Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
Session
163S: The role of biomimicry in tackling biodiversity loss and public health challenges
Time:
Monday, 24/Feb/2020:
10:15am - 12:15pm

Session Chair: Jas Pal Badyal, Durham University, United Kingdom
Session Chair: Paul Kersey, Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, United Kingdom
Session Chair: Patrick Lewis, University of British Columbia, Canada
Session Chair: Francesca Racioppi, World Health Organization,
Session Chair: Paul Smith, Botanic Gardens Conservation International, United Kingdom
Session Chair: Lana Sutherland, TEALEAVES,
Location: Flüela
Parallel Session 115 m2 100 PAX

Session Abstract

Public health is both directly and indirectly linked to the health of biodiverse ecosystems at all scales. The loss of biodiversity and resulting impact on ecosystem processes is often associated with a concordant increase in public health challenges. Further exacerbating the complexity of these problems is the climate crisis.

Diseases long thought contained or restricted to certain areas of the world are re-emerging or spreading. Novel infectious diseases with unforeseen modes and rates of transmission are becoming more commonplace. Clean water, a paramount underpinning to public health, is becoming more expensive to maintain while simultaneously becoming less available. The degradation of soils and their associated microorganisms are leading to less resilience in agricultural systems; food security is being affected, linked to the public health impacts of poor nutrition. Where will humans find the inspiration to design the required solutions? Art and design have long been influenced by the natural world, but it is only in recent decades that there has been prominent recognition that science and engineering can similarly seek answers from biodiversity. Biomimicry – observing, understanding, and recreating the processes or materials that have evolved in biodiversity – is a wellspring of "knowledge" that remains underutilized. This session will cover a range of perspectives connecting biodiversity to public health. It will bring together academia, corporations, and NGOs to discuss recent scientific work in biomimicry for public health solutions and how the public is being engaged through strategic partnerships. It will reinforce the importance of preserving and renewing in situ and ex situ biodiversity, and the role of botanical gardens as “innovation libraries.”


No contributions were assigned to this session.


 
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