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Guardian Examines African Environmental Outlook Report

The Guardian highlights the African Environment Outlook-3 [.pdf], a report released last month by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) that examines “[t]he multifaceted connection between environmental and human health.” The report is the third in a series, with the first published in 2002 and the second in 2006, the newspaper notes, adding, “It concludes that these linkages ‘deserve priority consideration in national development’ across Africa.” According to the Guardian, “the report is ultimately designed to provide policy recommendations that center on better governance and more directed scientific inquiry,” and “[t]he African Ministerial Conference on the Environment, which helped develop the report, is positioned to implement these policies over the next several years.”

According to the report, “[e]nvironmental factors contribute to almost 30 percent of the continent’s disease burden,” the Guardian states, adding, “In contrast, a 2011 study of six European countries and nine key environmental stressors found an environmental disease burden of approximately five percent.” The newspaper notes, “One of the best-publicized connections noted in the report is indoor air pollution from inefficient cookstoves, which burn fuels such as wood or charcoal.” The Guardian continues, “The report also highlights the more subtle human health implications that flow from things such as biodiversity loss and extreme weather induced by climate change” (Walsh, 3/25).