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Delegates from Varna Took Part at the Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health in Ostrava

The Sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health, organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations (UN) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) was held from 13 to 15 June 2017.

Bulgaria was represented by delegates from the Municipality of Varna and Medical University "Prof. Dr. P. Stoyanov" - Varna as members of the Health Regions Network of WHO. Assoc. Prof. Antoaneta Tsvetkova, Chairperson of the Municipal Health Commission in Varna, Prof. Todorka Kostadinova, Vice Rector for International Cooperation, Accreditation and Quality and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Klara Dokova, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Public Health and a contact person for Varna Region in the Health Regions Network participated at a specialized session dedicated to the role of cities and regions in creating e
nvironmental and social sustainability in the context of global environmental changes.

Representatives and delegations from regional and local levels have been invited at an international ministerial conference for the first time, which was recognized as an important step towards achieving policy coherence at all levels: international, national, regional and local.

Good management practices concerning different aspects of the environment, and their effect on the health and well-being of the citizens were presented by the mayors of the cities of Ostrava (Czech Republic), Udine (Italy), Bursa (Turkey), the City of UN and WHO in Copenhagen, Veneto Region (Italy) and others. Special attention was paid to inter-sectoral cooperation, and the role of mayors and their teams on the one hand, and cooperation with academia and business on the other.

The delegates from Varna presented specific activities for promotion of health and inter-sectoral cooperation at local level, and innovative approaches for ensuring the good quality of training of future professionals in the field of Public Health from the experience of MU - Varna.

The ministerial conference highlighted the role of universities and academics in offering state-of-the-art environmental and health technologies and innovations focused on water, air, waste management control, including waste water, transport management in urban environment. The topics on the impact of chemicals, pesticides and biocides on the production and content of foodstuffs of plant and animal origin, the e-health, and the responsibilities of institutions and citizens were widely covered. Special emphasis was placed on the health, education and rights of children and young people (15-25 years of age).

Traditionally, a Declaration is adopted at each Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health,
and the main commitment of the one from Ostrava 2017 is strengthening national actions by creating a flexible "national portfolio", addressing environmental sustainability and health systems.