The biodiversity agenda is part of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets – 20 specific targets to preserve biodiversity. The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity was created by Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD). Israel, a Party to the Convention, adopted the plan in October 2010.
The relationship between biodiversity and human health is being examined in the wake of a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the CBD Secretariat, entitled Connecting Global Priorities: Biodiversity and Human Health, a State of Knowledge Review. This review includes an exploration of how the existence of functioning ecosystems affects, inter alia:
- food security
- provision of clean air and water
- resources for the development of new drugs, and
- mental health.
Deterioration of ecosystems, on the other hands, leads to crises including the outbreak of disease, the spread of invasive species that harm public health, and to the undermining of food security.
Delegates at the meeting stressed that actions to foster positive associations between maintaining public health and biological diversity are central to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, which were agreed upon in early 2015. A memo of understanding was recently signed between the WHO and the CBD, to ensure continued focus on this issue.
Recommendations made at the Montreal meeting will be considered by the next Conference of the Parties of the CBD, scheduled for December 2016 in Mexico.