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Mid-term review of WHO Environment and Health process, November 2014

In March 2015, representatives of health and environment ministries from 53 countries will come together to assess progress in reaching ambitious targets to protect children from environmental threats. HEAL and WECF will contribute with a delegation of health and environmental experts and social media action.

The Parma Declaration is the first time-bound outcome of the environment and health process which was first initiated in the late 1980s by European countries to eliminate the most significant environmental threats to human health.

HEAL has represented NGOs for the health sector in the process and EcoForum (represented by HEAL member Women in Europe for a Common Future – WECF) represents environmental NGOs.

Governments of the 53 European Member States set five clear-cut targets in the Parma Declaration to reduce the adverse health impact of environmental threats in the next decade for children’s health including:

  • National plans to eliminate asbestos -related diseases;
  • Achieving a healthy and tobacco smoke-free indoor air environment in settings for children;
  • Eliminating children’s and pregnant women’s exposures to harmful chemical substances;
  • Creating healthy and safe environments for children in in which to walk and bike to school and more green spaces to play and exercise, which will also help to prevent injuries, and;
  • Achieving safe water and sanitation in schools and other children settings.

Mid-term review

The mid-term review taking place on 23 and 24 March in Israel, Israel brings together health and environment ministers from the 53 countries to assess how far we have progressed with the ambitious targets set in 2010.

For the meeting a report on the progress made, and challenges ahead will be presented, which includes a chapter on the indispensable contribution of health and environmental NGOs to the process.

HEAL and WECF recently took part in a meeting of the Environment and Health Task Force to discuss the agenda of the meeting, the road map for the time between the MTF and the next ministerial conference as well as some main issues and challenges. For the meeting, health and environmental groups will present their views on the future of the process and the involvement of civil society.

The next ministerial conference will take place in 2017.

Further information on the process available here

Last updated on 18 December 2014

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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