Towards improved environment and health in Serbia: follow-up on Parma Declaration implementation


Local government partners in health and environment exchanged experiences and knowledge with representatives of the Serbian Government and public health institutes, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection at a workshop in Paracin, Serbia on 30 November 2015.

The workshop was facilitated by the regional development agency for Sumadija and Pomoravlje, and experts in the fields of water, sanitation, air quality, asbestos, climate change and occupational health also took part. The aim of the workshop was to enable adequate responses by the national environmental protection and health services at the subregional and local levels.

Ms Biljana Filipovic, National Coordinator for Environment and Health, Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection, made an introductory presentation on environment- and health-related commitments for the national implementation under the European Environment and Health Process.

The presentation was followed by input from the National Coordinator on the Protocol on Water and Health. A representative of the Institute of Occupational Health of Serbia spoke about the negative health impacts of asbestos, while WHO recommendations on air quality and disease prevention were highlighted by the representative of the Institute of Public Health of Serbia.

Air pollution is the largest single contributor to the burden of disease caused by environmental factors in Serbia with around 7 000 premature deaths linked to ambient air pollution.

As a follow-up on the Serbian implementation of the Parma Declaration on Environment and Health, 2 similar gatherings took place in Zajecar and Kragujevac on 5 November and 12 November 2015, respectively. The aim was to encourage intersectoral cooperation between key local partners and pave a way forward for a more comprehensive national framework to addressing major environmental health challenges in Serbia.