National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development

Prepared by the Ecologically Sustainable Development Steering Committee
Endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments
December, 1992
ISBN 0 644 27253 8

Public Health
Part 3 Intersectoral Issues - Chapter 24


To establish an effective, cooperative and holistic approach to public health, which is based on a sound knowledge of environmental and health problems, their causes and the best means by which they can be resolved, and includes a focus on health and human and natural environments, and on the interrelationships and interactions which sustain or threaten them.

Strategic Approach

Actions to achieve this will involve examining mechanisms for incorporating health impact assessment into relevant environmental or economic decision making process; systematic identification, development, analysis and monitoring of agreed environmental health indicators; monitoring the state of the environment and population health; improving public understanding of health risks and benefits, and improving the scientific assessment of these risks and benefits; and ensuring cooperation and coordination between levels of governments, across all sectors.

Objective 24.1

  • to develop effective options for predicting, preventing, controlling and communicating the health implications of ESD-related decisions

Governments will:

  • work through the National Health and Medical Research Council, ANZECC, AWRC the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission and other relevant bodies to formulate a nationally integrated set of principles concerning ecology and health
  • cooperatively develop coordinated environment and health based standards and codes of practice, including appropriate implementation mechanisms that: evaluate projects by monitoring, review and assessment; support the minimisation of pollution and the adoption of cleaner technologies which decrease the use of toxic material; and encourage cooperation and coordination between environment, planning and health departments and agencies at all levels of government
  • examine the need for increased research into the interrelationship of ESD with the physical and social health and well-being of the community, especially in the urban setting