Regional Initiative on Environment and Health
AbstractWHO’s global Strategy for Health and Environment was formulated in 1993 as a response to the mandate given by the Global Commission for Sustainable Development for WHO to be the task master for coordinating the implementation of Chapter 6 of Agenda 21, on human health. A regional strategy followed soon after and countries in the South-East Asia (SEA) Region embarked on preparing their National Health and Environment Action Plans (NEHAPs) to delineate national-level operational actions. Since then, nine countries have prepared their NEHAPs and carried these through various stages of implementation. With partnerships for health development becoming ever important, it is timely that Member countries in the Region review the progress in implementing their NEHAPs and chart new ground by including newly formulated global developmental and environmental compacts such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and various other framework conventions that reflect new partnerships in environmental management and coordination. New opportunities for collaboration between and among regions of WHO and with other UN partners are also opening up, as exemplified by the Regional Ministers’ Environment and Health Initiative unveiled in Bangkok last year. These need to be expanded and pursued vigorously in order to address the impending health challenges from climate change and to achieve the MDGs. The WHO collaborative programmes reflect the continuity of this mandate and would need the concerted support of Member countries to reach the achievable targets. The views and recommendations of the Meeting of the Advisory Committee (ACM) on this agenda item will be submitted to the Sixty-first Session of the Regional Committee for its consideration.
World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia. (2008). Regional Initiative on Environment and Health. New Delhi : WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/126812