Biodiversity and Health

What are the Linkages between Biodiversity and Health?


Biodiversity and human health are closely interlinked across a wide range of scales, from the planetary to that of individual human microbiota.

The interactions between biodiversity and health are manifested at multiple scales from individuals, through communities and landscapes to a planetary scale.

  • At the scale of the individual person, the human microbiota contributes to our nutrition, helps regulate our immune system, and prevent infection.

  • At the community level, many aspects of biodiversity support agricultural production and shape spiritual and cultural values.

  • The functioning and integrity of the biosphere at a planetary scale is also understood to depend on biodiversity. Ecosystems depend on a great diversity of organisms to provide the necessary services for life, including food, clean air, the quantity and quality of fresh water.

Biodiversity and human health are linked in many ways and the CBD/WHO State of Knowledge Review has identified six biodiversity and health topics: water; food and nutrition; diseases; medicines; physical, mental and cultural dimensions of health; adaptation to climate change.