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COHAB Releases Policy Briefs on Biodiversity and Global Health

October 2010: Supporting the work of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on cooperation with other conventions and international organizations, the Secretariat of the Co-operation on Health and Biodiversity (COHAB) Initiative has posted four policy briefs on the theme "Biodiversity and Global Health."

Policy brief 1 is devoted to the importance of biodiversity to human health. It emphasizes that: biodiversity supports food security, dietary health and livelihood sustainability; biodiversity provides important resources for medical research, as well as traditional and modern medicine; biodiversity plays a role in the regulation and control of infectious diseases and has social, cultural and spiritual importance within communities; biodiversity conservation is essential for climate change adaptation; and in-tact ecosystems can reduce disaster risks and support relief and recovery efforts.

Policy brief 2 focuses on human health and global ecosystem change.

Policy brief 3 focuses on the health effects of climate change, and how those health issues affect biodiversity, including by increasing: disaster risk; food and nutritional insecurity; non-communicable diseases; increased infectious disease risk; and loss of important medicinal resources.

Policy brief 4 is devoted to linking health and biodiversity in policy and practice, focusing on: integrating biodiversity and ecosystem services into health and development policies; integrating health and development considerations into plans and programmes on biodiversity conservation; strengthening international, inter-governmental and interdisciplinary cooperation; raising public and corporate awareness of the importance of biodiversity to human health; and increasing public involvement in biodiversity conservation.

The COHAB Initiative is an international programme of work established to address the gaps in awareness, policy and action on the links between human health and well-being and the conservation of biological diversity. COHAB partners include the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the World Health Organization (WHO). [Policy Brief 1] [Policy Brief 2] [Policy Brief 3] [Policy Brief 4]