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Network on environmental health economics launched

Health economic evidence is not used to its full potential in decisions on environment and health in Europe. This is why the World Health Organisation’s Regional Office for Europe has initiated the Environmental Health Economics Network (EHEN)

Health economic analysis brings together tools such as health impact assessment, cost-benefit analysis, and damage cost analysis. By assessing and putting a price tag on the costs to health of environmental pollution, these estimates add immense value to guide policy-makers in complex decisions, and help to highlight the external health costs which are often absent from discussions. One example of health economic products is the toolkit on climate change adaptation developed by the WHO (see climate section for further details).

In October 2013, the WHO European Centre for Environment and Health (ECEH) will organise the 2nd Symposium on environmental health and economics in Bonn, Germany, to shed light on the health economic tools that are available, present case studies and discuss how the evidence available can be relayed most useful to decision-makers at the local, national, European or global level. To prepare the discussions, a survey will be conducted with policy-makers in the coming weeks.

The symposium and activities of the environmental health economic network are underpinned by a strategic framework with the three elements of establishing a partnership network, relaying environmental health economics to target audiences and producing scientific evidence. The work of the network also aims to contribute to the beyond GDP debates. HEAL is a member of the network’s advisory group as well as the wider EHEN network comprising at this stage more than 70 experts – and more are invited to join.

For further information on the network and the symposium please contact Frank George at the WHO European Centre for Environment and Health, Email: georgef@ecehbonn.euro.who.int

Last updated on 22 July 2013

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