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Wednesday, 20 June 2012 13:48

Click here too see all the photos from Rio so far!

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Tuesday, 19 June 2012 15:34

Rio +20 Discusses Health and Climate Servicestitle

  “The protection of public health from an increasingly variable and changing climate is a priority for the global health sector”, said Dr. Carlos Dora, from the World Health Organization (WHO), during the Rio +20 Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He was one of the presenters of the seminar “Contributing to the greening of economies and poverty alleviation through the implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS)” held on June 15. According to him, “partnering with the meteorological community is a key step in the process to managing climate risks.” He also mentioned that health indicators can now be used to monitor human health aspects of disasters and sustainable agriculture, food and nutrition security.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 15:42
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Tuesday, 19 June 2012 15:24


Brazil "Health in Debate" Publishes Special Edition about Health and Sustainable Development

The PAHO/WHO manager of Sustainable Development and Environmental Health, Luiz Augusto Galvão, attended the launch of a special edition of "Health in Debate"(Saúde em Debate), with the theme "Health, development and sustainability: challenges for Rio +20". The launch did not take place in a closed office, but in one of the several open tents built in Parque do Flamengo to host the "People's Summit", a series of debates and conferences open to all sectors of society. Many Brazilian public health authorities attended the launch, including José Noronha, director of Brazilian Center for Health Studies (CEBES), publisher of "Health in Debate", Ary Carvalho, CEBES board member , and Paulo Gadelha, president of Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz).


The special edition proposes a reassessment of the enviromental health of Brazil and the world. According to the editors, Brazil should play a leading role in the development of alternatives for the current unsustainable consumption patterns, whereas the United Nations system should be strengthened to help implement international agreements and monitor the commitments. The special edition of "Health in Debate", when published will be available online

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 15:32
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Tuesday, 19 June 2012 15:12

alt“Biodiversity can be considered as a foundation for human health” said Dr. Carlos Corvalan, from the Pan-American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) during the Rio +20 Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He was one of the panelists of the seminar “Biodiversity for life: The strategic plan for biodiversity 2011-2020”, held on June 15. According to Dr. Corvalan, “all human health ultimately depends on ecosystem services that are made possible by biodiversity and the products and services derived from them.” He invited participants to learn more about the issue from the discussion paper “Our Planet, Our Health, Our Future. Human health and the Rio Conventions: biological diversity, climate change and desertification


Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 15:22
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Tuesday, 19 June 2012 14:10

The Future We Want: A Healthier Planet

19 June 2012

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) offers the world an important opportunity to both acknowledge, and benefit from the inextricable links between human health and sustainable development.

Good health contributes to the achievement of sustainability goals

WHO estimates that 150 million people suffer severe financial hardship each year because they fall ill, use health services and have to pay for them on the spot. Many have to sell assets or go into debt to meet the payments. 100 million people are pushed below the poverty line for these reasons. Lack of access to health services impoverishes people because they cannot work; using health services impoverishes people because they cannot pay.

Protecting people from catastrophic expenditure and ensuring access to essential services through universal health coverage is thus an essential element of any strategy to reduce poverty and build resilient societies. Health has the potential to increase economic development, improve educational opportunities, empower women, reduce impoverishment and foster social cohesion.

Health is a beneficiary of sustainable development

A healthy environment is a prerequisite for good health. Reductions in air, water and chemical pollution can prevent up to one quarter of the overall global burden of disease. Cleaner energy policies could halve the number of childhood deaths from pneumonia and substantially reduce the one million people who die each year from chronic lung disease caused by indoor air pollution. Replacing biomass or coal stoves with cleaner stoves and fuels could help improve the health of up to three billion of the world’s poorest people.

As the world seeks to address the challenges posed by ageing populations, growing cities, increasingly mobile populations, competition for scarce natural resources, financial uncertainty, and a changing climate, it is no longer viable to think of solutions in terms of individual sectors. This calls for a greater policy coherence: for a move to address not only health in all policies, but environment in all policies too.

Health is a way of measuring the impact of sustainable development policies

Monitoring progress towards sustainable development means being able to evaluate the economic, environmental and social dimensions of policy. Investment in health alone cannot solve the problems of sovereign debt, volatile food prices or the environmental impact of climate change. But for those aiming to promote a fairer, greener and more sustainable approach to globalization, people’s health remains vitally important as a measure of the impact of policies in all these areas. Not only are health outcomes readily measurable, health concerns are immediate, personal and local.

The original Rio Declaration of 1992 described “human beings as the central concern of sustainable development ... living a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature”. It is vital that those attending Rio+20 reaffirm this fact, and take concrete action to optimize the interactions between human health and sustainable development.

For more information, please contact:

Fadela Chaib
Telephone: + 41 22 791 32 28
Mobile: + 41 79 475 55 56

Gregory Härtl
Telephone: +41 22 791 4458
Mobile: +41 79 203 6715

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 14:21
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