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Youth participation at Parma

Young people from seventeen countries of the World health Organization’s European Region met in Brussels in January to build capacity for youth involvement in the upcoming WHO Environment and health conference.

Twenty youth representatives met in the HEAL offices in early January for a preparatory seminar in the run up to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 5th Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health to be hosted by the Italian Ministry of Health in Parma, 10-12th of March 2010. This Ministerial will discuss progress towards the achievement of the Children’s Environment and Health Action Plan (CEHAPE).

Since the 2004 Ministerial, young people have been officially part of the WHO CEHAPE process. The two and half day seminar in Brussels was organised by the CEHAPE youth representatives, and facilitated by the European Youth Forum. Bringing together this diverse mix of young people enabled them to discuss the draft text of the Declaration that focused on children’s environmental health and to brainstorm on the questions they could be ask Ministers during the CEHAPE Good Practice Award and panel discussion on March 11 in Parma.. The event was organised with financial support of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Consumers (DG SANCO).

This workshop resulted in increased capacity of this core CEHAPE youth group, who will be coming to Parma to help organise and foster the youth involvement in the Ministerial Conference.


CEHAPE was adopted by European Ministers in 2004 at the Fourth Conference on Environment and Health. Currently, CEHAPE addresses the environmental risk factors that most affect the health of European children, the main commitments focus on four regional priority goals (RPGs) for Europe (to ensure; safe water and adequate sanitation; protection from injuries and adequate physical activity; clean outdoor and indoor air and to aim at chemical-free environments).

This coming Ministerial in Parma will discuss progress towards the achievement of these goals, in the context of recent developments such as financial constraints, broader socioeconomic and gender inequalities and more frequent extreme climate events.

By addressing environmental risk factors, the CEHAPE covers two of the seven priorities within the comprehensive WHO European strategy on child and adolescent health and development.

Last updated on 8 June 2011

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