Environmental Health

IUHPE is engaged in concerted action to strengthen programmes and interventions using a health promotion approach focusing on advocacy and capacity building, in particular in low and middle income countries.


This project followed three lines of action: physical activity and supportive environments, tobacco control and healthy eating. It aimed:

  • to generate local coalitions for the active participation of the civil society and other sectors outside the health sector to create supportive environments that prevent chronic diseases;

  • to increase local capacity to collect data in mortality, morbidity, risk factors and environmental characteristics and make chronic disease problem more visible;

  • to advocate for policies that improve environmental factors that promote physical activity, healthy diet and tobacco control;

  • to assess these processes;

  • to share the experience at the national and international level.


Climate change is a significant and emerging threat to public health. It changes the way we look at promoting health in particular that of vulnerable and disadvantaged populations in low and middle income countries. The evidence that humans are affecting global climate and thus influencing human health, growingly contributes to the global burden of disease. A major concern is that climate change will increasingly impact on the distribution of health and its determinants and inevitably worsen health inequities at the global level making the most vulnerable more vulnerable. Climate change-related health risks are however avoidable through existing programmes/ interventions.


There is existing evidence that current accelerated urbanization and globalization processes are linked to drastic changes in the ways of life resulting in increased sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy nutrition habits and tobacco consumption, subsequently deteriorating the health of our populations, urges for inter-sectoral actions, both at the political, civil society and community levels to promote healthy environments, using socially and culturally adapted advocacy strategies and building local capacity to face the challenges of preventing NCDs.


Latin America has and continues to experience rapid urbanization, with rising magnitude, pattern of inactivity and other detrimental factors to health. The IUHPE supports intersectoral interventions to address NCDs in low- and middle-income countries. In particular, in Colombia, the IUHPE supported these efforts through an initiative dedicated to bridging the gap between evidence and action through capacity building and advocacy actions to face the chronic disease epidemic in six cities in Colombia.