UNU-IAS is making important technical contributions to the State of Knowledge Review on the Interlinkages between Biodiversity and Human Health, a flagship publication led by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Draft chapters are now available through an open peer review process.
The primary aim of the publication is to assess the current state of knowledge on the vital linkages between health, biodiversity and the life-supporting services it provides, and to inform ongoing policy developments in the context of the emerging post-2015 development agenda. The forthcoming publication seeks to raise awareness on the importance of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use for human health co-benefits. In doing so, it will further contribute to informing policy decisions and to the implementation of the UN-wide strategy for biodiversity, the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 and its 20 Aichi Targets – with a strong focus on Aichi Target 14 on restoring and safeguarding ecosystems that provide essential services, the Millennium Development Goals, and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The review takes stock of existing knowledge on a wide range of issues relevant to biodiversity and human health, such as agricultural biodiversity and food security, water and air quality, nutrition and health, traditional medicine and biodiversity, and health care and pharmaceuticals. UNU-IAS, through its engagement as a coordinating body of the Biodiversity and Community Health (BacH) Initiative and its long-standing experience in policy research and advocacy around related issues, is making a significant technical contribution to the review. The BaCH Initiative is a partnership of leading agencies and stakeholders working at the biodiversity–health nexus to advance poverty reduction and sustainable development. Initiated by UNU-IAS, it was launched as a global multi-stakeholder partnership in 2012 during the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the CBD in Hyderabad, India.
In light of this year’s COP theme “Biodiversity for Sustainable Development”, the SCBD and WHO, jointly with collaborating partners, will officially launch the State of Knowledge Review at COP12 on 6–7 October 2014 in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea. This launch event will highlight the need to address biodiversity and community health in an integrated manner towards achieving international development goals.
To find out more about the role of UNU-IAS in fostering linkages between biodiversity and health, please visit the BaCH Initiative website.