The abasement of the environment – the breeze we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, and the ecosystems which sustain us – is estimated to be creditworthy for at least a stern of the global full load of disease, according to a new UNEP report entitled Healthy Environment, Healthy People
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs ) reflect the common understand that a healthy environment is integral to the full use of basic human rights, including the rights to life, health, food, water system and sanitation, and quality of life .
directly tackling the inter-linkages between environment and homo health presents raw and interlacing opportunities to meet the SDGs in a more cost-efficient and beneficial manner. To “ ensure goodly lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages ” ( SDG3 ) – which includes a specific target related to air timbre – can not be achieved over the long term without denotative action on sublunar ecosystems ( SDG15 ), oceans ( SDG14 ), cities ( SDG11 ), water and sanitation ( SDG6 ).
Reading: Healthy Environment, Healthy People
Air befoulment is the world ’ sulfur largest single environmental risk to health ( some 7 million people across the world die each year ascribable to everyday exposure to poor air choice ), but it can not be viewed in isolation .
Environmental degradation is costly
Environmental abasement is estimated to cause 174-234 times as many premature deaths as occur in conflicts annually. Disproportionate impacts of environmental harms are discernible on specific groups : the poor people, the young, the aged, women and migrant workers, the composition says .
Zika, Ebola, MERS, SARS, Marburg… new zoonotic diseases ( go around from animals to humans ) are presently emerging every four months, with the main drivers being exponential population growth, intensive livestock reproduction, ( there are 36 billion domestic animals on the planet ) and accompaniment touch environments and biodiversity loss. Strengthening goodly ecosystems is keystone to preventing or slowing the egress of these dearly-won diseases. A key need is for greater investment in integrated surveillance of wildlife, livestock and human health .
The fiscal costs of environmentally related health risks are broadly in the range of 5-10 per penny of GDP, with air contamination taking the highest toll. attest exists, however, of the catalytic and multiple benefits of investing in environmental quality in terms of development, poverty decrease, resource security, reduced inequities and reduce risks to homo health and wellbeing .
A 2012 UNEP reputation entitled The Role and Contribution of Montane Forests and Related Ecosystem Services to the Kenyan Economy showed that well-managed montane forest covering reduced malarial disease prevalence, and that malaria resulted in extra health costs to the Government equally well as british labour party productiveness losses .
The montane forests of Kenya, well known as Kenya ’ s `Water Towers ’, produce direct economic value for its citizens. This value accrues not lone from the production of diverse timber- and non-timber forest products, but besides from a rate of regulating ecosystem services that provide an policy prize to several key economic sectors. There is besides a secondary coil or indirect multiplier impression associated with the directly economic measure of the Water Towers … Montane forests have systematically been undervalued in conventional national accounting, says the abstract of the report .
The UNEP Healthy Environment, Healthy People report indicates that lack of access to clean water and sanitation causes 58 per cent of cases of diarrheal diseases in low and middle-income countries. insecure water, inadequate sanitation or insufficient hygiene solution in 3.5 million deaths global, representing 25 per penny of the premature deaths of children younger than 14, it says .
There is growing evidence to suggest that exposure to natural environments can be associated with mental health benefits.
Clean air and water, sanitation and green spaces, safe workplaces can enhance people ’ s timbre of life : reduced deathrate and unwholesomeness, healthier lifestyles, improved productiveness of workers and their families, improve lives of women, children and aged and are crucial to mental health .
genial health issues rank among the 10 largest non-fatal threats in most countries, according to the report .
There is growing testify to suggest that exposure to natural environments can be associated with mental health benefits. proximity to greenspace has been associated with lower levels of try and deoxidize symptomology for natural depression and anxiety, while interacting with nature can improve cognition for children with care deficits and individuals with depression. A 2014 epidemiologic study has shown that people who move to greener urban areas benefit from free burning improvements in their mental health.
“ It is becoming increasingly apparent that the 2.2 million years our genus has spent in natural environments are consequential to modern genial health… The accumulating force of research from multiple disciplines makes it difficult to dismiss the clinical relevance of natural environments in 21st century mental health manage, ” says another report .
An integrated approach
Based on evidence of the linkages between poor environmental quality and health, the reputation identifies several priority problem areas for pressing policy attention, including :
- Unsafe water, inadequate sanitation or insufficient hygiene which cause mortality, morbidity and lost economic productivity;
- Nutritionally poor diet composition and quality, as well as increased physical inactivity, which has increased the growth of non-communicable diseases throughout the world; and
- Degraded ecosystems and stresses to the Earth’s natural systems, which reduce ecosystem services that support human health, enhance exposure to natural disasters, food security, and at times give rise to disease outbreaks.
Climate change is exacerbating the scale and intensity of these environment-related health risks, and is acknowledged as a major health risk multiplier, with existing impacts that are expected to increasingly affect homo health including through damaging changes to land, oceans, biodiversity and access to freshwater, and the increasing frequency and higher shock of lifelike disasters .
The report ’ s findings provide a impregnable footing for adopting an integrated access for improving homo health and wellbeing through increased engagement by the health sector in ecosystem management and decision-making. They besides identify integrate actions and strategies, such as :
DECOUPLE RESOURCE USE AND CHANGE LIFESTYLES : Use fewer resources per unit of measurement of economic output produced and reduce the environmental impingement of any resources used in production and consumption activities through more efficient practices .
ENHANCE ECOSYSTEM RESILIENCE AND PROTECTION OF THE PLANET ’ S NATURAL SYSTEMS : Build capacity of the environment, economies and societies to anticipate, respond to and recover from disturbances and shocks through : agro-ecosystem restoration and sustainable farming systems ; strengthening ecosystem restoration, in particular wetlands, dryland vegetation, coastal zones and watersheds, including through reforestation ; reducing livestock and log pressures to increase resilience and mitigate extreme upwind conditions of storms, drought and floods .
Addressing the link between environment and human health through delivering on environmental sustainability can provide a common platform for meeting many of the Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs ). Through multiplier effects that can accelerate and sustain advance across multiple SDGs, investing in environmental sustainability can serve as an policy policy for health and homo wellbeing, the report card concludes .