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Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(19)2020 09 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1006198


Human consumption and activity are damaging the global ecosystem and the resources on which we rely for health, well-being and survival. The COVID-19 crisis is yet another manifestation of the urgent need to transition to more sustainable societies, further exposing the weaknesses in health systems and the injustice in our societies. It also underlines that many of the factors leading to environmental degradation, ill health and social and health inequities are interlinked. The current situation provides an unprecedented opportunity to invest in initiatives that address these common factors and encourage people to live more healthily and sustainably. Such initiatives can generate the positive feedback loops needed to change the systems and structures that shape our lives. INHERIT (January 2016-December 2019), an ambitious, multisectoral and transnational research project that involved 18 organisations across Europe, funded by the European Commission, explored such solutions. It identified, defined and analysed promising inter-sectoral policies, practices and approaches to simultaneously promote environmental sustainability, protect and promote health and contribute to health equity (the INHERIT "triple-win") and that can encourage and enable people to live, move and consume more healthfully and sustainably. It also explored the facilitators and barriers to working across sectors and in public private cooperation. The insights were brought together in guidelines setting out how policy makers can help instigate and support local "triple-win" initiatives that influence behaviours as an approach to contributing to the change that is so urgently needed to stem environmental degradation and the interlinked threats to health and wellbeing. This article sets out this guidance, providing timely insights on how to "build back better" in the post pandemic era.

Conservation of Natural Resources , Life Style , Sustainable Development , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections , Europe , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral
Environ Int ; 146: 106272, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-943095


The outbreak of COVID-19 raised numerous questions on the interactions between the occurrence of new infections, the environment, climate and health. The European Union requested the H2020 HERA project which aims at setting priorities in research on environment, climate and health, to identify relevant research needs regarding Covid-19. The emergence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 appears to be related to urbanization, habitat destruction, live animal trade, intensive livestock farming and global travel. The contribution of climate and air pollution requires additional studies. Importantly, the severity of COVID-19 depends on the interactions between the viral infection, ageing and chronic diseases such as metabolic, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and obesity which are themselves influenced by environmental stressors. The mechanisms of these interactions deserve additional scrutiny. Both the pandemic and the social response to the disease have elicited an array of behavioural and societal changes that may remain long after the pandemic and that may have long term health effects including on mental health. Recovery plans are currently being discussed or implemented and the environmental and health impacts of those plans are not clearly foreseen. Clearly, COVID-19 will have a long-lasting impact on the environmental health field and will open new research perspectives and policy needs.

Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Animals , Climate , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2