During the 18th meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) held from 23 to 28 June 2014 in Montreal, the international community recognized the relevance of the Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative coordinated by UNU-IAS. The Executive Secretary of the CBD emphasized that cross-cutting initiatives such as BaCH on biodiversity, food, nutrition and health play a key role in efforts to meet international development goals. Together with its partners such as Bioversity International, the BaCH Initiative was acknowledged for its groundbreaking work to foster the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 and achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
The BaCH Initiative is a partnership of leading agencies and stakeholders working at the biodiversity–health nexus to advance poverty reduction and sustainable development. Under the coordination of UNU-IAS, it was launched as a global multi-stakeholder initiative in 2012 during the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD in Hyderabad, India. The overall goal of the BaCH Initiative is to develop and mainstream community health approaches synergizing bio-resources and traditional knowledge. In doing so, it addresses the Millennium Development Goals, but also supports actions towards meeting international environmental goals such as the Aichi targets.
The BaCH Initiative will continue to connect partners from governments, non-governmental organizations, academia and the private sector, within the framework of CBD COP12, which will be held in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea this October. Supporting this year’s COP theme “Biodiversity for Sustainable Development”, UNU-IAS and other BaCH Initiative partners will together highlight the need to address biodiversity and community health in an integrated manner to successfully implement the strategic plan and meet the Aichi targets.