The United Nations Environment Programme’s meeting was held to prepare for the second United Nations Environment Assembly
Zika, which was declared an international health emergency, is only a recent addition to the list of health problems that are being linked to environmental pollution and degradation.
Health impacts of environmental degradation was the focal point at the meeting of United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Committee of Permanent Representatives held at its Nairobi headquarters. The met up was to prepare for the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) which will convene at the end of May.
UN Environment Programme Executive Director Achim Steiner said, “There is a growing awareness that humans, through their intervention in the environment, play a vital role in exacerbating or mitigating health risks.”
In his remarks, Steiner cited data from the World Health Organization (WHO), which has found that 23 per cent of all premature deaths around the world can be attributed to environmental factors. Among children, that figure rises to 36 per cent.
"Every year, nearly 7 million people die because they are exposed to indoor and outdoor air pollution, from power generation, cookstoves, transportation, industrial furnaces, wildfires, or other causes," Steiner said.
Steiner also pointed out that more than two billion people live in water-stressed areas, 1,000 children die every day from water-borne diseases, and 42 million life years are lost every year due to natural disasters.
Fiji becomes the first country to ratify Paris Agreement
Did 2015 make us more climate wise?
Refrigerant gases: what’s all the fuss about?
Air quality assessment and its relation to potential health impacts in Delhi, India
Climate change and health on the U.S. Gulf Coast: Public health adaptation is needed to address future risks
Waterborne viruses: A barrier to safe drinking water
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.