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GP: Partners of national environmental health actions - Poland PDF Print E-mail

Joanna Pruchnicka, Janina Wuczyñska, Newsletter, Polish Environmental Health Action Plan, Institute of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, Sosnowiec, Vol. 1, 2002

Studies and actions in the field of environmental health cannot be limited only to activities undertaken by health and environment sectors. It is indispensable to involve other partners: economic sectors, industry, political parties, governmental and non-governmental organizations as well as mass media. Each partner can play important role in achieving the target of reducing or, whenever possible, eliminating negative health effects resulting from environmental pollution.

Special attention is paid to economic sectors as a key partner in implementation of environmental health actions. These sectors, having direct access to material goods and services, can considerably influence life quality, social and economic development. As a result, they can either improve or deteriorate the environmental quality or population health status. Environmental hazards are mainly related to use of out-dated technologies, hazardous materials, or intensive uncontrolled development of a specific area, like automobile industry.

In Poland, the following sectors play important role in development of ecological and health situation: industry, energy, transport, agriculture, forestry and tourism.

In relation to industry, the situation can be improved through restructuring oriented towards prevention and reduction of negative environmental impacts as well as towards minimization of the use of natural resources, especially those which are unrecoverable. Stimulation of implementation of technologies favorable for environment is particularly important.

In case of energy, utilization of clean energy sources and implementation of modern technologies of flue gas desulphurization is the main objective.

Reduction of noise levels, emission of gaseous pollutants and dust resulting from road transportation, as well as minimization of road accidents risk are the main tasks of the transportation sector.

It is indispensable to provide conditions for sustainable development of agriculture and rural areas, mainly in the field of life quality and ecological safety, as well as forestry, with respect to forest management.

Tasks faced by tourism comprise actions to be undertaken by other economic sectors. It is necessary to provide safe drinking water supply, relevant sanitary conditions, wastes management and wastewater disposal with the purpose of reduction, or even elimination of environmental pollution.

Equally important tasks are to be fulfilled by other partners of implementation of environmental health actions. Political parties, governmental and non-governmental organizations as well as mass media can influence decision-makers in relation to introduction of specific regulations, procedures, standards affecting the development of ecological and health policy. Through their activities, these organizations provide the society with information on actions aimed at improvement of environment and health quality and on the advantages of such actions. They stimulate specific ecologically-oriented and health-oriented behaviour. Public participation is the prerequisite for the success of such actions.

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