First WHO Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health, 30 October – 1 November 2018

Improving air quality, combatting climate change – saving lives

A schoolboy walks through smoke and fumes emitted from a waste dump in the Nigerian city of Port Harcourt

Invitations to the conference are now final.

If you received an invitation to attend the conference and have not yet registered using the INDICO web portal, then please do so before 18:00 hrs CEST on Monday, October 22. The link to the INDICO registration web portal can be found in the invitation email message.

The first two days of the conference will present evidence, identify gaps and solutions, and will be targeted at practitioners and other technical and political representatives from the health sector and other sectors relevant to the discourse. The third day will be a High-Level Action Day.

A schoolboy walks through smoke and fumes emitted from a waste dump in the Nigerian city of Port Harcourt (photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)
BreatheLife concert CAPH1 2018

Healthy People – Healthy Planet

A BreatheLife special concert

31 October 2018 (20:30–22:00)

Featuring Grammy® Winner and "United Nations Humanitarian Artist" Ricky Kej, this free, public concert event will expand awareness in the Geneva international community about air pollution as a critical health, climate and environment issue through music, video and art. Known for his signature – "Music for the Planet", Ricky Kej and his ensemble of musicians from countries as diverse as Ghana, India, Peru, Viet Nam, South Africa, and the USA will play compositions of ‘World Music for Healthy People and Planet’.

Free and open to the public: Registration required

Air pollution causes 1 in 9 deaths worldwide

The Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health, 30 October – 1 November 2018 is the first-ever global event to focus on both air pollution and health.

Participants will include Ministers of Health and Environment and other national government representatives; representatives of intergovernmental agencies, health professionals, other sectors (e.g. transport, energy, etc.), as well as from research, academia and civil society.

The conference will also advance collaborations between WHO and sister UN agencies.

An indian woman and her baby in air pollution

Conference aims and outcomes

The conference will feature a “Call for Urgent Action” with agreement on a target for reducing the 7 million deaths a year due to air pollution by 2030, as a contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Countries, urban mayors, and civil society will be invited to make commitments to the global advocacy campaign www.BreatheLife2030.org to meet WHO's Air Quality Guidelines and reduce climate emissions.

The conference will underline the links between air pollution and the global epidemic of NCDs and position the health sector to catalyse actions for health-wise policies on clean household energy, transport, and waste.

Gates Foundation
PUERTO BARRIOS, Guatemala - Medical officer Alysann Barnes teaches a child how to use an inhaler - Public Domain

Public health and policy context

The Conference responds to a World Health Assembly mandate to combat one of the world’s most significant causes of premature mortality, causing some 7 million deaths annually.

Air pollution in most cities exceeds recommended WHO air quality levels. Household air pollution is a leading killer in poor rural and urban homes.

Up to 1/3 of deaths from stroke, lung cancer and heart disease are due to air pollution.

Affordable strategies exist to reduce key pollution emissions from the transport, energy, agriculture, waste, and housing sectors. Health conscious strategies can reduce climate change and support Sustainable Development Goals for Health, Energy and Cities.

PUERTO BARRIOS, Guatemala - Medical officer Alysann Barnes teaches a child how to use an inhaler - Public Domain
Kenya - Wema Centre - Street Children Saumu has a solar light fitted in her house to help her study. Wema has supplied about 100 solar lights to students of Mari Mani School.

Conference objectives

The first two days of the conference will present evidence, identify gaps and solutions, and will be targeted at practitioners and other technical and political representatives from the health sector and other sectors relevant to the discourse. The third day will be a High-Level Action Day focused on the following objectives: plan of action; health systems engagement; commitments

Wema Centre, Kenya - Photo by In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images
Indian farmers warm themselves around a fire during dense smog along the India-Pakistan border (2013) Photo by Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images

Pre-conference workshops and meetings

Workshops :

The WHO's First Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health is featuring a series of pre-conference workshops in Geneva on 29 October 2018. Capacity is limited, follow the link to register before October 12th.

Meetings :

Coordination Meeting on the Health, Environment and Climate Change Coalition. “Participation by invitation only”

Indian farmers warm themselves around a fire, Photo by Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images

Conference sessions and activities

Conference sessions will cover themes such as:

Science and evidence, including the latest on health effects, forecasting and monitoring, and extreme events

Methods and tools for informed decisions – estimating health impacts and planning interventions in sectors like transport, energy and waste, as developed by the Urban Health Initiative

Strategies and solutions being adopted by countries and cities to improve air quality at urban and household level

Cross-sector collaborations between health, environment and development sectors to reduce air pollution and mitigate climate change

Partnerships and advocacy with countries and cities, UN partners, development agencies, research, university and civil society.

Registration is now closed

Registration for the Conference is now closed.

All confirmed participants who have received a confirmation from the Secretariat MUST register on Indico, follow the link below:

All sessions will be webcasted and live-streamed. A link will be provided on this website soon.

Badge collection

To avoid large queues during the first day of the Conference, we urge participants to collect their badges from WHO reception from Friday 26 October from 15:00 and also from 07:00 to 18:00 on Monday 29 October.

Representatives of Permanent Missions in Geneva are invited to collect the badges of their delegation in advance, starting from Friday 26 October, 15:00.

Badges may also be collected from 07:00 on Tuesday 30 October.

Please bring your passports and Conference registration confirmation (QR code).

Participation

The Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health, 30 October – 1 November 2018 is being held at WHO headquarters in Geneva, in collaboration with UN Environment, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC) the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and The World Bank.

For more information contact: aphconference@who.int


Social Events

Healthy People – Healthy Planet

A BreatheLife special concert

31 October 2018 (20:30–22:00)

Featuring a Ricky Kej international ensemble of musicians

Free and open to the public: Registration required

  • Healthy People – Healthy Planet – A BreatheLife concert
    This special concert is on the evening of 31 October 2018 from 20:30 to 22:00, featuring Grammy® Winner and ‘United Nations Humanitarian Artist’ Ricky Kej and an incredible international ensemble

    Scan the QR code below to go to the website and register for free tickets.


Where art meets science – Pollution Pods

Come experience the air pollution of 5 global cities

Pollution Pods exhibit, Place des Nations

29 October to 2 November 2018

Communications and Advocacy

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