EMG Nexus Dialogue Four

Dialogue 4: 3rd December 2017

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Realising the Sustainable Development Goals - Integrating the environment and health agendas into policies for urban settings (3rd December 2017)

This event, co-hosted by the EMG, UN Environment, WHO and UN-Habitat, allowed participants to dialogue on the importance of tackling health risks from air, water and solid waste pollution through multi-sectoral approaches, and at different geographic levels. The event will allow participants to share their experiences on integrating both the environmental and health agendas into local, national and global urban policies, so as to address adverse health effects from pollution and promote strategies to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Panelists, presenters and participants, including mayors, highlighted best practices and lessons learned, as well as describe the efforts that national and local governments, international organisations and the private sector have taken to promote solutions that reduce risk to both the environment and human health. The event also demonstrates the importance of partnerships in creating conditions for cross-sectorial reductions in air pollution.

Venue: United Nations Office at Nairobi, Gigiri Complex.

Session 1 - Conference Room 6

Session 2 - Conference Room 9

Technical Scope:

The dialogue was split into three discussion areas that involved presentations, questions and answers, and technical discussions. These covered the following thematic areas:

a.) Integrating environmental and health policies, with a focus on urban settings.

b.) Interlinkages between the environmental and health agendas in the SDGs in addressing urban pollution.

c.) Partnerships and collaboration at the city, national and global levels on the themes of air, water and solid waste pollution.

1. Opening of the dialogue and welcoming remarks.

Session 1: Presentations and technical discussion

2. Setting the scene: Integrating environmental and health policies in urban settings – a brief overview.

See the presentation

See the presentation

3. Interlinkages between the environmental and health agendas in the SDGs in addressing urban pollution. Mapping of actors and existing partnerships at the nexus of cities, pollution, and health. 

See the presentation

4. Examples of integrated decision-making and policy solutions at the local, national and global levels relating to air, water and solid waste pollution.

a.) Multi-stakeholder action on removing toxic exhausts in Tehran.

See the presentation

b.) ICLEI's experience and approach in connecting cities-pollution-health.

See the presentation

c.) Pilot case focussing on Accra, Ghana, from the Urban Health Initiative.

See the presentation

5. Building on the examples under Agenda Item 4, as well as on lessons learned in other relevant initiatives such as the BreatheLife Campaign and sustainability projects in China and the UK, participants will share their views and perspectives on the following issues:

a.) What are the challenges faced in cross-sectoral collaboration at this nexus?

b.) What good practice can we build on?

c.) Recommendations for further action to enhance collaboration at the nexus of urban pollution, environment and health.

Light Lunch 13.15 - 14.00

Session 2: Policy-level panel discussion

Opening remarks:

Ambassador Franz Perrez, Government of Switzerland


Dr. George Njenga, Dean, Strathmore Business School, Nairobi


Dr. Maria Neira, Director, Public Health and the Environment Department, World Health Organization

Mr. Elliott Harris, Assistant Secretary-General, UN Environment

Dr. Alexandre Babak Hedjazi, Director, Global Environmental Policy Program, University of Geneva

H.E Hon Joseph Ole Lenku, Governor, Kajiado County, Kenya

Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, Deputy Executive Director, UN-Habitat

Dr. Alice Akinyi Kaudia, Environment Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Kenya


Partnerships to integrate the environment and health agendas into policies for urban settings.

Building upon the outcome of the presentations and technical discussions, the panelists will share their perspectives on issues requiring further action. 

Summary of the dialogue

Closing remarks