Towards policies that capture the expected value of biomolecular diversity for drug discovery, human health, and well-being

Biol Futur. 2021 Jun;72(2):119-125. doi: 10.1007/s42977-020-00043-3. Epub 2020 Sep 7.

Abstract

This paper aims to help policy makers with a characterization of the intrinsic value of biodiversity and its role as a critical foundation for sustainable development, human health, and well-being. Our objective is to highlight the urgent need to overcome economic, disciplinary, national, cultural, and regional barriers, in order to work out innovative measures to create a sustainable future and prevent the mutual extinction of humans and other species. We emphasize the pervasive neglect paid to the cross-dependency of planetary health, the health of individual human beings and other species. It is critical that social and natural sciences are taken into account as key contributors to forming policies related to biodiversity, conservation, and health management. We are reaching the target date of Nagoya treaty signatories to have accomplished measures to prevent biodiversity loss, providing a unique opportunity for policy makers to make necessary adjustments and refocus targets for the next decade. We propose recommendations for policy makers to explore novel avenues to halt the accelerated global loss of biodiversity. Beyond the critical ecological functions biodiversity performs, its enormous untapped the repertoire of natural molecular diversity is needed for solving accelerating global healthcare challenges.

Keywords: Biodiversity; Bioeconomy; Biomedicine; Biosecurity; Science-policy development.