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Our planet, our health, our future – human health and the Rio Conventions: biological diversity, climate change and desertification

This discussion paper focuses on the linkages between health and biodiversity, climate change and desertification, the representation of health in the three Rio Conventions and the opportunities for more integrated and effective policy. Produced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in collaboration with the Secretariats of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the report demonstrates the importance of human health as an integrating theme across sustainable development and calls for more coordination in addressing global environmental change. On climate change, the paper suggests, among other opportunities, increasing the use of health expertise within UNFCCC work programmes to monitor adverse impacts of climate change on health, develop adequate response measures and avoid negative impacts through adaptation measures.