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Initiativ Lieuwensufank - Climate change discussed at recent executive board of the World Health Assembly

IBFAN, the International Baby Food Action Network is a member of HEAL through the Luxembourg IBFAN group Initiativ Liewensufank. As IBFAN has observer status with the WHO, it attended with several delegates the executive board meeting at the end of January 2015.

The agenda featured an item on health and environment subdivided into the issues of addressing health impacts of air pollution, and the outcomes of the WHO Conference on Health and Climate. After the discussion a draft resolution with the following title was proposed: Health and the environment: addressing the health impact of air pollution. The supporting countries included the delegations of Chile, Colombia, France, Monaco, Norway, Panama, Ukraine, USA, Uruguay and Zambia.

As IBFAN is an observer, it prepared a statement on climate change highlighting the importance of protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding and the use of local, bio-diverse and culturally appropriate family foods as there is no food more locally produced or sustainable than breast milk.

Low carbon and green, breastfeeding uses none of the planet’s scarce natural resources or raw materials. The Lancet reported in 2009, that while breastfeeding is a thoroughly eco-friendly feeding practice, the carbon footprint created by the formula milk industry from sourcing, producing and packaging is huge. Neither industrially manufactured nor ultra-processed, breast milk is a valuable natural resource in its own right, yet one under threat from the ever-expanding market for commercial baby foods, as highlighted in the IBFAN publication Formula for Disaster.

See the documents prepared by WHO, the draft resolution and the interventions by NGOs here. The discussion of the health and environment will continue during the World Health Assembly in May 2015, monitor this link to know more about date and revised documents.

Originally posted on 11 March 2015

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