It has been estimated that almost one quarter of the global environmental burden of disease comes from 14 Southeast and East Asian countries alone. Health risks arise from environmental factors, environmental degradation and climate change through the impacts of extreme weather events, poor air quality, changes in the spread of diseases, habitat encroachment, land use changes, biodiversity loss, unsafe and insecure food and water, among many others. The costs to regional health systems are both heavy and avoidable. The most-impacted groups are often marginalized, or vulnerable populations, including children, the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions, for whom environment-related health impacts can be both debilitating and impoverishing. Increased disease burden also negatively impacts livelihoods and food/nutrition security. An integrated and unifying approach to the environment-health nexus can guide impactful, efficient national and regional policy responses to converging health and environmental risks. Action to work across the environment, health, and agriculture sectors (among others) and building coherent approaches that operationalize the environment-health nexus, can also advance delivery on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
However, there is substantial room to build awareness, share experiences and explore priority action and potential for strengthening collaboration at national and regional levels. In this context, ESCAP and IISD, in collaboration with FAO, UNEP and WHO and with financial support from the Wellcome Trust will jointly organize a virtual Policy Dialogue on 14 September 2022.
The interactive policy dialogue will advance:
- Understanding and insights on operationalizing the environment-health nexus in the region
- Identification of the priorities for operationalizing the environment-health nexus in public policy in the Asia and Pacific region, with a focus on One Health
- Discussion of pathways to strengthen governance and regional cooperation on the environment-health nexus, including One Health and its connection with climate, biodiversity, and food system governance and through existing multilateral processes
- Collaboration among development partners and other stakeholders
To register: https://indico.un.org/event/1002360/
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