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Integrating Environment and Health Research: a Vision for the EU

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - HERA (Integrating Environment and Health Research: a Vision for the EU)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2020-06-30

Understanding of the complex interactions between Environment, Climate and Health is critical for improved knowledge, efficient policies and ambitious scientific research. I was highlighted in several political programmes including the Green New Deal. The general objectives of HERA is to develop a 2020-2030 European environment, climate and health research agenda which aims to include the cross-cutting stakeholder and scientific community
Surveys and meetings involving both the stakeholder and the scientific communities were carried out to delineate knowledge gaps and identify research needs in the field of environment climate and health. By comparing gaps and needs, a strategy was devised to propose relevant multidisciplinary research goals. These results are presented in the Interim research agenda document from HERA. Research goals covered specific environmental stressors including chemicals and climate change, problem based issues such as cities and workplace and more holistic questions. Needed infrastructures and transformative actions were also delineated as well as health impact assessment methodologies. An additional analysis was devoted to the interaction between COVID-19 and Environment Climate and Health.
The novelty of the HERA proposals is the inclusive and holistic vision that governed our approach and the multidisciplinary research goals that were proposed. The environment is clearly an inclusive concept and in additional to specific stresses it encompasses living conditions and global planetary considerations. The transformative approach that is put forward goes well beyond our physical environment and comprises social and behavioural dimensions. Concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, our approach has been able to establish strong links between different stages of this disease and environmental factors, also including the physical, human and global environment.