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Biodiversity and World Health Day

Release Date: 04/07/2008
Contact Information: Melissa Anley-Mills, (202) 564 5179 / anley-mills.melissa@epa.gov

(Washington D.C., -- April 7, 2008) Acknowledging the interconnection between healthy ecosystems and our own health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is joining with partners of the World Health Organization in designating April 7, 2008, as World Health Day. To mark the day, EPA has released “Biodiversity & World Health Day," a new video in its Green Scene series. The video features Dr. Montira Pongsiri talking about the work of EPA researchers who have established a new interdisciplinary research program to better understand how maintaining healthy ecosystems and biodiversity can protect people from emerging infectious diseases such as West Nile virus and Lyme disease.

As part of EPA's research on emerging scientific issues, the Agency participates in the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), which aims to coordinate environmental monitoring worldwide. Using GEOSS as a platform, EPA scientists can combine data across different scales and academic disciplines, at the same time exploring the scientific factors linking human-caused environmental stressors (such as deforestation and climate change), changes in biological diversity, and the transmission of diseases from animals to people.

Understanding how environmental factors and people's behaviors contribute to emerging diseases allow decision makers to improve ecosystems and biodiversity management, ultimately protecting both the environment and public health.

To view the Green Scene: http://www.epa.gov/multimedia/playercontents/video/greenscene15/biodiversityGS.html
EPA's Biodiversity Ecosystem-Health Research Program: http://www.epa.gov/ncer/biodiversity
Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS): http://www.epa.gov/geoss/
World Health Day: http://www.who.int/world-health-day/en/

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