A two-part policy report by the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change describes the impacts of biodiversity loss on land and oceans for human health and puts forward recommendations to reduce biodiversity loss, restore nature, and achieve climate goals for the benefit of health.
The climate and ecological crises are both driven by human activities. They each have catastrophic implications for human health and their strong interconnection creates a vicious circle where each is reinforced by the other. A stable natural environment is critical for limiting global warming and achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Conversely, the loss of biodiversity is a major threat to human, animal, and environmental health. In order to mitigate harm and maximise the co-benefits of action, it is important that policies tackle both climate change and biodiversity loss together. The policy report describes the impacts of biodiversity loss on land and oceans for human health and puts forward recommendations to reduce biodiversity loss, restore nature, and achieve climate goals for the benefit of health.
1. Protect, restore and regenerate nature and biodiversity in urban landscapes.
2. Prioritise and promote plant-based and sustainably sourced food, limit waste and build resilience against food insecurity.
3. Ensure delivery of the International Financial Commitments to support nature and biodiversity with regular monitoring and evaluation to demonstrate effectiveness.
4. End all subsidies, investments and new exploration for fossil fuels, while ensuring a just transition to renewable energy.
5. Reduce plastic waste by banning the production and sale of unnecessary plastic items with simultaneous efforts to incentivise reusing, recycling, and the production and utilisation of alternate compostable materials.
6. Increase knowledge and understanding of human and ecological risks caused by the presence of pharmaceutical products in water bodies.
7. Strengthen international financial flows and capacity-building with inclusive decision-making to support and implement innovative multidisciplinary solutions to save marine ecosystems.