Children's environmental health

Workshop on children's environmental health indicators, San José, Costa Rica, 8-10 September 2004

Many activities have been carried out at the global, regional and national levels, to identify the relationship between environmental changes and human health and specifically seeking new strategies for child health protection. The World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg in 2002, constituted a milestone by strengthening the role of health in sustainable development and highlighting not only that "healthy life is a product of sustainable development, but it also serves as “a powerful and undervalued means of reaching it." At this Summit, the “Children’s Healthy Environment Initiative” was launched with the intention of assisting the implementation of the decisions made at the World Summit on Sustainable Development and for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). The need for information on the physical, economic and social environmental dynamics in which our children grow and the health effects of the environment, gave rise to the global initiative of “Children’s Environmental Health Indicators.

In response to the aforementioned, the Area of Sustainable Development and Environmental Health of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/SDE) in collaboration with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have been developing the indicators initiative for Latin America and the Caribbean.