Our activities

The BaCH Initiative will build on its partners’ long-standing experiences in the field of policy research and advocacy, capacity development, networking and knowledge exchange on issues related to biodiversity and health. To further understanding, awareness and contribute to the building of more robust, peer-reviewed evidence about the importance of the interlinked domains of biodiversity conservation, health and nutritional security goals, and the use of different knowledge systems to achieve them, the Initiative aims to conduct a wide range of activities such as: policy research, capacity development, policy advocacy as well as supporting establishment of centres of excellence.

Policy Research 

The BaCH Initiative aims to establish a policy research network addressing issues related to biodiversity and community health such as the biophysical resource flows to health and nutritional sectors. Within the network participating stakeholders from multiple disciplines will conduct case studies on key issues such as enterprise development for sustainable livelihoods or resource flows and the implications for community health addressing issues related to endangerment of species such as medicinal plants, fauna, other resources, trade as well as health delivery and access. The Initiative will further develop tools related to e.g. the validation of community knowledge and practices relevant to biodiversity conservation, health and nutrition security as well as policy briefs and toolkits e.g. elaborating on the use of tools and research findings.

Expected outputs of related activities are:

  • Peer-reviewed policy research papers targeted to different relevant audiences such as policymakers, civil society organizations, local communities and researchers are drafted and published
  • Manuals and books including good practices and methods e.g. for mobilizing biodiversity to improve health outcomes are developed and implemented are drafted
  • Tools for relevant processes such as validation of local health practices and resource use are developed and implemented
  • A dynamic and continuous portal to document a series of global bio-cultural case studies as a platform to share case studies beyond the project period is established

Capacity Development

The BaCH Initiative is further planning to design and implement various capacity development activities addressing issues around biodiversity and community health. One of the proposed activities of the Initiative is to enable and foster participatory, rapid and integrated assessment of biological resource use and health practices. It is planned to design appropriate resource inventories, including assessment of conservation status and resilience to human use applying e.g. participatory GIS to community based mapping. Apart from that it is planned to conduct activities to validate community level health practices. Capacity development activities also include developing relevant and associated enterprises owned by communities i.e. producers companies or cooperatives as well as underlying support in business plan development through identification and/or creation of health sensitive value chains. Additionally, it is foreseen to foster equity and livelihoods through ensuring an increased understanding by the market and positive involvement of business for fair trade and good practices. The project will also address increasing the use of available voluntary standards, including the FairWild Standard, for ensuring harvesting and trade in resources is sustainable and fair.

Expected outputs of related activities are:

  • Training manuals including modules on various aspects such as participatory mapping, validation of traditional medical practices are developed and disseminated
  • Peer-reviewed books and papers such as recipe books on traditional and local pharmacopia as well as foods have been drafted and disseminated
  • Training of Leaders/Champions in biodiversity for health and nutrition security have been designed and conducted
  • How-to-Manuals on e.g. using voluntary standards for ensuring harvesting and trade are developed and trainings based on these Manuals are conducted

*As it comes to the capacity development activities, the Initiative follows a holistic approach ensuring to create and support selected agents as ‘multipliers’ from partner organizations at the local and regional levels. These agents will be equipped with the required capacities and knowledge through trainings, workshops, seminars, etc.

Policy Advocacy

The BaCH Initiative further aims to conduct policy advocacy related activities. As such, targeted inputs will be provided to specific policy forums such as the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), World Health Organization (WHO), Committee on Food Security, Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on relevant aspects related to ecosystem services, sustainable use, public health, access to health and livelihood security.

Expected outputs of related activities are:

  • Institutional mechanisms for linking different sectors across biodiversity conservation, health security are identified and implemented
  • Relevant advocacy measures are carried out
  • Policy briefs and meetings are conducted
  • Documents and guidance for mainstreaming biodiversity conservation for health security are drafted

Supporting Establishment of Centres of Excellence

Apart from the above mentioned activity packages, the project will further support establishing two centres of excellence in each of the WHO regions in Asia, Africa and Latin America with co-financing from host member states. These Centres of Excellence will function as nodal centres for capacity development, policy advocacy and policy relevant research. As part of their mandate, they will focus on regionally relevant issues in the nexus of biodiversity and community health and will raise resources for the establishment of local networks of centres of expertise. These centres will further be networked through a global portal. The centre heads will further represent and be part of the international coordination committee for advancing the program beyond the period of the project.

Expected outputs of related activities are:

• Six Centres of Excellence are established – two in each region in the South

• A global portal for networking the activities of these regional centres of excellence are established

• An international coordination committee is set up