The Regional capacity-building workshop on biodiversity and human health for the ASEAN region was jointly convened by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity from 5-7 November, in Manila, Philippines
The regional workshop was hosted jointly by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Health of the Philippines. The WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific and WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia and United Nations University International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) also provided technical input and support. The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, with support from the European Union through the Biodiversity Conservation and Management of Protected Areas in ASEAN Project, covered the costs of nominated participant.
The workshop was opened by the Secretary of Health of the Philippines, Dr. Francisco T. Duque III, and Jonas R. Leones, Undersecretary at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) of the Philippines. Opening keynote statements were also provided by Dr. Theresa Mundita S. Lim, Executive Director for ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Dr. Cristiana Pasca Palmer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations (UN) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
The cross-sectoral workshop brought together over 50 participants, including representatives from Ministries of Health and Ministries responsible for biodiversity conservation across ASEAN members states, as well as global experts on biodiversity and health.
The workshop aimed to strengthen collaboration, engagement and policy coherence between national agencies responsible for biodiversity and those responsible for health, to mainstream biodiversity and health linkages in national policies and programmes, and to contribute to enhanced national implementation of the Convention, the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and related Sustainable Development Goals among ASEAN countries. In particular, the workshop intended to equip participants from the biodiversity and health sectors with the knowledge and tools needed to:
(i) Promote transboundary/regional cooperation and support networks on health and biodiversity issues and strategies with a view to informing an action plan on biodiversity and health for ASEAN countries;
(ii) Identify key entry points and discuss best practices for integrating health and biodiversity considerations in national and/or regional biodiversity policies or programmes as well as in national and/or regional health policies or programmes, among ASEAN countries; (iii) Strengthen capacity and identify further capacity needs for the mainstreaming of biodiversity and health linkages in relevant national and/or regional policies, plans and programmes;
(iv) Identify possible joint activities to achieve health and biodiversity co-benefits for consideration in national biodiversity strategies and action plans, and national health plans among ASEAN countries; and
(v) Strategically integrate biodiversity and health considerations in the post-2020 biodiversity framework and in the development of integrated approaches to health including One Health, Ecohealth and Planetary Health.
The workshop brought together nominated representatives from Ministries responsible for biodiversity and those responsible for health across ASEAN member states. It supports the implementation of decisions XII/21 and XIII/6 of the Conference of the Parties, by which the Conference of the Parties requested the Executive Secretary to organize, in collaboration with WHO and other relevant organizations, additional capacity-building workshops on the interlinkages between biodiversity and human health, under the joint work programme between the Secretariat and WHO, and it identified initial elements to be considered for the development of a Regional Plan of Action on Biodiversity and Health to be developed for the ASEAN region.
- Participants were also encouraged to consult the related decision on biodiversity and health adopted at the Thirteenth Conference of the Parties Decision XIII/6.
- The full volume of the State of Knowledge Review, Connecting Global Priorities: Biodiversity and Human Health is available here.
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