Germany announces 50 mn euros for new nature for health fund

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The German Federal Ministry for Environment and Nature Conservation, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) on Thursday jointly announced the establishment of a Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) on nature for health.

Announced on World Wildlife Day, the fund — through an initial contribution of 50 million euros from Germany’s International Climate Initiative (IKI) — brings together leading UN agencies, intergovernmental organisations and civil society groups in the field of environment and health, namely UNEP, the SCBD, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the EcoHealth Alliance.

At the UN Environment Assembly, the member states passed a resolution on biodiversity and health. A total of 175 countries came together to pass this resolution during the continued global pandemic in recognition that human, animal and environmental health are inextricably linked. Investments in nature are investments in human health and well-being.

The fund will be administered by the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office.

The fund will help countries achieve more holistic policymaking by creating further evidence of the links between biodiversity, climate and health, and will support decision makers and relevant actors to take measures to prevent future pandemics.

Through application of enhanced One Health approaches, the fund aims to achieve improved policies and cross-sector collaboration.

“Above all, the Multi-Partner Trust Fund will focus on implementation of preventive One Health action and policies at the local, national and regional level. It is necessary to work together to develop the full potential of biodiversity to contribute to our health and well-being across the planet,” said Steffi Lemke, German Minister for Environment and Nature Conservation.

“The global pandemic has revealed how interconnected nature and human wellbeing are. To address the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste, we need a true One Health approach. This is the only way to secure the health and well-being for current and future generations,” Inger Andersen, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNEP, told the media here.

The fund will support fast-tracked implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity Global Action Plan on Biodiversity and Health that is currently under development.

“The post-2020 global biodiversity framework is our prescription for putting nature on a path to recovery. The Multi-Partner Trust Fund will accelerate the uptake of the CBD draft Global Action Plan for Biodiversity and Health that will be considered at COP-15. This is precisely the type of partnerships needed to achieve the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity and advance the health of people alongside the health of the planet,” said Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at vishal.g@ians.in)

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