Why the Nagoya Protocol matters for biodiversity and community health

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The long hello

Adopted on 29 October 2010 during the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) (short Nagoya Protocol) finally reached more than 50 ratifications on 12 October – after years of negotiations. As an supplementary agreement to the CBD the Nagoya Protocol aims to support the implementation of the third CBD objective: the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. The Nagoya Protocol can be seen as a key achievement for sustainable development since it provides a transparent legal framework for users and providers on accessing, trading, sharing and monitoring the use of genetic resources.

The Nagoya Protocol requires user countries to take legal, administrative and policy measures ensuring compliance with the access and benefit-sharing law of provider countries. This implies measures to ensure fair and equitable benefit sharing from the use of traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources as well as genetic resources held by indigenous and local communities. This is supposed to be based on mutually agreed terms (MAT). Besides, countries commit themselves to introduce measures to ensure to obtain a prior and informed consent (PIC) or approval and involvement of respective indigenous and local communities before accessing traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources. This also includes genetic resources, where communities have the established right to grant access. Besides, when implementing the provisions on traditional knowledge, countries are called upon considering customary laws, community protocols and procedures of indigenous and local communities and to actively support the development of community protocols on ABS and traditional knowledge.

In light of this tremebiodiversityndous step, the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol (COP-MOP) took place in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea, from 13 to 17 October 2014.

Read more about the relevance of the Nagoya Protocol for the Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative here

Learn more about the Nagoya Protocol and its implications for the effective implementation of the CBD here

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Making the connections: environmental degradation’s impact on exotic diseases such as Ebola

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Children of Sierra Leone

The Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative through its multiple partners strongly advocates in international policy forums to address pressing development priorities and challenges through acknowledging and fostering the linkages between biodiversity and health. In light of the current Ebola outbreak, one of the areas of main concern addressed by the EcoHealth Alliance – a BaCH Initiative partner – is the influence of environmental degradation and climate change on Ebola-like catastrophes as well as inherent functional chains. As such during the most recent Twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 12) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD-COP 12) from 6 – 17 October 2014 in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea, the BaCH Initiative strongly emphasised the need for a “One Health”. In doing so, the BaCH Initiative highlights the need to acknowledge that human disease and biodiversity loss share common drivers, providing opportunities for cross-sectoral collaboration for co-benefits for health and biodiversity.

Find out more about BaCH’s engagement in promoting a ‘One Health’ approach at the CBD-COP 12 here

Biodiversity, food security, nutrition and income through home gardens

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The Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative’s partner Bioversity International started a home garden initiative in Nepal in 2002. Based on support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in collaboration with Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD) and other partners, the initiative studied how home gardens can contribute to biodiversity, food security, nutrition and household income.

A recent impact study highlights following results:

  • Home gardeners see their yields nearly triple from 300kg per year to as much as 900kg per year.
  • Biodiversity increased in the home gardens of participating households, with 66 species under cultivation as compared to fewer than 40 species before the project.
  • Farmers now maintain higher plant diversity and cultivate a greater range of plant groups – vegetables, fruits, spices, medicinal herbs, fodder and ornamentals.
  • More households are selling their garden products and participating households doubled their overall consumption of produce.

Read more about the partners involved and the scaling up of the project here.

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Protecting traditional knowledge through biodiversity conservation

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Tradition is something that needs to be created, not simply protected. If we are to protect anything, it is nature itself, which supports tradition.

Morimoto Kiko, an artist and master in painting Kimonos from Kyoto, established an eco-cultural enterprise in Chot Sam, Cambodia in the mid 1990s. Jointly with women weavers he is bringing back lost skills through revitalising traditional knowledge and practices. His work is also related to biodiversity conservation. Morimoto and the local community are planting a traditional forest where everything from the natural dyes to the silk can be harvested in the rich natural environment. Learn more about the Institute for Khmer Traditional Textiles and the underlying philosophy around linking nature with tradition, craftsmanship, and collaboration here.

Watch a short clip on Morimoto’s work here.

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Impact of climate change on human health

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During the recent World Health Organization (WHO) Conference on Health and Climate at WHO Headquarters in
Geneva, Switzerland from 27-29 August 2014 parties highlighted the severe impacts of climate change on human health. Almost 400 participants from governments and non-governmental organizations as well as UN agencies and the private sector gathered to reflect on relevant issues such as the state of climate science and how it relates to health as well as the public health response to climate change and health resilience. Parties also discussed about health benefits and health promotion while mitigating climate change and the economics of health and climate change. Learn more about the results of the conference and ways to link climate, sustainable development and health policy in the future here.

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Towards research for a food secure future

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The Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative’s partner Bioversity International is a global research-for-development organisation advocating for food-based solutions that put traditional, culturally-acceptable and nutritious food at their core. Jointly with other leading organisations Bioversity International contributes to the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). This global partnership synergises efforts towards research for a food secure future aiming to reduce rural poverty, increase food security, improve human health and nutrition, and ensure more sustainable management of natural resources. To raise awareness for the importance of research on sustainable agriculture to stakeholders involved in the climate change and development policy processes, CGIAR is organising the #1 CGIAR Development Dialogues on 25 September 2014 in New York City . Learn more about the relevance for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) here and find out how to attend the event through live video streaming and social media channels here.

 

 

Shaping international policy towards biodiversity conservation and human health

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The Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative’s partners are synergising efforts towards linking biodiversity and human healthThe Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) and the World Health Organization (WHO) jointly with other key partners and experts drafted the State of Knowledge Review on the Interlinkages between Biodiversity and Human Health. This flagship publication covers all relevant issues at the biodiversity and health nexus such as agricultural biodiversity and food security, water and air quality, nutrition and health, traditional medicine and biodiversity, and health care and pharmaceuticals.

Find out more about our partner’s involvement here. Read the draft chapters AND/or provide your comments here.

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