Climate change and ecosystem degradation are amongst the biggest health threats facing Asia and the Pacific. Human health is threatened by increasing risks of extreme weather events, poor air quality, unsafe and insecure food and water as well as various diseases linked to environmental change. It is estimated that almost one quarter of the global environmental burden of disease arises from 14 South-East and East Asian countries alone. There is an urgent need for actors from the environment and health sectors to develop joint agendas and mobilize a whole-of-society approach to address the interconnected environment-health risks to increase resilience, save lives, and reduce costs.
Operationalizing the Environment Health Nexus in Asia and the Pacific: A Policy Guide on Opportunities for Enhancing Health, Biodiversity, Food System and Climate Action aims to support policymakers and stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific region to address environment-health risks and safeguard human health and well-being while protecting ecosystems. Specifically, it provides an overview of concrete opportunities to mainstream the environment-health nexus in public policies in Asia and the Pacific, including those pertinent to health, biodiversity loss, food systems, and climate change. It also lays out pathways to strengthen the enabling factors for operationalizing an environmentally comprehensive One Health approach. These enabling factors include multisectoral governance; integrated environment and health data and assessment; nature-based solutions; human rights-based approaches; stakeholder engagement and capacity-building; integrated environment-health funding streams; and regional cooperation.