Eighth Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference

8–10 June 2016, Batumi, Georgia

The Eighth Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference, "Greener, Cleaner, Smarter", takes place in Batumi, Georgia on 8–10 June 2016. The Conference is hosted by the government of Georgia and organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

Attended by representatives of ministries of environment as well as intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, the Conference is expected to adopt a Ministerial Declaration "Greener, Cleaner, Smarter", as well as launch the Batumi Initiative on Green Economy and the Batumi Action for Cleaner Air. Member States will also announce their voluntary commitments to implement the actions proposed by these new international initiatives. The initiatives will promote the shift towards the green economy and address air pollution, the most important environmental risk, which in the European Region is estimated to be responsible for the premature deaths of 600 000 people each year.

The political outcomes of the Conference will provide valuable input for preparations for the Sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health, to take place in 2017, which has also identified air pollution as a major priority for health. Hosted by the government of Georgia, a preparatory meeting for the Sixth Ministerial Conference will take place on 10 June 2016, back-to-back with the Conference in Batumi.

WHO participation

Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, will address delegates at the upcoming Conference. WHO/Europe is also the co-organizer of two side events:

  • "Riding towards green economy: cycling and green jobs", in which the key messages of a forthcoming study developed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), UNECE and WHO under the framework of Transport, Health and Environment Pan-European Programme (THE PEP) will be launched; and 
  • "Clean Air for Life", which will highlight approaches to harmonizing air pollution, climate and health policies, as well as some global and regional partnerships that can support action towards achieving cross-sectoral benefits.