Friday, November 29, 2013

World Public Health Nutrition Association declared Biodiversity Champion

Montreal, 29 November 2013 – The World Public Health Nutrition Association (WPHNA) has been declared a Biodiversity Champion by the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in recognition of its important contribution to the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.

“We are delighted that the World Public Health Nutrition Association has become a Biodiversity Champion. Biodiversity is the basis for a varied and healthy diet upon which good nutrition is founded,” said Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, CBD Executive Secretary. “With the global population expected to reach nine billion by 2050, conserving biodiversity and sustainably using the components of biodiversity is critical for our well-being and the drive to end hunger and malnutrition.”

The Biodiversity Champions campaign was launched in 2012 at the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the CBD held in Hyderabad, India, by the President of the COP, Her Excellency, Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan, Minister of Environment and Forests of India and Executive Secretary Braulio Dias, and allows countries and organizations to make pledges to support efforts towards one or more of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

As a Biodiversity Champion, the WPHNA will integrate relevant issues of biodiversity into its aims and objectives and bring attention to the relationship between nutrition and biodiversity to its nutrition professionals across the world in academia, the private sector, civil society, UN agencies, and government.

Their work will advance the Convention’s cross-cutting initiative on biodiversity for food and nutrition and contribute to the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, including Targets 1, 4, 12, 13, 14, 18 and 19. In addition, it will contribute to initiatives of several organizations to promote sustainable diets. "More and more in the field of nutrition, we are recognizing that human health and environmental health cannot be separated. The WPHNA is taking the initiative to give biodiversity a higher profile in the public health nutrition arena and to encourage its members to do their part in realizing the Aichi Targets,” said Barbara Burlingame, Deputy Director, Nutrition Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and member of the WPHNA.

With members from over 50 countries, the WHPNA is an individual membership organization committed to advocacy, leadership and scholarship, strengthening the capacity for action and providing a forum for discussion. It affirms that good health is a human right.

“The WPHNA has a strong commitment to the promotion of biodiversity for food and nutrition, and the concept of sustainable diets which has biodiversity at its core,” said Barrie Margetts, WPHNA President and Professor of Health Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton.

Adopted in 2010, the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 aims to address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity considerations across government, society and business. It includes a series of ambitious yet achievable goals and targets, collectively known as the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

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