Post 2020 Local and Subnational Government Information Webinar – Biodiversity, food and nutrition for Health

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Discussing the links between biodiversity, food and nutrition for health

On May 14th, 2020, the webinar addressed the links between disease outbreaks frequency linked to biodiversity loss and climate change as an urgent reminder of the need to adopt integrated approaches such as the One Health one.

May 14, 2020 Local and Subnational Governments.

With the support of the Post 20202 Biodiversity Framework-EU support project, our partner ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center holds monthly webinars to keep the local and subnational government constituency, networks, and partners up-to-date on key milestones and the participatory preparation process of the Post2020 Global Biodiversity Framework on the roadmap to COP 15.  This 12th webinar focused on the links between nature, food, nutrition and health in the time of Covid-19, providing the perspective of diverse organizations as follow :

  • Update on roadmap and Edinburgh Process – Mr. Timothy Blatch – Global Coordinator, CitiesWithNature;
  • Introduction – how do Nature, Health and Food relate to the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework? – Ms. Ingrid Coetzee – Senior Manager, ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center (CBC);
  • Nature and Health from the Perspective of the SCBD- Mr. Oliver Hillel – Programme Officer, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD);
  • COVID, Urban Nature, and Health- Here’s to a new normal – Mr. David Maddox – Executive Director, The Nature of Cities (TNOC);
  • Healthy Food and Healthy Nature – Mr. Paul Currie – Senior Professional Officer, Urban Systems, ICLEI Africa.

– “We need more circularity and a bio-economy. Biodiversity provides food that improves human mental and physical health. In return, food-related waste from urban agriculture, food gardens and footways bring quality green spaces improving biodiversity situation and human health.Paul Currie, ICLEI Africa

Nature, health and food nexus have come up in the topicality of COVID-19 but it has indeed been embedded in biodiversity mainstreaming for over 20 years. The One Health approach (WHO) addressing the cross-cutting issue of biodiversity and human health was captured and embodied in the CBD process and aligned with its ecosystem approach. WHO taskforce for Covid-19 recognizes that these complex interactions need to be incorporated into urban development policies from the global to the most local. Several CBD COPs decisions include reference to the health and well-being benefits of access to green spaces in the context of urbanization and state clear principles and measures for cities and subnational governments. A turning point making the linkage with food security, health and biodiversity came in with the Cancun Declaration on Mainstreaming the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity for Well-being and the later launch of recognition of FAO mainstreaming platform as the Biodiversity Mainstreaming Platform at COP13.

The links between biodiversity and human health come as a critical component of mainstreaming in which local and subnational constituencies play a key role. Clear connection of mainstreaming with the provision of nature’s benefits and the interconnection between health and biodiversity particularly in cities, can result in higher risks of zoonoses and propagation.

Local and subnational governments have to help the CBD improve the decision making process and address the links between biodiversity, urban health. The risks and benefits of human interactions with nature will be crucial for CBD COP15.Oliver Hillel, SCBD

The long-term approach to mainstreaming that integrates the nature, health and food nexus currently developed in the post 2020 biodiversity framework draft refers to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 on food security and to SDG3 on health and well-being, as well as to FAO biodiversity mainstreaming platform. However mentions to local and subnational governments’ role in it still needs to be stronger and more articulated.

Any post pandemic recovery package needs to decrease zoonosis risks and manage them through social and technological approaches but also sustainable management of biodiversity, to aim for longer term sustainability of our system including through healthy nature and integrated food systems in cities.

Sustainable use and pandemic risks as human challenges will continue to live with us. National governments need to focus on science based analysis and support research to take collective action. As key players, they must cooperate with other player including local and subnational governments to prevent zoonoses risks.

– “Access to nature has clear health benefits but access to them is widely inequitable. Long, skinny parks maximize “people-catchment area” for greenspace. Developing nature corridors shall be an integrating part of Covid-19 recovery strategy.David Maddox, TNOC

ICLEI CBC’s soon-to-be-released review document of Decision 10/22 achievements shall provide relevant insight by tracking the local and subnational governments’ journey across the CBD. SBSTTA24 agenda item 9 discussions will also be instrumental in better articulating local and subnational actors with national governments in addressing the nexus. Finally, the next UN General Assembly scheduled in September 2020 in New York City shall bring a broader integration perspective on how biodiversity, health and food challenges can jointly be addressed through the SDGs and the post 2020 biodiversity framework.

Watch the full webinar below:

Register now by clicking on the links below: 

Watch ICLEI’s Post 2020 webinars here

Check ICLEI’s Local and Subnational Engagement Platform here

This webinar is part of ICLEI series of webinars, which help echoing and organizing the voice of local and subnational governments in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) for advancing the Action Agenda for Nature and People and in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) development process.

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