We improve environmental governance by mobilizing consensus and formulating environmental policy, developing international environmental law and supporting international initiatives. We also help countries put these norms and rules into practice by organizing seminars, workshops and advisory missions and by publishing guidance and compilations of best practice in numerous areas of pollution prevention and the sustainable management of natural resources.

We help individual countries in transition improve their environmental performance by assessing their efforts to reduce pollution and manage their natural resources, and by making targeted recommendations.

We address specific areas of environmental concern, such as water and air pollution, environmental rights, mainstreaming environmental assessment in development planning, and industrial accidents, by servicing five environmental treaties and their protocols, helping them to monitor implementation and to organize meetings to further their work.
Environment and health
The environment is a major determinant of health, estimated to account for almost 20% of all deaths in the WHO European Region. In 1989, concerned about the growing evidence of the impact of hazardous environments on human health, WHO/Europe initiated the first ever environment and health process, towards a broad primary prevention public health approach, and to facilitate intersectoral policy-making.
Climate change
The global climate is changing. This affects human health, well-being and life on earth. In the near future it will lead to an amplification of current health problems, as well as new risks and pressures for the environment and the social and economic determinants of health. In the WHO European Region, health effects have already been observed from more frequent and intense extreme weather events as well as changes in the the geographic range of some infectious disease vectors. WHO/Europe works to identify policy options to help prevent, prepare for and respond to the health effects of climate change, and supports its Member States in selecting and implementing the most suitable policies, measures and strategies.