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Midterm review of environment and health progress in the European Region

From 28 to 30 April WECF was part of the Ecoforum delegation, representing environmental organisations from the European Region, participating at the mid-term review meeting of the WHO European Environment and Health Process in Haifa, Israel

15.05.2015 |




This WHO high level meeting brought together representatives of environment and health ministries of the 53 member countries of the World Health Organization Europe. The meeting critically assessed the implementation of the 2010 Parma Declaration, in which all countries committed to the first-ever, time-bound goals on environment and health to protect children.

These goals include providing safe water and sanitation, healthy and safe settings for physical activity, and environments free of tobacco smoke and toxic chemicals, as well as eliminating asbestos-related diseases.

WECF and its partner HEAL (Health & Environment Alliance) participated at the meeting. Both have been involved in the Environment and Health Process since its inception, and have an official seat on the European Environment and Health Task Force, with HEAL representing the health community and WECF representing the environmental non-governmental organisations.

 

Lessons learnt from the experience highlight the need for great involvement from health ministries and agencies to champion cost savings and prevention efforts for reducing chronic diseases and other serious health problems linke to EDCs, as well as more urgent action to raise awareness and protect vulnerable groups such as pregnant women.

During the meeting, participants shared progress and plans in areas such as indoor and outdoor air quality, climate change, and noise. The meeting also reviewed the governance structures and define steps to prepare for the Sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health planned for 2017.

HEAL, WECF and Eco-Forum released a statement on progress made and priorities for the EEHP and Regional Priority Goals. Many NGOs endorsed the statement including WECF members.

WECF poster presentation as shown during the MTR


A series of reports, assessments and new cost burdens of disease were released during the meeting:

    Economic cost of the health impact of air pollution in Europe;
    Fact sheet on progress from Parma to Haifa;
    Improving environment and health in Europe: how far have we gotten?;
    Progress toward the elimination of asbestos-related diseases

 

WECF's interventions on behalf of environmental NGOs:

 

The meeting received lots of attention. Summaries for download:


More information on the meeting is available via the WHO website here


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Midterm review of environment and health progress in the European Region
From 28 to 30 April WECF was part of the Ecoforum delegation, representing environmental organisations from the European Region, participating at the mid-term review meeting of the WHO European Environment and Health Process in Haifa, Israel
15.05.2015