Biodiversity lays the foundation for human survival and development by providing non-material and material benefits benefits. While material benefits of biodiversity such as clean air and food have been acknowledged by the international community since more than two decades at 1992 Rio Earth Summit, non-material benefits have not received enough attention yet.
The Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative has been advocating for the interconnections between biodiversity, quality of life and wellbeing. BaCH partners such as the United Nations University – Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability jointly with ETC-COMPAS (Network) and the Equator Initiative recently published a brilliant book on the concept of human well-being as it relates to international rural development and conservation policy and practice.
The focus of international discussions around sustainable management of biological resources has been shifting on immaterial values of biodiversity not only for rural local and indigenous communities but also for urban communities. International forums such as the 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 12) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Korea or the IUCN World Parks Congress in Sidney have started to emphasise the inter-connections of biodiversity, human health and wellbeing at large. A recent study commissioned by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) explores the connections between biodiversity, human wellbeing and quality of life assessing their role in key conventions such as the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and ongoing policy forums such as the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The study further reflects the role of biodiversity and wellbeing in dominant narratives and advocates for a more integrated-approach in development cooperation policies and programs.
Read the study here.
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
The Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative’s partner, the Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) formed the Liaison Group of Biodiversity-related Conventions (BLG) in 2004. The BLG aims to reduce overlapping and create synergies between the CBD and other biodiversity conventions. As such, the group invited the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) to join as a member. Other members include following conventions: the Convention on Biological Diversity (year of entry into force: 1993), the Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species (1975), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (1975), the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (2004), the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (1971) and the World Heritage Convention (1972).
Read more here
The Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative’s partner TRAFFIC along with other partners of the FairWild Foundation developed the FairWild Standard – a pioneering tool to promote biodiversity conservation through sustainable use. The certification system is applied globally to assess the harvest and trade of wild medicinal plants and ensure a sustainable and fair management. More and more pioneering companies such as Pukka Herbs Ltd. focusing on ethical and sustainable practice are sourcing FairWild-certified wild plant ingredients and helping to shape ethical consumerism. That lead Pukka Herbs Ltd. to become a winner at the 2014 2degrees Sustainable Business Champions awards.