Can Agenda 2030 Realise a Healthy Environment for Healthy People?

Achim Steiner, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Mary Robinson at the the United Nations Environment Assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme Nairobi, 27 May 2016.

Advancing the delivery of the 2030 Agenda by addressing the linkages between environment and health was the subject of discussion at the Ministerial Policy Review session Healthy Environment, Healthy People: Delivering on the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which took place during second session of the United Nations Environment Assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme Nairobi, 27 May 2016.

The policy review session was convened to provide a platform for Member states to examine how addressing environment and health linkages can contribute to the successful delivery of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals and related targets, and to propose concrete ways on how to advance integrated action, strategies, policies and regulations at the global, regional, national and local levels to improve environmental practices for healthier lives of population.

In introducing the session UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said ” the need for an integrated approach and the cross linkages between all the SDGs – is demonstrated by the interface of health and environment”.

In her key note address Mary Robinson emphasised the need to address climate action in a people-centred way to truly achieve Agenda 2030 and a healthy environment for healthy people; “We also need to recognise that issues of climate change, health and the environment are not just interlinked laterally but vertically as well.  Bringing greater interaction between all levels of policy and decision making will ensure that responses respond to the realities on the ground. In doing so we must listen to the people on the front lines of climate change.  Often they will have the solutions we need.  To accomplish this spaces and forums should be created to amplify their voices and stories.”

The policy session came on the final day of the Assembly, which is the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment. It is expected to adopt resolutions and a global call to action to address the critical environmental challenges facing the world today. Backed by the universal membership of all 193 United Nations Member States and the full involvement of major groups and stakeholders, UNEA reaches widely into the legislative, financial and development arenas, providing a platform for leadership on global environmental policy.

Related Links

Incorporating Human Rights into Climate Action

Rights for Action – Putting People at the Centre of Action on Climate Change

United Nations Environment Programme