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Health and Environment

The topic area is connected to the World Health Organisation’s European Environment and Health Process. It supports the implementation of the EU Environment and Health (E&H) Action Plan, and the Budapest Declaration and Children’s Environment and Health Action Plan for Europe (CEHAPE), which were signed by 53 countries at the Fourth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health, held in Budapest in 2004. Members of the topic area were involved in preparations for the Fifth Ministerial Conference, held in Italy in 2010.


The topic area aims to:

  • support cooperation between the environment and health sectors by means of policy integration at international and national level in all REC beneficiary countries and in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (the EECCA region);
  • strengthen the role of the precautionary principle in public health and environmental protection, with a special focus on the future of our children;
  • promote the implementation of the CEHAPE by active involvement in European processes and by efficient instruments and tools for multi-stakeholder cooperation; and
  • participate at regional level in CEHAPE implementation in general, and especially in Priority Goal 3 on the reduction and prevention of respiratory diseases due to outdoor and indoor air pollution.


The topic area cooperates closely with the Climate Change and Clean Energy Topic Area and the Environmental Management Topic Area.

The main services provided by the topic area are:

  • Participation in the development of European Environment and Health Policy, with special focus on the EU Environment and Health Strategy and the needs of SEE and EECCA countries.
  • Implementation of the CEHAPE, providing a platform for the exchange of information and good practice among European countries and regions. The REC is particularly involved in the implementation of CEHAPE Regional Priority Goal 3 on the prevention and reduction of respiratory diseases.
  • Continuous evaluation of commitment to the Budapest Declaration, especially in the lead-up to the next Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health in Italy, 2010.
  • Implementation of the Transport, Health and Environment Pan-European Programme (PEP) plan of action, by providing coordination, monitoring progress and undertaking appropriate actions in schools in the region.
  • Action on climate change–related extreme weather events that demand a proactive and multidisciplinary approach in relation to human health.
  • Creation of conditions for national-level strategies for climate change adaptation, focusing on environment and health.
  • Follow-up on developments for the sustainable generation and use of renewable energy, and for the reduction of health risks from energy generation, distribution and consumption.