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Emerging Environmental Health Challenges in the UNECE region

WECF Side Event EfE Batumi

11.06.2016 |

Karine Danyielyan, former Armenian Minister for the Environment, moderating the WECF side event

As part of the Eighth Ministerial Environment for Europe Conference in Batumi, WECF International and its partners organised a well attended side event on the emerging environmental health challenges in the UNECE region.

A mistake often made by people is narrowing the European Region down to just the EU or Western Europe. But the European Region for UNECE and the WHO entails the whole of Eurasia, including all former Soviet states in the Caucasus and Central Asia and Israel. And especially in rural areas in the Caucasus and Central Asia environmental health issues on the fields of water, sanitation, air pollution and chemical contamination are quite challenging, especially for women and children.

First speaker at the event was Elizabet Paunovic of the WHO European Region, who started off by stating that the European Region was the only region worldwide where the MDG goal on water and sanitation was not met. So to even start of thinking of fullfilling the Sustainable Development Goals, a lot of work has to be done.

Recommendations from the EfE Ministerial Conference 2016 to the Environment for Health Ministerial Conference 2017 were given by the following speakers:

  • Indoor air pollution and health – integrated solutions, Ms Olga Djanaeva, NGO ALGA, Kyrgyzstan
  • Safe building materials for better health and local green economy – Mr Rostom Gamisonia, RCDA, Georgia
  • Harmful chemicals and child health, and human bio-monitoring breast milk results - Gohar Khojayan, AWHHE, Armenia
  • Plastics bad for our health? – why banning one way plastic packaging is a public health and environment measure – Margriet Samwel, WECF, Netherlands
  • National Target Setting and Measuring progress – lessons from Protocol on Water & Health for the health sector – Emma Anakhasyan, AWHHE

The event was moderated by former Armenian minister of the Environment Karine Danyielyan and WECF Executive Director Sascha Gabizon.

WECF represented at the conference the European Eco Forum.

Both the CLEEN project and the EECCA (Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia) regional meeting of the Women2030 project, the first of four regional meetings for the project, took place in Batumi, Georgia, June 4,5, 6 and 7, back to back with  the EfE Ministerial Conference “Environment for Europe” in Batumi.

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