UNDP recognizes the health of the planet as critical to achieving sustainable development. Environmental, animal and human health are closely linked: environmental hazards influence over 80% of the communicable and non-communicable diseases worldwide. Environmental degradation of air, water, and land has resulted in a significant loss in biodiversity; as a result, disease patterns are changing and new diseases are emerging.
Climate change is having a growing impact on human health by placing pressure on the fundamental requirements of good health: clean air, safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and sufficient food. Air pollution alone is estimated to kill 8 million people yearly.
UNDP, together with WHO and other partners, is supporting countries to implement integrated development solutions to address the nexus of health, environmental degradation and climate change. We also work with countries to minimize the environmental impact of health services by incorporating renewable energy and promoting environmentally-sensitive approaches to health procurement, management of medical waste and other health sector practices.
UNDP’s achievements in planetary health contribute to progress on SDG 3 (health and well-being) and health related targets of SDG 7 (energy for all), SDG 13 (climate action), SDG 14 (life below water) and SDG 15 (life on land).