SEA/RC61/13 - 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. This paper was submitted to the Meeting of the Advisory Committee (ACM) for its review and comments for consideration by the Sixty-first Session of the Regional Committee. The ACM made the following recommendations: Action by Member States (1) Increase financial resources for better environmental health; (2) Develop / update NEHAPs, including emerging environmental health issues; (3) Promote active participation of the private sector and of NGOs in environmental health programmes and compile success stories; (4) Promote healthy public policies; and (5) Collaborate with Technical Working Groups of the Regional Ministerial Forum for Environment and Health. Action by WHO/SEARO (1) Assist Member countries in the review of NEHAPs; (2) Support Member countries to identify, address environmental factors and mitigate the adverse health effects; (3) Support research to assess risk factors and health impacts of global warming and climate change; and (4) Provide technical support and capacity building for health impact assessments, on strategies for healthy public policies and on the sound management of hazardous substances, including health-care waste. The paper is now submitted to the Sixty-first Session of the Regional Committee for its consideration.
World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia. (2008). SEA/RC61/13 - Regional initiative on environment and health. WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/128652