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Third High-level Preparatory Meeting to the 2010 Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health

HEAL delegates attended the third high level meeting of the WHO-led environment and health process on 27-29 April in Bonn, Germany. The meeting was the last in a series of meetings in preparation for the Fifth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health, to be held in Parma, Italy, in 2010.

Over 100 representatives from health and environment ministries across the 53 countries in the WHO European Region met to hammer out the final details of the Ministerial Declaration, and discuss how to use children’s environmental health as a pillar to drive more sustainable economic development amidst the financial crisis. This debate echoed calls from G8 ministers the week before to prioritize children’s environment health, and use recovery and stimulus packages to shift towards green growth by including investments in low carbon technologies to address both economic development and emissions reduction.

Climate change and health discussions also figured high on the agenda. Dr Bettina Menne, WHO European Region Medical Officer, Global Change and Health showcased some of the achievements in NIS and SEE countries where opportunities for protecting health from climate change were made possible through a German funded project. Dr Roberto Bertollini, WHO Headquarters Coordinator Evidence and Policy, spoke about how health still was marginal in ongoing negotiations towards Copenhagen, and provided some revealing statistics on little funding and projects actually addressing health issues within the climate change mechanisms and processes.

Dr Paul Wilkinson from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine spoke about how the current economic crisis could worsen the socioeconomic inequities that exist in environment and health.

The next Ministerial Conference will take place from 24 to 26 February 2010 in Parma, Italy. Side events and preparatory meetings will be organized on the day before and throughout the meeting. WHO Euro aims to make this one of the first ever of its conferences as green, eco-friendly and carbon neutral as possible.

The draft programme includes two sessions that will be coordinated by HEAL and the European ECO Forum:
- a CEHAPE Awards ceremony, building on the successful first edition of the CEHAPE Awards in Vienna in 2007
- a 45-minute Ministerial Roundtable with stakeholders including NGOs, youth, trade union and business

All information on the conference is now available on the newly launched conference website at: www.euro.who.int/parma2010.

The HEAL delegation included Genon Jensen and Monica Guarinoni from the HEAL Secretariat, Eric Petersen and Stephan Bose O Reilly from the German Children’s Environment and Health Network and Peter Ohnsorge from the European Academy for Environmental Medicine. HEAL has official status in the process and in its steering body, the European Environment and Health Committee (EEHC) as a representative of the NGO health community.

Last updated on 1 July 2011

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The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »

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HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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