Environment and health

The environment is a major determinant of health, estimated to account for almost 20% of all deaths in the WHO European Region. In 1989, concerned about the growing evidence of the impact of hazardous environments on human health, WHO/Europe initiated the first ever environment and health process, towards a broad primary prevention public health approach, and to facilitate intersectoral policy-making.

Read more

Top story

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia aligns its national action plan on health and environment with the Sustainable Development Goals

In cooperation with the Ministry of Health of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, WHO organized a workshop on 19–20 April 2016 to finalize the country's monitoring and evaluation framework for a draft action plan on health and the environment until 2020.

European Environment and Health Process Mid-term Review

28-30 April, Haifa, Israel

Conference site


European process on environment and health

In the late 1980s, European countries initiated the first ever process to eliminate the most significant environmental threats to human health. Progress towards this goal is driven by a series of ministerial conferences held every five years and coordinated by WHO/Europe.

Read more

Data and evidence

European Environment and Health Information System (ENHIS)

ENHIS is an evidence-based information system aiming to support public health and environmental policies in the WHO European Region.

Read more

Social inequalities in environment and health

Socioeconomic inequalities, related to e.g. income, employment, education, as well as demographic differences, such as age or gender, are associated with unequal exposure to environmental risk factors. They contribute to health inequities and most often put disadvantaged groups at significantly higher risk for environmental health effects.

Read more

Environmental health economics

Member States called for proper consideration of the economic dimension of environmental health policies at the latest ministerial conferences on environment and health, noting the particular urgency of this topic during times of economic downturn. In response to this call for action, WHO has begun promoting the use of economic evidence to identify the most effective policies for environment and health, and to strengthen the case for such policies.

Read more