Background

The programme for the first COHAB conference in 2005 recognised that there are several distinct but often inter-related issues at the heart of the relationship between health and biodiversity. The discussions at that conference identified some of the most important services which biodiversity provides, and highlighted the risks which biodiversity loss and ecosystem disturbance can pose to human and animal health and well-being. Four separate workshops were held on the topics of "Nutrition, Food Security and Sustainable Livelihoods", "Natural Products and Drug Discovery", "Disease Ecology", and "Systemic Approaches to Population Health". A plenary session was also held on the topic of "Policy Options" for addressing health issues associated with biodiversity loss.

The COHAB 2 meeting reviewed progress in the key thematic areas since the first conference, but overall aimed to deal more specifically with the links between the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable development, and to explore practical solutions to addfrssing health issues associated with biodiversity and ecosystem degradation. This included discussions on the outputs of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, and on the importance of biodiversity to the success of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - particularly those goals associated with health and livelihood security.









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