Expanding public awareness of environmental health hazards

Educating public on environmental health risks
Informing about environment and health issues

Communicating with the public and active dissemination of information are essential elements in the development and implementation of environmental and health policies. A well informed public is more able to participate effectively in decision-making and more likely to support policies designed to create a healthier environment.

At the individual level, good communication can have direct environmental and health benefits, both by making members of the public aware of when and how to avoid exposure to hazards (e.g. ultraviolet radiation, tropospheric ozone, smog), and by dissuading them from environmentally destructive behaviour (e.g. driving cars in cities when cleaner public transport options are available).


The public is generally not sufficiently informed of the adverse environmental and health effects from motorized transport and the importance of taking individual action to alleviate the problems.


This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities.

The Ã…rhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, adopted in June 1998 and signed by 39 governments and the European Community, is currently the most significant regional framework for strengthening public rights of access to information, participation in decision-making and access to justice in the context of the environment and environment-related health.

Type Classification:
G: Very Specific strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions