UN Environment and WHO agree to major collaboration on environmental health risks

UN Environment and WHO have agreed a brand new, wide-ranging collaboration to speed up motion to curb environmental well being dangers that trigger an estimated 12.6 million deaths a 12 months.

Today in Nairobi, Mr Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment, and Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, signed an settlement to step up joint actions to fight air air pollution, local weather change and antimicrobial resistance, in addition to enhance coordination on waste and chemical substances administration, water high quality, and meals and diet points. The collaboration additionally contains joint administration of the BreatheLife advocacy marketing campaign to scale back air air pollution for a number of local weather, atmosphere and well being advantages.

This represents essentially the most important formal settlement on joint motion throughout the spectrum of atmosphere and well being points in over 15 years.

“There is an urgent need for our two agencies to work more closely together to address the critical threats to environmental sustainability and climate – which are the foundations for life on this planet. This new agreement recognizes that sober reality,” mentioned UN Environment’s Solheim.

“Our health is directly related to the health of the environment we live in. Together, air, water and chemical hazards kill more than 12.6 million people a year. This must not continue,” mentioned WHO’s Tedros.

He added: “Most of these deaths occur in developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America where environmental pollution takes its biggest health toll.”

The new collaboration creates a extra systematic framework for joint analysis, growth of instruments and steering, capability constructing, monitoring of Sustainable Development Goals, international and regional partnerships, and help to regional well being and atmosphere fora.

The two businesses will develop a joint work programme and maintain an annual high-level assembly to guage progress and make suggestions for continued collaboration.

The WHO-UN Environment collaboration follows a Ministerial Declaration on Health, Environment and Climate Change calling for the creation of a worldwide “Health, Environment and Climate Change” Coalition, on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP 22 in Marrakesh, Morocco in 2016.

Just final month, beneath the overarching subject “Towards a Pollution-Free Planet”, the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), which convenes atmosphere ministers worldwide, adopted a decision on Environment and Health, known as for expanded partnerships with related UN businesses and companions, and for an implementation plan to deal with air pollution.

Note to editors

Priority areas of cooperation between WHO and UN Environment embody:

  • Air Quality – More efficient air high quality monitoring together with steering to international locations on customary working procedures; extra correct atmosphere and well being assessments, together with financial evaluation; and advocacy, together with the BreatheLife marketing campaign selling air air pollution reductions for local weather and well being advantages.
  • Climate – Tackling vector-borne illness and different climate-related well being dangers, together with by means of improved evaluation of well being advantages from local weather mitigation and adaptation methods.
  • Water – Ensuring efficient monitoring of information on water high quality, together with by means of knowledge sharing and collaborative evaluation of air pollution dangers to well being.
  • Waste and chemical substances – Promotion of extra sustainable waste and chemical substances administration, significantly within the space of pesticides, fertilizers, use of antimicrobials . The collaboration goals to advance the objective of sound lifecycle chemical substances administration by 2020, a goal set out on the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

Ongoing WHO/UN Environment collaboration contains:

For extra data, please contact:

Sarah Cumberland
Communications Officer, WHO
Mobile: +41 79 206 1403
Email: cumberlands@who.int

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