While important work enhancing our understanding of a range of ecosystem services continues to expand, our understanding of the relationships between the state of natural systems and public health outcomes merits much more attention. For its part, the public health community has not systematically considered the role that natural ecosystems may play in affecting the outcomes they focus on. Similarly, the conservation community has not systematically considered how loss or conservation of natural ecosystems may be impacting human health. However, interest on both sides is increasing as awareness grows regarding the ways that management of natural systems may impact disease and associated societal costs.
In this session we will highlight a range of approaches for investigating the linkages between ecosystems and health, and applying these findings to encourage more robust approaches to: policy development; an integration of health, population and ecosystem management; and coordination of financial investments to better leverage the potential for multiple benefits in terms of healthy, resilient families and ecosystems. The collective work to be presented is focused on enhancing understanding of health / population / ecosystem relationships, and thus applying the best science to augment policy-level impact, for example via the Convention on Biological Diversity, as well as to bolster on-the-ground conservation and development interventions as, for example, though Population-Health-Environment (PHE) initiatives. The workshop will end with an audience-driven panel discussion to draw out key themes of importance for maximizing synergies and thus ´win-win´ outcomes for public health and conservation.
Preparation for this event included significant collaboration with Population Action International.