Description

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. 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.

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….

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.

Objectives and beneficiaries

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 to establish mechanisms by which policy makers, researchers, practitioners and stakeholders can effectively communicate and work together, to understand, assess and resolve the issues linking biodiversity and human well-being. In particular, the Initiative works to identify and overcome the conceptual barriers to cross-sectoral understanding and dialogue at government levels, and to build capacity for cooperation and harmonization within and between stakeholders in developed and developing regions.

Expected results and benefits for climate change adaptation and mitigation

The initiative supports efforts to enhance human security through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and the goods and services it provides.