The COHAB Initiative (Co-operation on Health and Biodiversity) is a community of individuals and organisations working together to address the gaps in awareness, policy and action on the links between biodiversity and human health and well-being. The Initiative supports efforts to enhance human security through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and the goods and services it provides.

COHAB provides a platform for dialogue, promoting understanding and experience sharing, and working to build partnerships across sectors and cultural divides. The activities of the COHAB Initiative are directed by a Secretariat, established in 2007 and currently based in Ireland. The Secretariat works with the logistic support of key international partners, and its activities are guided by a Steering Committee comprising multi-lateral organisations working in health, development, environment and related areas. Following three years of development and partnership building, including two successful international meetings held in Galway, the importance of the work of the COHAB Initiative is increasingly recognised on an international level. The Secretariat has developed a broad programme of work for the period 2010 – 2015, to support effective and equitable primary health care in line with the principles of the World Health Declaration; to assist efforts to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals; and to support the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The COHAB Initiative was established in response to the outputs of the First International Conference on Health and Biodiversity (COHAB 2005), which was held in Galway, Ireland, during 2005; and the reports of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. The COHAB Initiative operates through Partnership arrangements with a growing network of organisations worldwide, representing government and multi-lateral agencies, academic institutes, NGOs, indigenous communities and the private sector. These organisations share a common interest - to enhance co-operation between the health and biodiversity sectors, working together for a healthy planet with healthy people. Major areas of focus include:
  • poverty reduction and livelihood security
  • food security, nutrition and dietary health
  • emerging diseases
  • natural products and medicinal resources
  • disaster prevention, relief and recovery
  • traditional knowledge
  • indigenous community health
  • social and spiritual well-being and mental health

On this website you will find information about the COHAB Initiative, it’s objectives and activities, plus details of how the Initiative is organised. In the coming months, the website will include a virtual discussion forum, information on COHAB Initiative projects and events, and details of the activities of COHAB Partner organisations.

Comments and suggestions for the website are welcome and greatly appreciated - please contact webmaster@cohabnet.org.

If you are interested in supporting the work of the COHAB Initiative, please donate, contact admin@cohabnet.org, or visit the Partners page


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