Asia’s growing pollution problems: protecting our health and the environment
NIES International Forum Report, Part 4
Our health is closely related to changes in the environment. In some Asian countries, industrialization accompanying economic growth is causing serious impacts on public health.
Session 3: Our Environment, Our Health: Improving public health through research on the environment in Asian Countries
In Vietnam, the host country of this year’s Forum, the adverse impacts of air pollution on health have become a serious problem. Studies from throughout the world have also shown that the impacts of environmental pollution are now more serious than those of infectious diseases such as malaria and AIDS. This session featured presentations on new issues related to securing safe water supplies, and the risks posed by heat stress and other impacts on health. With presentations from Mongolia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos in addition to Japan and Vietnam, it proved to be a very multinational session.
In the panel discussion, presenters exchanged views on future issues. These included forging linkage between natural and social sciences, putting research into practice, providing policymakers with the findings of scientific research and working with them to mold policy, providing the general public with information on the causes and results of health impacts, and educating future generations. Dealing with all these issues requires continued long-term research and the application of research findings to policymaking.
In the next report, we will introduce the final Session 4, which focused on strategic research for societal transformation and the achievement of SDGs.
Written by Yuri Sugimoto (Research Project Collaboration Division)
Photos by Seiji Narita (Public Relations Office, Planning Department)