WHO: 6th Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health
June 22, 2017

The Euregion Meuse Rhine is the only Euregion in the Regions for Health Network (RHN) of the World Health Organization (WHO) since 2013. Marleen van Rijnsbergen, executive of the Province of Limburg (NL) is the political representative of the Euregion Meuse Rhine in the WHO RHN. Brigitte van der Zanden, director of euPrevent, represents the Euregion Meuse-Rhine as the technical officer. This year’s annual conference of the WHO RHN was combined with the 6th Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health. This conference was organised in Ostrava, Czech Republic on the 13-15 of June 2017. The main topic of the annual conference of the WHO RHN was how to build environmental and social resilience in the context of the global environmental changes in cities and regions. Regions and cities are the key players in making this reality: it is not easy but it is possible and it works on city and regional level. Cities and Regions can make the difference and need to be involved more in topics like this.

The WHO RHN members attended the 6th Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health as observers. Beside Marleen van Rijnsbergen and Brigitte van der Zanden, also Michael Dejozé, director of the Euregion Meuse-Rhine (BE) attended this conference as an observer. The whole conference was about the new declaration in which it is stated that they want ‘to shape future common actions to decrease the burden of diseases caused by environmental factors for current and future generations and to promote synergies between our two sectors and stakeholders as the key to achieving health and well-being objectives of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’.

The combination environment and health is for as well the WHO RHN as for euPrevent a topic of priority. The WHO RHN has written their own statement in which all members of the WHO RHN support the declaration of the conference. euPrevent supports that statement. For euPrevent environmental health is also a priority, that is why euPrevent has a programme especially addressing the topic environmental health. This since 2010. The focus of euPrevent is mostly on indoor environment which has a great impact on health and well-being. In the next year euPrevent will try to make to put this topic more on the agenda and will see if it is possible to make an project out of it.