Joint meeting of the EHTF Ad-Hoc Working Group and EHMB Alternates, Bonn, Germany, 13-14 November 2014

The 4th meeting of the Ad-Hoc Working Group of the European Environment and Health Task Force (EHTF) was held jointly with the EHMB Alternates at the WHO European Centre for Environment and Health in Bonn, Germany, 13–14 November 2014. The meeting was open for attendance by interested EHTF members.

Mid-Term Review (MTR) preparations

The status of the preparations for the Mid-Term Review in 2015 was reviewed, including an introduction to the sessions of the MTR agenda. Proposals were received for further development of the MTR’s detailed programme and featured speakers, which will be taken into consideration at the next Ad-Hoc Working Group. It was decided to provide the new working document on governance of the EHP in both English and Russian to facilitate comments from all EHTF members.

Member States will be invited to prepare cases that tell the story of progress toward meeting the Parma Declaration commitments for use in the MTR communication channels of on-site exhibition posters, conference sessions, videos, online presence, and press outreach.

Regarding the MTR report and its key messages, the input given at the meeting recommended the inclusion of economic arguments, such as the presentation of budget allocations for prevention of environment-related health hazards at the national level—which gives an indication of the political relevance afforded to environment and health; positive stories on the importance of investing in prevention; and the identification of emerging issues for joint work between the environment and health sectors.   

6th Environment and Health Ministerial Conference preparations

Feedback on the preparations for the 6th Ministerial Conference in 2017 emphasized the need for a well-structured, transparent process that takes into account the diversity within the WHO European region, Member States’ expectations, and the need for focusing concrete and clear action in the negotiation of the Conference political outcomes.

The secretariat will draft a road map with a calendar of proposed meetings and activities.

Engagement of EHP in global processes

Discussions were also held on the desirability of continued engagement by the EHP in relevant processes, such as the development of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda; joint preparations for a session on air quality with the CEP Bureau to be presented at the Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference in 2016; and collaborations with the European Environment and Health Youth Coalition (EEHYC).

The next EHTF Ad-Hoc Working Group meetings will take place virtually in mid-January 2015, and in Copenhagen on 5 February 2015.