Connecting Global Priorities: Biodiversity and Human Health

Healthy communities rely on well-functioning ecosystems. They provide clean air, fresh water, medicines and food security. They also limit disease and stabilize the climate. But biodiversity loss is happening at unprecedented rates, impacting human health worldwide, according to a new state of knowledge review of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and WHO. The report synthesizes the available information on the most important inter-linkages between biodiversity, ecosystem stability, and epidemic infectious diseases such as the Ebola virus; and the connection between biodiversity, nutritional diversity and health. It also covers the potential benefits of closer partnerships between conservation and health, from improved surveillance of infectious diseases in wildlife and human populations, to promoting access to green spaces to promote physical activity and mental health. It also highlights the many areas in which further research is needed. The Joint report hopes to provide a useful reference for the Sustainable Development Goals and post-2015 development agenda, which represents an unique opportunity to promote integrated approaches to biodiversity and health by highlighting that biodiversity contributes to human well-being, and highlighting that biodiversity needs protection for development to be sustainable.