Establishing a timeframe for national environmental health action plans

Timetabling NEHAPs
There are many reasons for setting a limited time frame to a National Environmental Health Action Plan (NEHAP). Among the most important is that economic uncertainty, changes of circumstance, and scientific knowledge will all change with time. Within a reasonably short time frame it may not be possible or even sensible to deal fully with severe problems. It is generally accepted that a step-wise approach to their eventual solution may be the best way forward.

A timetable imposes a discipline which is helpful in several respects: (1) it encourages all participants to contribute in a timely manner; (2) it helps avoid delay imposed by a desire to go on improving a draft which may already be good enough; (3) it gives warning of events that may interfere with the preparation of the NEHAP such as holiday seasons, Parliamentary recess; and (4) it may indicate the need for additional resources. Within a timetable it is helpful to identify certain key events as milestones which are critical for timely completion of the whole project and which, if missed, might necessitate reconsideration of the remaining timetable or the resources devoted to it.

When a country is committed to international action this may need to be reflected in the timetable for action. An example is a commitment to achieve international standards by an agreed date. Because of the potential international ramifications, special attention may be warranted for the funding of schemes which are international or are international in their effect. The commitments given to donor countries and international agencies are a case in point.
Countries piloting NEHAPs that have reported on their progress have found it is essential to draw up and work to a timetable for completion of their NEHAP.
Type Classification:
E: Emanations of other strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 15: Life on Land