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

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HUMI Grand Challenge

Join the 2020 Challenge

Since 2007, the majority of the world's population lives in cities. Developed nations are the most urban while developing nations are the most rapidly urbanising. Humans are losing contact with biodiversity and the natural world. At the same time, immune-related health disorders such as allergies, auto-immune and chronic inflammatory diseases are multiplying. Medical researchers now believe these important trends are linked.


At the Healthy Urban Microbiome Initiative we seek to understand and recreate the immune-boosting power of high quality, biodiverse green spaces in our cities to maximise population health benefits, bring significant savings to health budgets, while delivering gains for biodiversity.​

New CBD-HUMI Partnership launched at COP 14

Green spaces have long been thought healthy places within stressful urban environments that are restorative of human health. These urban oases range from remnant natural vegetation to community-inspired urban food gardens that contain a broad range of macro-biodiversity, but poorly studied microbiomes.


The new CBD partnership with HUMI launched at COP 14 seeks to build new partnerships to bridge the science-policy gap and maximize the health benefits of microbial diversity in the environment. 



At the Launch event held on Health Day, CBD and HUMI also announced a new 2020 challenge aimed at bringing together 20 cities from 20 countries by COP 15 in Beijing, China  in 2020.

Watch the joint Press Conference to learn more.