Community & Environment

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Community & Environment

Community

Community building is a field of practices directed toward the creation or enhancement of community among individuals within a regional area or with a common need or interest. It is often encompassed under the fields of community organising, community organisation, community work, and community development.

Sustainable development

Sustainable development is a broad term to describe policies, projects and investments that provide benefits today without sacrificing environmental, social and personal health in the future. These policies are often described as green because they focus on limiting the impact of development on the environment. However, the benefits of sustainable development are also felt across a wide cross section of human health and well-being, including reductions in pollution- and environment-related disease, improved health outcomes and decreased stress.

Urban Health

Urbanisation is one of the leading global trends of the 21st century that has a significant impact on health. Over 55% of the world’s population live in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. As most future urban growth will take place in developing cities, the world today has a unique opportunity to guide urbanisation and other major urban development trends in a way that protects and promotes health. 

Environment

Healthier environments could prevent almost one quarter of the global burden of disease. The COVID-19 pandemic is a further reminder of the delicate relationship between people and our planet.

Climate Change

Climate change is impacting human lives and health in a variety of ways. It threatens the essential ingredients of good health - clean air, safe drinking water, nutritious food supply, and safe shelter - and has the potential to undermine decades of progress in global health.

Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases through better transport, food and energy-use choices results in improved health, particularly through reduced air pollution. The Paris Agreement on climate change is therefore potentially the strongest health agreement of this century.

Air Pollution

Air pollution kills an estimated seven million people worldwide every year. WHO data shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air that exceeds WHO guideline limits containing high levels of pollutants, with low- and middle-income countries suffering from the highest exposures. WHO is supporting countries to address air pollution. 

From smog hanging over cities to smoke inside the home, air pollution poses a major threat to health and climate. The combined effects of ambient (outdoor) and household air pollution cause about seven million premature deaths every year, largely as a result of increased mortality from stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and acute respiratory infections.