Rio+20 declares health key to sustainable development
As stated by the WHO, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) has adopted a series of measures that have the potential to contribute to a more equitable, cleaner, greener, and more prosperous world – and recognizes the important linkages between health and development.
Health-related development issues
Health-related development issues covered in detail in the outcome document include:
- access to better energy services including sustainable cooking and heating solutions, which can significantly reduce childhood pneumonia and adult cardiopulmonary disease deaths from indoor air pollution;
- greater focus on urban planning measures including more sustainable, energy-efficient housing and transport – which can significantly reduce many NCD risks, e.g. cardiopulmonary diseases from air pollution, health risks from physical inactivity and traffic injury;
- better sanitation in cities and villages to protect against the spread of communicable diseases;
- sustainable food systems that combat hunger and contribute to better health and nutrition;
- more sustainable water usage, meeting basic needs for safe drinking-water, and stewardship of water supplies to grow food;
- assurance that all jobs and workplaces meet minimum safety and health standards to reduce cancer, chronic lung diseases, injuries and early deaths.
"The Future We Want" conference outcome document, agreed upon by member states attending the 20-22 June conference, highlights the fact that better health is a “precondition for, an outcome of, and an indicator of all three dimensions of sustainable development”.“This focus on the links between health and sustainable development is critical,” said Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “Healthy people are better able to learn, be productive and contribute to their communities. At the same time, a healthy environment is a prerequisite for good health.”