Better health through a healthier environment – celebrating 10 years of HEAL
Since its founding in 2003, HEAL has brought the unique voice of the health and environment community into the decision-making process in Europe and beyond. Join us on 25 September to hear about new horizons for better health and environment-friendly lives.
Since its founding, our alliance has pushed for and contributed to many environmental policy changes which help to bring down rates of asthma, cancer, heart disease and improve the quality of life of citizens. HEAL now includes over 70 organisations, representing health professionals, non-for-profit health insurers, patients, citizens, women, youth and environmental experts in 26 countries of the European region.
Over the past 10 years, HEAL has been a key driver to achieving better health through environmental policy changes and continues to set the path to improve the health of citizens. Achievements HEAL has contributed to include the first ever EU Action Plan on Health and Environment, time-bound goals to protect children’s health from environmental threats, ground breaking rules to stop harm from hazardous chemicals through REACH, the pesticides and biocides legislation, new information requirements helping people with asthma, respiratory diseases when air pollution levels are high, the recognition that certain climate measures bring huge health benefits, and many more.
The past decade has also seen challenges. Environment and health issues seem to have taken a back seat on the EU agenda where economic recovery is the priority, and the true costs to health of pollution are often absent when investment decisions are taken. Public health policies also lag behind in truly incorporating environmental prevention as a key strategy for disease prevention, although some progress has been made. In parallel, new scientific understanding of how pollutants, even in small doses, can harm health in many ways, make the need for precautionary policies to protect health ever more important than ever before.
2013 provides the opportunity for HEAL to look back over the last 10 years and showcase how the Alliance and its vibrant members and partners have achieved so much for environmental health. It also allows us to look to the future and identify new strategies to improve health through a healthier environment.
An evening reception at the European Parliament on 25 September hosted by MEPs Peter Liese, Corinne Lepage, Jo Leinen and Satu Hassi will allow special guests to provide some reflections on our vision – a healthy planet for healthy people, and how we get there. Speakers include Janez Potocnik, EU Commissioner for the Environment and Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe.
The celebration forms part of HEAL’s Annual General Assembly on 25 and 26 September.
Last updated on 6 July 2015