces and ecological systems in our communities. The purpose of this Toolkit is to provide resources, guidance and assistance to those interested in making lasting improvements in community health through greenspace provision, access, and design.

Note: This page is still under construction and will be regularly updated.
Additional best practices, communication tools and resources identified by partners of the UN Biodiversity Convention's joint work programme on biodiversity and health with the World Health Organization or the Interagency Liaison Group on Biodiversity and Health will be added to this page as they are made available.

To submit your national case studies or for additional information on activities under the joint work programme and Interagency Liaison Group on Biodiversity and Health please direct any inquiries to: laetitia.sieffert@un.org and/or maierom@who.int.