Environment and Health

Environment and Health

This area of expertise is connected to the World Health Organization’s European Environment and Health Process. It supports the implementation of the EU Environment and Health (E&H) Action Plan, and the Declaration of the Fourth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health and the Children’s Environment and Health Action Plan for Europe (CEHAPE), which were signed in Budapest in 2004 by 53 countries of the WHO Europe region. The REC was also involved in preparations for the Fifth and Sixth Ministerial Conferences on Environment and Health, held in Italy in 2010 and in Ostrava in 2017, and supports the implementation of the Parma Declaration on Environment and Health and the Ostrava Declaration.

The objectives of the REC in this area of expertise are to:

  • support cooperation between the environment and health sectors by means of policy integration at international and national level in all REC beneficiary countries and in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (the EECCA region);
  • strengthen the role of the precautionary principle in public health and environmental protection, with a special focus on the future of our children;
  • promote the implementation of the CEHAPE and health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by active involvement in European processes and by efficient instruments and tools for multi-stakeholder cooperation; and
  • participate at regional level in CEHAPE implementation, and especially in the implementation of Priority Goal 3 on the reduction and prevention of respiratory diseases due to outdoor and indoor air pollution.

Within this area of expertise, the REC’s activities and services include:

  • participating in the development of European environment and health policy, with a special focus on the EU Environment and Health Strategy and the needs of SEE and EECCA countries;
  • implementing the CEHAPE, providing a platform for the exchange of information and good practice among European countries and regions, and contributing in particular to the implementation of CEHAPE Regional Priority Goal 3 on the prevention and reduction of respiratory diseases;
  • continuously evaluating commitment to the Budapest, Parma and Ostrava Declarations;
  • implementing the Transport, Health and Environment Pan-European Programme (PEP) plan of action by providing coordination, monitoring progress and undertaking appropriate actions in schools in the region;
  • taking action on climate change–related extreme weather events that demand a proactive and multidisciplinary approach in relation to human health;
  • creating conditions for national-level strategies for climate change adaptation, focusing on environment and health;
  • following up on developments for the sustainable generation and use of renewable energy, and for the reduction of health risks from energy generation, distribution and consumption; and
  • focusing on healthy and climate-resilient cities.