The report, Connecting Global Priorities: Biodiversity and Human Health, demonstrates that the relationship between biodiversity and human health is extensive and complex. It outlines the ways that the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity has positive impacts on human health.
The report provides specific examples of the relationship for a number of issue areas including: water, air quality and human health; biodiversity, food production and nutrition; microbial diversity and non-communicable disease; infectious diseases; medicines, including traditional medicine; physical, mental and cultural well-being; pharmaceuticals and biodiversity; climate change and disaster risk reduction; and sustainable consumption and production. Highlights of the report include: ……
Infectious diseases: Biodiversity plays a complex role in disease emergence, with benefits in some contexts and threats to human health in others. Human changes to and degradation of ecosystems, such as modified landscapes, intensive agriculture and antimicrobial use, may increase the risk of infectious disease transmission. While areas of high biodiversity may, in some cases, contain a high number of potential pathogens and contribute to the spread of disease, in some contexts biodiversity may also serve as a protective factor for preventing or reducing exposure to infectious agents.
Conclusions: The report concludes with recommendation for health and biodiversity strategies. It calls for the creation of coherent cross-sectoral strategies that ensure that biodiversity and health linkages are widely recognized, valued, and reflected in national public health and biodiversity conservation policies. …….. The report suggests that the solution lies in uniting work in social and natural sciences through integrative and interdisciplinary approaches such as the ecosystem, ecohealth, and One Health approach, in order to develop cooperation and mutual understanding that can lead to the production of knowledge and recommendations that can be used by policy makers and practitioners
The Executive Summary of the report is available online at www.cbd.int/en/health/stateofknowledge . The full volume will be released in the weeks ahead and will be available at the above website.