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Children Health Environment Action Plan Cehape

The Cehape of the World Health Organisation  (WHO) implements the decisions from Budapest 2004 to Parma 2010.

The Children Health Environment Action Plan for Europe, briefly Cehape, of the World Health Organisation (WHO) was set up for the fourth Conference of the WHO Environment and Health Ministers in Budapest 2004 and adopted by all 50 Member States of the WHO/Europe. In 2007 the decisions were extended in the course of the WHO interim report conference in Vienna.  At the fifth WHO Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health in Parma in 2010 the 50 Member States agreed, by means of a Ministerial Declaration, among other things, on intensifying the commitments of Budapest.

In Austria the WHO process is supported by Austrian Ministries. The Children Environment Health Action Plan was therefore developed by these two Ministries involving numerous players within the framework of the Austrian Cehape Task Force. At the WHO Ministerial Conference in Budapest in 2004 it was presented to the public for the first time and then, in an extended version, at the WHO Interim Report Conference in June 2007 in Vienna. At the fourth WHO Ministerial Conference in Parma in 2010 the Austrian implementation report “Action plan for a healthy environment for our children” was presented.

The action plan contains goals for a healthy environment of children and more than 75 proposals for measures in all fields of action. The plan breaks the abstract programme down into implementation-oriented projects and measures, in order to improve the living environment of young people.

The four fields of action deal with the topics

  1. Ensuring the supply with clean water and good sanitary conditions
  2. Prevention of accidents and ensuring sufficient physical activity of children by means of child-friendly urban and transport planning
  3. Ensuring clean outdoor and indoor air
  4. Prevention of pollution caused by hazardous active substances (chemicals, noise)

 The priority of the action plan was set in Austria in the field of action II and in the participation of the youth.

Youth participation within the framework of the implementation of Cehape

Within the framework of the Children Environment Health Action Plan for Europe – Cehape – great importance is attached to the participation and involvement of youths. Since the year 2006 a great number of youth activities has taken place in Austria, but also at international level. The main goals of these activities were the active participation of young people in the political process of Cehape and international level as well as the implementation of the Cehape process by means of carrying out one’s own project ideas. Thus 60 young people between 16 and 20 years have been trained to become “Cehape” peers. They carried out interviews around the Cehape process, which were integrated in the Austrian Action Plan for a Healthy Environment for our Children, implemented own project ideas in the four fields of action and participated in international (youth) meetings and conferences of the WHO. Furthermore the Cehape peers developed, in preparation of the Fifth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health of the WHO Europe in Parma in 2010 a youth position paper and a film about their activities of the years before.

Implementing initiatives Field of Action Children and Youth Mobility (Field of Action II)

Especially the Austria-wide impulse programme klimaaktiv mobil “Mobility management for children, parents, and schools” of the Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism (BMNT) has been implemented in a particularly successful way. Within the framework of this programme 183 schools and kindergartens have been consulted since 2005 in setting up school mobility management plans in order to improve the traffic safety in front of schools and kindergartens, to reduce pollutants, and to improve the conditions for environmentally-friendly mobility such as cycling and walking. For this purpose it was investigated into the mobility behaviour of pupils and teachers at the respective schools and appropriate measures, adequate for the school, were implemented jointly with the municipalities. The measures refer to the field of infrastructure as well as to the field of awareness-raising (e.g. traffic calming measures, Pedibus, bicycle repair workshops, mobility action days). The evaluation of the project has shown that with this measure 550,000 roads could be replaced by footpaths and cycle paths. 96 % of the participating teachers evaluated the results of this measure to be “good” or “very good” for the purpose of sustainability. 

From 2010 onwards the BMNT did not only set a priority on “youth” in the school sector, but also in the leisure time sector. The klimaaktiv mobil programme “mobility management for tourism, leisure time and youth” supports municipalities, transport planning and transport carriers, but also the institutions of extra-school youth work in the development and implementation of environmentally- and climate-friendly youth mobility projects.

For this purpose a number of measures was set, e.g. the preparation of publications (e.g. in German study "Jugend-Stil in the Verkehrsplanung”, guideline “Jugenmobilität”, carrying out the training course to become Jugendmobil-coach for experts of extracurricular school work on the topic “climate protection and transport”, the establishment of special funding of youth mobility projects of extracurricular youth institutions, the implementation of pilot projects as well as permanent project consultations. 

Moreover, upon the initiative of the Federal Ministry, the inter-ministerial working committee “Child-friendly Mobility” has been set up with more than 60 working committee members. This working committee aims at developing RVS (Guidelines and Regulations for the Planning, Construction and Maintenance of Roadways) on this topic. These guidelines serve as a basis for the implementation of child-friendly transport planning in towns and communities.

Another priority was set by means of measures promoting bicycle traffic, such as studies on the health effects of cycling, the creat creation of so-called “green jobs” by bicycle traffic as well as by bicycle campaigns as good publicity.