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Co-operation on Health and Biodiversity IUFRO Forests and Health Seminar, Marrakesh, Morocco, 30 th April 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Co-operation on Health and Biodiversity IUFRO Forests and Health Seminar, Marrakesh, Morocco, 30 th April 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Co-operation on Health and Biodiversity IUFRO Forests and Health Seminar, Marrakesh, Morocco, 30 th April 2008

2 Overview Introduction to COHAB. Background, history, key concepts. Thematic areas. Opportunities for collaboration and partnership on forests, forestry and related issues.

3 Biodiversity …the variability among living organisms from all sources … incl. diversity within and between species, and of habitats and ecosystems, and even landscapes.

4 Defining Health Not just freedom from illness…. But also spiritual and psychological well- being, livelihood stability, nutrition security And peoples’ capacity for good health. Health as a basic Human Right, 100% dependent upon biodiversity…. –Quality of Life

5 Background to COHAB Initial discussions in 2002 through contacts with UNEP -World Conservation Monitoring Centre, and the Centre for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School.

6 COHAB 2005 conference International instruments recognised fundamental dependence of human life on the maintenance and protection of biological diversity. Loss of biological diversity poses severe threats to human health and welfare. Global significance of local actions. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. U.N. Millennium Development Goals.

7 U.N. MDGs Address the fundamental challenges facing mankind at the beginning of the 21 st Century. Eight goals to target disease, environmental sustainability, maternal health, poverty, child mortality, gender equality, international co- operation, and education.


9 Convention on Biological Diversity Rio Earth Summit 1992 CBD sets the global agenda for biodiversity conservation. Objectives: conservation, sustainable use, fair and equitable sharing of benefits. Strategic plan “to achieve, by the year 2010, a significant reduction in the current rate of loss of biological diversity”

10 Convention on Biological Diversity Various programmes of work centred on ecosystems / habitat types / cross-cutting issues, for example: Forest biodiversity Wetlands and inland waterways Agricultural biodiversity Recent thematic areas related to Millennium Development Goals, climate change.

11 Ecosystem approach Ecosystem approach to conservation: Biodiversity conservation best achieved by accounting for the complex interactions and interdependencies of habitats & species within systems. Ecosystem approach to health: Examining cross-sectoral approaches to health and biodiversity conservation

12 Ecosystem approach Reproduced from Tabor et al, 2002

13 COHAB 2005 conference 28 partner organisations from around the world. Environment, health, veterinary, development, aid, agriculture and industry. Practitioners, researchers, policy makers and stakeholders. First ever global event of its kind to bring these sectors together to discuss biodiversity- related health issues. 52 countries represented.

14 COHAB Initiative Secretariat established January 2007. Seven thematic areas: –Livelihood security & freedom from poverty –Emerging Infectious Diseases –Food resources, diet & nutrition –Disaster prevention, relief and recovery –Natural products & medicinal resources –Indigenous community traditions & health –Climate change impacts & adaptation

15 Aims and Objectives To highlight the importance of biodiversity and ecosystem services to human health and international development; To raise the profile of biodiversity as an essential component in achieving the Millennium Development Goals; To highlight the risks which human impacts on ecosystems present to human health and welfare worldwide;

16 Aims and Objectives To encourage transdisciplinary and international co-operation in addressing the issues; To create greater awareness among policy makers, scientists, health professionals, natural resource managers, the private sector, authorities and the general public.

17 Aims and Objectives Biodiversity community International development Health sector Economic & social development Ecosystem Goods and Services

18 COHAB Conceptual framework

19 Key concepts Biodiversity is essential to human health and well being, through provision and maintenance of ecosystem goods and services. Transdisciplinary approach – a new model in which institutional barriers do not exist. Using or adapting existing mechanisms.

20 Understanding different perspectives …

21 COHAB 2 conference, 2008 Experience sharing. Address three key themes – diet, disasters, diseases. Focus on co-operation and partnership building. Strategies for communication and collaboration.

22 Cross-cutting theme 1 Building the conceptual framework

23 Cross-cutting theme 2 Systemic approaches

24 Cross-cutting theme 3 Climate Change – risks and adaptation

25 Outputs and future direction Workshop reports –Guidance for policy and action –Responibilities? Who takes it forward, who implements it.. Overall conference Report –Message to future international / multilateral meetings and programmes

26 COHAB: Forests and Health? Each of COHAB’s thematic areas –Indigenous peoples –EID –Food and nutrition security –Livelihood security and sustainability –Natural products and medicinal resources –Disaster prevention, relief, recovery –Climate change……

27 COHAB: Forests and Health? IUFRO must engage with the Convention on Biological Diversity Global focus on human health and human survival will not change. Position ForHealth as a leader on forest issues…

28 COHAB: Forests and Health? Important opportunities for working with the forest sector Possible multi-partner projects –CBD, WHO – biodiversity, climate & health –UNDP, FAO – food crisis, climate change –FAO, WWF, IUCN, Traffic – food, medicines & resource use –UNESCO, UNHCR – cultural diversity & security, disaster prevention

29 Thank you! Thank you to Eeva Karjalainen and Erkki Kauhanen and colleagues at IUFRO / METLA for the invitation to be participate with you Send COHAB your ideas!!!! Visit us at


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