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Health and Biodiversity
71st World Health Assembly
The World Health Assembly held its seventy-first meeting from 21-26 May 2018. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity contributed to the deliberations on "biodiversity and health" discussed for the first time in the history of the World Health Assembly in Committee A under the Agenda Item 11.4 on "Environment, Climate Change and Health". The Who report on biodiversity and health was discussed line with a decision of the Executive Board at its 142nd meeting. The Executive Board invited the Director-General submitted a report on the actions taken on the interlinkages between human health and biodiversity bearing in mind the state of knowledge review on biodiversity and human health, Connecting Global Priorities: Biodiversity and Human Health jointly led by WHO and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. This report provided guidance to Member States with a view to preparing WHO’s contribution to the Convention’s fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties due to be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, from 17 - 29 November 2018.
At the margins of the 71st World Health Assembly, the CBD Secretariat also contributed to a high level technical briefing on "Environment, Health and Climate Change".
The WHO report by the Director-General to the World Health Assembly is
The statement by the Executive Secretary made on the occasion of the 71st World Health Assembly is
The recording of the live streaming of Member State interventions on biodiversity and health is also
. Interventions on biodiversity and health can be found under the "Committee A" tab under agenda item 11.4, held on 22 May as well as in the opening session of 23 May 2018.
2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction
The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) held its fifth session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) from
22-26 May 2017
in Cancun, Mexico. The UN Biodiversity Convention Secretariat joined the GPDRR in several sessions, including several on health and disaster risk reduction.
A plenary working session on health and disaster risk reduction provided a platform to sensitize and mobilize Member States and key actors working in health, disaster risk reduction and development to identify ways and commit to working together to realize the objectives of the Sendai Framework at national and local levels and contribute to the achievement of the Sendai Framework targets, particularly Target (e) on developing comprehensive disaster risk reduction strategies and plans. The session will focus on sharing progress, challenges and lessons learned in applying the health aspects of Sendai Framework and the “Bangkok Principles” arising from the 2016 Conference in Bangkok Thailand. The need to strengthen collaboration with other sector including ecosystem approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation arose as a cross-cutting theme.
For further details on this session, please visit
Toward a Safer World Initiative
A list of health events is also available on the
UNISDR Global Platform for Disater Risk Reduction
The joint statement submitted on behalf of the Convention on Biological Diversity, EcoHealth Alliance, UNISDR and CDC Europe can be
. The full Statement can also be
Inaugural Meeting of Planetary Health / Geohealth
Planetary Health Alliance
in collaboration with numerous other partners held the first Planetary health / Geohealth meeting from
28-30 April 2017
in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The goal of the inaugural Planetary Health Meeting was to bring together academia, policy makers, and other interested individuals committed to understanding and communicating the human health impacts of global environmental change. The objective was to showcase the extraordinary momentum that is taking place around the world in the field of planetary health while highlighting institutional developments, emerging investigators, research developments, and applications to policy-making and natural resource management. The ultimate goal was to build a new cohesiveness as a community dedicated to furthering collaboration, and to garner commitment to continuing to grow this rapidly emerging field.
Recordings of the sessions are
For more on Planetary Health see
The Rockefeller Foundation Lancet Commission Report on Planetary health
15th World Congress on Public Health
The 15th World Congress on Public Health (WCPH) was held from
3-7 April 2017
, in Melbourne, Australia. The UN Biodiversity Convention Secretariat joined World Health Organization, IUCN, Pan American Health Organization, Salzburg Global Seminar and other partners for the World Leadership Forum, in a session organized by Parks Victoria, Australia entitled
Nature is Good Medicine
See the Salzburg Global Seminar
press release here
First European One Health / EcoHealth Workshop
6-7 October, 2016
, policy representatives and experts from the health, environment, veterinary communities met in Brussels, Belgium for the first European One Health/EcoHealth Conference. Participants included representatives from CBD and other UN organizations, the European Commission, academia, and non-profit working in science policies and practice to discuss challenges and opportunities for more integrated cross-sectoral collaboration. Experts, networks and projects from different countries within Europe and in developing countries have contributed to the workshop, as well as representatives from the CDB-WHO State of Knowledge review.
full meeting report is now available
More information on the European One Health/ EcoHealth workshop
CBD Secretariat addresses biodiversity and human health at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress
The CBD Secretariat is contributing to several events at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress to be held from
1-10 September 2016
in Hawaii, USA. The Theme for the Congress in 2016, held at 5 year intervals, is Planet at a Crossroads. The CBD Secretariat contributed to numerous events on relevant thematic areas, including biodiversity and human health.
On 4 September 2016 the CBD Secretariat in collaboration with UNU-IIGH, led a two hour sessions on Integrating conservation, sustainable development and health at the IUCN World Conservation Congress (WCC) in Hawaii, USA. The objective of the session was to convene a diverse and interdisciplinary group of experts to stimulate the debate on the most pressing conservation issues of our time by addressing critical knowledge generated at these intersections, and engaging in meaningful dialogue. It also sought to identify next steps and the practical implications of this harnessed knowledge for all governments, peoples, groups and sectors. The CBD Secretariat has also contributed to several other events at the intersection of biodiversity, health and sustainable development at the IUCN WCC. A press release for the event is
The 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress website is
Meeting Summary published on Advancing Planetary Health – linking health and environment data
5 to 7 July, 2016
, experts from the health and environmental communities met at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Centre in Italy. The participants included representatives from CBD and other UN organizations and non-profit organisations, development agencies, academia and Future Earth. The meeting was designed to share ideas and thoughts about how to integrate health research into the activities of Future Earth, setting out priorities for the Health Knowledge-Action Network.
The three-day meeting began with presentations on existing research that integrates human health and the environment, while providing a background for open discussion. Participants discussed potential priority areas for research and action in break-out groups: disasters, food systems, and cities. They also considered three proposed actions for the Knowledge-Action Network: setting research priorities, capacity building and systematic reviews.
full meeting report is now available
Joint event on Sustainable Food systems, biodiversity and human health at the WHO Second Global Conference on Health and Climate
The WHO Second Global Conference on health and climate will be held in Paris, France on
7-8 July 2016
. It will showcase how the public health community will support the implementation of the Paris agreement, in order to build healthier and more sustainable societies. On this Occasion, the CBD is collaborating with the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Union of Nutritional Sciences and UNEP on "Sustainable food systems, biodiversity and health". The event will be to be held on 8 July 2016 at 12:15 pm and it aims to provide a forum to:
- Explore the co-benefits to environment, biodiversity and health of the promotion of sustainable and healthy food systems. Showcase national and community strategies to promote sustainable food systems and diverse and healthy dietary patterns while protecting biodiversity.
- In line with the findings of the WHO-CBD State of Knowledge Review, discuss strategies to foster pragmatic, scalable and interdisciplinary policy solutions fostering biodiversity-health and food and nutrition security. Discussions will aim to jointly support the implementation of the Paris Agreement, the ICN2 commitments and UN SDGs.
- Explore possible pathways for collaboration and identify convening platforms and accountability mechanisms under the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) and the Decade of Action on Nutrition to bring governments, academia, NGOs and other stakeholders together to contribute to the transition towards sustainable and healthy food systems within the climate and the 2030 Development agendas.
full programme and key messages for the joint event here
Conference on Conflict, Ecosystem Degradation and Human Health
Linkages between biodiversity loss, human health and armed conflict to be recognized at the Conference "Avoiding Catastrophe: Armed Conflict, Ecosystem Degradation and Human Health" held from
4-6 May 2016
. The programme includes opening keynotes by the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) and the Government of Honduras, moderated by the CBD Secretariat in collaboration with United Nations University International Institute for Global Health (UNU IIGH). The Conference also features high-level leadership panels focusing on research and action with roundtable discussions by CBD Executive Secretary Braulio Dias, Director of Medicins Sans Frontiere (MSF) Stephen Cornish, Director of the Montreal Institute of Genocide Studies Frank Chalk, President of Ecohealth Alliance Peter Daszak, Future Earth Montreal-hub director Anne-Helene Prieur-Richard, and several others. The leadership panels will be held on the 7 May and moderated by CBC News.
To register for the event go to the
conference registration website
At the margins of the three-day Conference, a two-day expert workshop will also be held to identify ways in which different sectors and stakeholders can better jointly address health, security and environmental pressures. International participants will seek to identify key areas of further research and make related policy recommendations. It is expected that the results of the Conference and findings of the expert workshop will be widely disseminated by workshop partners and experts prior to the 13th Conference of the Parties.
Mainstreaming biodiversity and Health across sectors - side event at SBSTTA 20
A side event on mainstreaming Biodiversity in Agriculture for Nutrition, Human Health and Well-Being in the context of Sustainable Development will be held at the margins of SBSTTA 20 on
26 April 2016
. The event is co-organized by the CBD Secretariat in collaboration with United Nations University International Institute For Global Health (UNU IIGH), UNEP, Bioversity International and University of California, Los Angeles and the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS). The event will take place on 26 April 2016 from 13:15 to 14:45.
Parallel session on biodiversity and human health
for a summary of the event.
ASEAN Conference on Biodiversity 2016
Linkages between biodiversity and human health to be recognized at the ASEAN Conference on Biodiversity 2016 from
15-19 February 2016
. The programme includes a full day of Parallel Special Thematic Sessions on biodiversity and health to be held on 17 February 2016 organized in collaboration with United Nations University.
Provisional programme for parallel sessions on biodiversity and human health
of the ASEAN Conference on Biodiversity 2016.
See also UNU-IIGH
UNU-IIGH and CBD Secretariat conclude an MOU
The CBD Secretariat and United Nations University - International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on
5 January 2016
, to strengthen collaboration on biodiversity and global health.
The MOU is intended to provide a framework for cooperation between the organizations to further shared objectives in regard to the sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services as a foundation for human health. The work will focus on collaborative research and knowledge exchange at the science-policy interface. It also seeks to contribute to the development of joint training materials for policy practitioners, capacity building and other relevant activities carried out under the CBD-WHO joint work programme on biodiversity and human health.
Swiss Forum on Conservation Biology focuses on biodiversity and human health
The key theme for the 16th Swiss Forum on Conservation Biology (SWIFCOB16) held on
15 January 2016
in Bern, Switzerland was
Biodiversity, a health factor?
The forum brought together scientists, policy-makers and experts on biodiversity conservation, and public and veterinary health, to discuss the state of the evidence and to promote synergies and collaboration on biodiversity conservation and the promotion of human and animal health. The Congress report is expected to be made available in February 2016.
Workshop on health and social benefits of biodiversity protection and nature
The European Committee of the Regions is organizing a workshop focused on the social and health benefits of biodiversity conservation, to be held on
27-28 January 2016
in Brussels, Belgium
The two-day workshop aims to explore the latest scientific evidence and practical examples of how nature and biodiversity can help to improve public health and social cohesion. It will bring together health, social and environmental communities from research, policy and practice, including high-level representatives from the WHO, European Commission, Parliament and Council, country, regional and city level actors as well as think tanks, NGOs and academia.
Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition in Brazil
Promoting health and wellbeing by linking biodiversity and nutrition – best practices in Brazil recognized through the Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Programme (BFN). BFN is a multi-country initiative aimed at mainstreaming biodiversity conservation to improve nutrition in Kenya, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Brazil. The programme is coordinated by Bioversity International and co-implemented by FAO and UNEP.
BaCH Partners hold Community to Community Exchange in Bangalore, India
From 28 September to 4 October 2015, several partners of the Biodiversity and Community Health Initiative, which includes the CBD under its work programme on biodiversity and human health, brought together about 70 community participants to discuss the diversity of local innovations in the field of Access and Benefit-Sharing and the conservation, protection and valorisation of biodiversity and traditional knowledge in India, African countries and Central Asia.
The event offered a unique platform to increase the understanding of the relevance of the CBD principles on ABS, and multiple dimensions of community health and wellbeing provided an opportunity for developing partnerships among different stakeholders globally. The African delegates came up with a Statement clearly indicating areas that they will focus on as follow up work. All delegates also called for the development of decentralized networks within countries, continents and between them.
Full meeting report available here
Reflections on the community to community exchange
CBD Secretariat and WHO conclude an MOU
Under the CBD-WHO joint work programme on biodiversity and human health, the CBD Secretariat and the World Health Organization (WHO) have concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 23 July 2015, following the release of a joint state of knowledge review,
Connecting Global Priorities: Biodiversity and Human Health
. The MoU was reported at the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice on its Nineteenth Meeting
, held in Montreal from 2-5 November 2015.
The MOU is expected to further strengthen collaboration between the two organizations in support of each others mandates in areas of mutual interest. The MoU also establishes an interagency liaison group, co-chaired by the WHO and CBD Secretariat, in collaboration with relevant international organizations and other international partners.
Launch of new report on Planetary Health
The Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission on Planetary Health released a new report calling for a new discipline, planetary health. “Planetary health” incorporates the interdependencies of human and natural systems, while also recognizing preserving the integrity of natural systems is an essential precondition for human health, survival, and prosperity. The report,
Safeguarding human health in the Anthropocene epoch
, calls for action to ensure future health and environmental sustainability, and demonstrates that solutions are within reach.
WHO commentary for World Environment Day 2016
Dr. Maria Neira, Director, Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants at the World Health Organization (WHO), released a statement on the importance of environmental stewardship and sound biodiversity management for human health for World Environment Day on June 3, 2015. The statement is released on the eve of the publication of the release of the full volume of
Connecting Global Priorities: Biodiversity and Human Health: a State of Knowledge Review
, jointly led by the WHO and the CBD Secretariat in collaboration with numerous partners. The full volume of the State of Knowledge Review will be launched at a dedicated session on biodiversity and human health held on 4 June 2015 during
Green Week 2015
in Brussels, Belgium.
CBD website for
Connecting Global Priorities: Biodiversity and Human Health
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