Improving environment and health in Europe: how far have we gotten?




2015, xiv + 135 pages
ISBN 978 92 890 5087 6

Pioneering the health-in-all-policies approach, the health ministries and environment ministries of the Member States in the WHO European Region, with many other European stakeholders, gathered at five ministerial conferences, beginning in 1989, to identify priorities and develop appropriate policies for environment and health. At the latest such conference, held in Parma, Italy in 2010, ministers and stakeholders committed themselves to pursuing goals and targets on: air quality, water and sanitation, children's daily environments, chemical safety and asbestos-related disease, climate change and more. In 2015, at the so-called mid-term review, Member States met to assess progress in implementing the Parma agenda and to discuss future directions, in view of the Sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health, scheduled for 2017. 

This report describes the substantial progress that European countries have made in several but not all domains. Policies at the national and international levels have greatly advanced and produced measurable gains, but some indicators remain at levels arousing concern. More efforts are needed to reduce the still high burden of disease due to environmental factors and its unequal distribution among people in the WHO European Region.