The UN Environment and WHO have now agreed to a huge collaboration in order to work against tackling severe environmental health risks. In a bid to curb environmental health risks, that can be accounted for around 12.6 million deaths a year, the UN Environment sector and WHO have come together to agree on a very wide-ranging collaboration which will see accelerated action in this field.
In Nairobi earlier today, Mr Erik Solheim who is the head of UN Environment and Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of WHO, met to sign an agreement combining both the UN Environment and WHO’s forces to tackle climate change, air pollution and antimicrobial resistance. They have also vowed in their pact to get ahead of chemical management, improving the coordination on waste, water quality, food and nutrition issues. As well as these two very big names being involved, the BreatheLife advocacy campaign is also stepping in to reduce the air pollution in the environment for example, multiple climate, environment and health benefits.
Solheim commented on this pact by saying that “There is an urgent need for our two agencies to work more closely together to address the critical threats to environmental sustainability and climate – which are the foundations for life on this planet. This new agreement recognizes that sober reality,”. Tedros followed up this statement by adding “Our health is directly related to the health of the environment we live in. Together, air, water and chemical hazards kill more than 12.6 million people a year. This must not continue,” he continued “Most of these deaths occur in developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America where environmental pollution takes its biggest health toll.”.
Taken straight from their website, the World Health Organization have spoken of the benefits of this merger already “The WHO-UN Environment collaboration follows a Ministerial Declaration on Health, Environment and Climate Change calling for the creation of a global “Health, Environment and Climate Change” Coalition, at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP 22 in Marrakesh, Morocco in 2016. Just last month, under the overarching topic “Towards a Pollution-Free Planet”, the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), which convenes environment ministers worldwide, adopted a resolution on Environment and Health, called for expanded partnerships with relevant UN agencies and partners, and for an implementation plan to tackle pollution.”.