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Sustainable Development and Environmental Health

About the Area of
Sustainable Development and
Environmental Health (SDE)

In order to confront the challenges of the 21st century and the new paradigm for sustainable development, human security and environmental health, the Area of Sustainable Development and Environmental Health (SDE) was established within the structure of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).


Through a holistic and integrated vision of the relationship between health and disease, SDE works to strengthen public policies, institutions, and social mobilization for the improvement of the quality of life of the population in the Region of the Americas and the Caribbean.


Individual and collective health for economic growth


Health is a singular value and also an indispensable factor for economic growth and poverty reduction. Individual and collective health is conditioned by the complex relationships between human beings, their settings and their environments. This context demands intersectoral cooperation, strengthening of local capacities and the empowerment of social groups as strategies for health promotion.




SDE is a multidisciplinary team that together with other PAHO areas and centers, conducts and catalyzes and innovative, intersectoral and strategic effort to reduce risks to health and promote healthy environments where people live, consume, study, work and play as a substantial and essential element to Human Security and Sustainable Development.




The structure of SDE, with its management at PAHO Headquarters in Washington, D.C., consists of three Units: Healthy Settings (HS), Risk Assessment and Management (RA) and BAsic Sanitation (BS/CEPIS--locted in Lima, Peru). The Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP) carries out activities in food security for the countries of Central America and is closely associated with SDE. The Regional Program of Action and Demonstration of Sustainable Alternatives for Vector Control of Malaria without the Use of DDT in Mexico and Central America (PAHO/UNEP/GEF) is coordinated from Guatemala.

Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization
525 Twenty-third Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037, United States of America
Tel.: +1 (202) 974-3000 Fax: +1 (202) 974-3663

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