©2018 Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
CBD-WHO joint work programme on biodiversity and health

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Health Day:

Harnessing biodiversity

for a healthy & resilient future

NOVEMBER 24 2018 at the Rio Conventions Pavilion, 

2018 UN Biodiversity Conference, Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

Health Day was held at the Rio Conventions Pavilion on 24 November 2018 at the margins of the fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 14) to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt. 

It was jointly convened by the CBD Secretariat and the World Health Organization under their joint work programme on biodiversity and health. 

Bringing together over 30 exceptional speakers, Health Day convened a diverse and interdisciplinary group representing government, policy practitioners,Indigenous Peoples and Local Community representatives, international organizations, academia and civil society to stimulate debate and engagement on the most pressing conservation issues of our time that threaten the environment, health and human security alike. 

During this event, pathways to pragmatic, scalable and interdisciplinary policy solutions fostering biodiversity-health synergies were discussed, spanning the local to the global levels through six dynamic and interactive sessions covering a wide range of issues at the health and biodiversity nexus. Issues ranged from community health to urban health, nature-based solutions, food security and nutrition, and the biodiversity-inclusive One Health Guidance adopted at COP 14. 

Health Day activities were tailored to support policy coherence and to bridge sectoral divides through the application of integrated approaches to health with the ultimate aim of strengthening social and ecological resilience in this era of global change. 

Speakers and participants discussed new tools and best practices to support the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. On this occasion, the CBD Secretariat also launched an innovative new partnership, the Healthy Urban Microbiome Initiative and a new 2020 challenge!

In its efforts to bring together stakeholders to harness opportunities for positive transformational change, Health Day also mapped ways forward for the mainstreaming of biodiversity and health in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

Stay tuned for more updates !

By most metrics, human health is better today than at any time in human history. These advances have occurred coincident with a vast degradation of nature’s ecological systems, on a scale unprecedented in human history.


The ongoing erosion of our natural systems poses risks to the health, livelihoods and well-being of present and future generations.

Since the establishment of their joint work programme on biodiversity and health, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and World Health Organization (WHO) have collaborated with numerous partners to raise awareness of the intimate interconnections between healthy ecosystems and human health, and to support policy-makers, practitioners and the broader international community in addressing some of the most pressing environmental, health and development challenges of our time.


The 2018 UN Biodiversity Conference provides an opportunity to better bridge science and policy at the intersection of biodiversity, human and ecosystem health.

The decision making process is informed and driven by comprehensive scientific studies, different forms of knowledge and data evaluation, and inclusive participatory processes.

“ The UN Biodiversity Conference provides a unique opportunity to build on the commitments made at the World Health Assembly, to translate scientific findings into meaningful action on the ground, to strengthen policy commitments, and to achieve our common objectives of sustaining healthy societies, while conserving and restoring healthy ecosystems.


This common pursuit is a political, moral and human imperative. ”

Dr. Cristiana Paşca Palmer, 

                                  CBD Executive Secretary

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New Decision on Biodiversity and Health Adopted at COP 14

A new comprehensive decision on biodiversity and health was adopted at COP 14. 

Among other key elements, the COP recognized the importance of ecosystem-based approaches for the delivery of multiple benefits to health and well-being, and invites Governments and other relevant stakeholders to make use of the NEW Biodiversity inclusive One Health Guidance. 

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Join the HUMI 2020 Challenge!

Support your government in making a commitment.... 
We value your commitment to our common future.  
You won't want to miss ht official launch fo the Healthy Urban Microbiome Initiative!

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Get involved!

Want to share your experiences, best practices and innovative ideas on how to contribute to biodiversity mainstreaming for a healthy future but not sure where to start? Don't miss the opportunity to engage!

Ask us about our ongoing collaborative work. We value your time, insights and experiences, and count on your support to pave the path for a better tomorrow.

Stay in touch. We would love to hear from you!

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Learn more about the #NewDealforNature launched by CBD & WWF at CBD COP 14

This film, produced by WWF and CBD, was presented at the UN 14th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP14) that took place in Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt from the 14 - 29 November 2018.

This website will be regularly updated following COP 14 and in the lead up to 2020.  
Come back often for more or subscribe to our updates!