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Sixth meeting of the European Environment and Health Task Force (EHTF)

HEAL participated in the European Environment and Health Task meeting in Vienna, where negotiations began on the draft Declaration and annex for the Sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health to be held in Ostava, Czech Republic 13-15 June 2017.

The European Environment and Health Task meeting in Vienna began negotiations on the draft Declaration and annex for the Sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health to be held in Ostava, Czech Republic 13-15 June 2017. The meeting was attended by delegations representing 37 member states, as well as UNECE, UNEP, the EU Committee of the Regions, EEA, the REC, CAREC, UNDP, EEHYC, ECOFORUM, and HEAL.

Towards the Sixth Ministerial, 13-15 June 2017– Anja Leetz, HCWH Europe, Genon Jensen, HEAL, Valerie Xhonneux, IEW and Sascha Gabizon, ECOFORUM/WECF International

HEAL and Eco Forum highlighted the importance of keeping the focus on vulnerable groups and children in particular, and address social inequalities. They also asked to ensure that the unfinished PARMA targets remain as a commitment of all states, on which they should report. With regard to chemicals safety, EcoForum recommended to “to specifically mention elimination of asbestos related diseases and to mention the word chrysotile”.

HEAL recommended strengthening the priority on “Promoting chemical safety” to link it to what we are trying to achieve and support the SDG 3.9 2030 Goal – “to reduce the number of deaths & illnesses from hazardous chemicals, including EDCs.”

Outcomes from the EHTF Summary Report, EHP secretariat, WHO

“EHTF members expressed appreciation for the documents that had been provided, as well as for the inclusive consultation process. They also appreciated the links to the Sustainable Development Goals and Health 2020, as important elements providing added value, along with the interlinkages between health and environment. They reiterated the need for the declaration to be short, linking to but avoiding repetitions and duplications of commitments taken in other processes, stressing more the equity, social inclusion and resilience (physical and social) dimensions and the need to protect vulnerable groups, placing emphasis on the most important commitments, as well as on the “unfinished business” resulting from the implementation of the Parma Ministerial Declaration.

Although some EHTF members expressed a preference for the declaration to focus on a more limited number of priorities, it was recognized that the diversity in the Region makes it difficult to identify a restricted number of priorities of universal relevance. The proposal to allow Member States flexibility in the choice of actions addressing major environment and health threats to better reflect national priorities, notably through the development of a “national portfolio of actions” based on the actions in the implementation plan, could address this point. However, a more explicit text should be developed in the declaration to this effect.“

European Environment and Youth Coalition - present new board and Youth Declaration

Over 70 young people from 33 countries of the WHO European Region came together in Vienna, Austria for the International Youth Conference on Environment, Health and Mobility, which took place on 27-28 November 2016.

The new 2017 - 2019 Executive Board of the EEHYC has been elected - Antonio (Portugal), Sara (Austria), Maria (Ukraine), Danilo (Serbia), and Erikas (Lithuania). Photo credit @EEHYC_Official.

The aim of the Youth Conference was to provide the input of youth into the Ministerial Declaration on Environment and Health. The Vienna Youth Position Paper contains what young people call for the ministers to commit to in the Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health, which will take place in June 2017 in Czech Republic. These include those to improve air quality in line with WHO Air Quality standards, reducing indoor air quality pollution, especially for vulnerable groups, being advocates of the health co-benefits to mitigation and adaptation to climate change and calling for “quick actions when evidence suggests that population and environment are negatively affected by regulated and unregulated chemicals.”

Last updated on 20 December 2016

About HEAL

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 »


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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