Welcome to the website of the COHAB Initiative (Co-Operation On Health And Biodiversity), an international programme of work on human well-being and sustainable development.
COHAB 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 COHAB Initiative works towards a future:
...where human health and well-being is enhanced and made more secure by the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, not threatened by its loss;
...where the goal of providing universal, accessible and equitable health care and the goal of ensuring ecosystem sustainability are integrated in principle, policy and practice;
...where plans, programmes and policies on health, environment and development take appropriate account of the health risks and impacts of biodiversity loss and ecosystem change, and recognise the critical importance of biodiversity conservation to achieving their objectives;
...where governments, civil society, the private sector and the public have a shared sense of stewardship over biodiversity and the benefits it provides, and work together to address the issues linking health and biodiversity in a spirit of partnership;
...where local and indigenous communities are empowered to protect, promote and provide for their own well-being and health care needs through the conservation of local biodiversity resources and associated traditional knowledge systems;
...and where an understanding of our shared dependence upon and responsibilities towards biodiversity provides a framework for greater co-operation and partnership across cultures, borders, disciplines and traditions.
Biodiversity, through the provision of ecosystem goods and services, provides the basis for all life on earth. It supports all of our economic and social development, and is vital to our health and well-being. Species of animals and plants have always been important as sources of food, fuels, medicines, clothing and building materials, while ecosystems provide and maintain supplies of clean water, healthy soil and clean air....