Symposium on Biodiversity and health in SEA




Chalerm Phrakiat conference room, building 5, floor 5, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, 420/6 Ratchawithi rd. Ratchawithi, Bangkok, 10400 Thailand,

July 12th – 13th ;  see agenda and abstract book here



Background information

South East Asia (SEA) is characterized by high biological and cultural diversity both of which are rapidly declining. New health threats including emerging infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistant strains and metabolic disorders, are believed to be related to changing biodiversity.

Understanding the importance of biodiversity for health was the aim of a 1st Symposium on “Biodiversity and Health in Southeast Asia”, held at the University of Health Sciences (UHS) Phnom Penh in Cambodia, supported by the CIRAD, IRD, CNRS, AFD and Fondation Merieux.

This 2nd Symposium “Biodiversity and Health in Southeast Asia”, hosted by the faculty of Tropical Medicine at Mahidol University, Bangkok on the 12th and 13th of July, is intended to further our understanding of the interdependencies of biodiversity and human health and to translate this integrated knowledge into practical actions. This 2nd Symposium is being paired with the Forum on Health and Biodiversity hosted by the Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University and the Royal Zoological Society of Thailand on the afternoon of July 11th.

It has become increasingly apparent to many in the tropical disease research community that causes of disease emergence cannot be understood through conventional disciplinary approaches and biomedical thinking alone. Instead, broader approaches are needed, drawing on a wider scientific base, including ecologi­cal sciences and identifying the synergies between environmental factors and the mechanisms involved in pathogen transmission dynamics, key to elucidating the process of disease emergence.

The concept of biodiversity in relation to disease emergence has proven to be one of several promising new areas, associated with such fields as disease ecology and evolution, and the One Health and EcoHealth movements, which have been yielding new insights into disease emergence.

These insights already have begun to generate and guide more efficacious interventions related to study of biodiversity, the implication of its conservation to disease risk, and, more broadly to human health and well-being. This includes disease prevention and control strategies where the interactions between pathogens, hosts and the environment are explicitly accounted for.

The 2nd Symposium ‘Biodiversity & Health in Southeast Asia is supported by the French ANR BiodivHealthSEA, CNRS, IRD, GREASE/ComAcross, CIRAD, LACANET One Health and Mahidol University

Symposium Objectives

1) Refining our understanding of the interdependencies of Biodiversity and Health based on a broader disciplinary range of knowledge

2) Operationalizing the translation of this integrated knowledge into appropriate policies and interventions.

Accordingly, several key themes and research topics will be discussed during eight complementary sessions and round tables.

Session organization and knowledge integration process

Each thematic session (see below) will start with an introductory talk followed by scientific presentations that will be kept relatively short (15min) and synthetic to deliver concise and up to date accounts of the relationships between health and biodiversity. As much as possibly feasible, the thematic sessions will be complemented by round tables composed of a combination of scientific experts and government, NGO as well as communities representatives. Possible tangible outcomes from a legal and policy standpoint will be compiled by a rapporteur, synthetized and drafted.