What is HELI?

HELI logo

"Human beings are at the centre of concern for sustainable development. They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature." -- Principle 1 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, 1992


HELI is a global effort by WHO and UNEP to promote and facilitate action in developing countries to reduce environmental threats to human health, in support of sustainable development objectives. HELI also supports policymakers in recognizing and valuing the multiple "services" that ecosystems provide to health and well-being, e.g. water filtration, prevention of soil erosion, climate regulation, and as a sustainable source of food, medicines, energy, etc.

Activities include:

  • Projects at country level bringing together diverse government and civil society sectors to assess and recommend integrated policies on environment and health issues.
  • Guidance on better use of impact assessment and economic valuation to enhance environment and health decision-making.
  • Improving access to policy-relevant knowledge, resources, and tools, via electronic media and printed materials, in priority areas. Those include: water quality, availability and sanitation; water-related vector-borne diseases; ambient and indoor air quality; toxic substances; and global environmental change.
  • Capacity building for policy action at local, national and regional levels through technical workshops and interactive events including policy-makers, scientists and the public.

To give us feedback on this web site, or for further information about HELI please contact:

The WHO/UNEP Health and Environment Linkages Initiative Secretariat
World Health Organization
20 Avenue Appia
1211 Geneva 27
Switzerland
Email: heli@who.int

The WHO/UNEP HELI initiative was launched with funding support from Environment Canada and Health Canada.

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