World Organisation for Animal Health

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Biodiversity

The Convention on Biological Diversity defines biodiversity as “the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part, this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems” (see http://www.cbd.int/convention/articles/?a=cbd-02).

Variability is essential for the evolution and adaptation of living organisms, including animals be they wild or domestic, and constitutes a vast field of research. Such research will lead a better understanding of the ecosystems and the discovery of various molecules with potential benefits to the humanity.

Protection of biodiversity is therefore crucial both for animals and humans, in particular at a time when global challenges are posed by growing human population; increasing movement of goods, animals and people, together with pathogens and invasive species; and climate changes, to name a few.

With a mandate to improve animal health, veterinary public health and animal welfare world-wide, the OIE, along with other international organisations and Member Countries, has a key role to play to protect biodiversity. Protection of biodiversity is also one of the platforms where intersectoral collaboration between animal and human health and environmental health needs to be developed and reinforced under the “One Health” initiatives.

Consistent with its mandate and to support safeguarding of biodiversity, the OIE: