Biodiversity and Health

Workshop on Biodiversity and Health for the European Region

The Regional capacity-building workshop on biodiversity and human health for the WHO Europe region was jointly convened by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the World Health Organization (WHO) from 23 to 25 October 2017, in Helsinki, Finland. It was convened in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Housing and Energy and the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, Finland, with financial support from the European Commission and the Government of Finland. The WHO Regional Office for Europe also provided technical input and support through the European Centre for Environment and Health.

The workshop was opened by H.E Mr. Kimmo Tiilikainen, Minister of the Environment, Housing and Energy, Finland, on 23 October, 2017. It was followed by keynote statements by Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General, WHO, the Ambassador of Mexico to Finland, H.E. Mr. Ernesto Céspedes, and from the CBD Executive Secretary.

The multi-sectoral workshop brought together over 70 participants, including representatives from 28 countries in the European region, as well as representatives from the COP 13 Presidency (Mexico) and COP 14 Presidency (Egypt) and experts working in the European region. The final keynote and closing remarks were delivered by H.E. Ms. Pirkko Mattila, Minister of Health and Social Affairs, Finland, on 25 October, 2017.

Country representatives were nominated by Ministries of Environment (through CBD Focal points) and Ministries of Health (nominated through the World Health Organization). It aimed to strengthen collaboration, engagement and policy coherence between national agencies responsible for biodiversity and those responsible for health to contribute to enhanced national implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets, as well as related Sustainable Development Goals.

It also aimed to assist policy makers in mainstreaming biodiversity-health linkages in national biodiversity strategies and action plans and national health strategies, and to support the implementation of CBD COP decision XIII/6.


In preparation for the workshop, participants were encouraged to consult the key messages contained in the summary of the CBD-WHO report Connecting Global Priorities: Biodiversity and Human Health: a State of Knowledge Review.

Participants were also encouraged to consult the related decision adopted at the Thirteenth Conference of the Parties, Decision XIII/6.


To access the Workshop Presentations, please click here.



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