Conservation of wetlands and biodiversity
Little is known about nature and magnitude of the links between biological diversity and human health. Harvard University (School of Medicine, Centre for Health and the Global Environment), UNEP and WHO have embarked on a joint programme to analyse information on this subject and publish a state-of-the-art review. An Executive Summary was launched in October 2002 and the book itself will be published in 2004. An important objective is to include health considerations in the Convention on Biological Diversity.
On the ground, WHO/WSH has worked with the Danish Bilharziasis Laboratory on setting a research agenda for biodiversity/health studies in Africa, at an interdisciplinary workshop held in Entebbe, Uganda, in June 2002. UNEP's Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and ICIPE in Nairobi, are also partners in this endeavour.
Involving communities in nature conservation in general, and wetland protection in particular, requires a human-centred perspective of the management of ecosystems on which community livelihoods depend. WHO is working with the World Conservation Union ( IUCN) on the development of strategies that address both issues in a mutually re-enforcing way.