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IV/2017 (EN)
 
  Information and updates from Czech Healthy Cities and Regions
 

The WHO Ministerial Conference adopted the "Ostrava Declaration", European Healthy Cities and Regions play an important role

The World Health Organization hosted the Sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health in Ostrava from 13 to 15 June 2017. The conference brought together 500 delegates and observers from 53 member countries from the WHO European Region, as well as representatives from Canada, the Philippines and the U.S. and 15 international and non-governmental organisations. In three days, 9 plenary sessions and 16 side events took place addressing issues such as air quality, chemical safety, climate change, waste, water and sanitation services, and life in cities. The vital link between the quality of the environment and the health of the population was repeatedly demonstrated with, for the first time, a strong emphasis on the role of cities and regions in achieving sustainable development and implementing international goals and targets of Health 2020 and the 2030 Agenda (SDGs).

One of the topics was cooperation with WHO Healthy Cities and Regions. As part of the introductory seminar at the New Town Hall in Ostrava, a panel discussion of the representatives of European Cities and Regions was held on the resilience of communities and the responses to major factors and trends such as ageing of the population, migration, a heightened risk of extreme weather events, air pollution, waste, noise pollution, uneven distribution of resources, the role of local economies, socioeconomic inequalities and many other challenges which are to be tackled by politicians at local level. In addition to the hosting City of Ostrava and the Moravian-Silesian Region, the Czech Republic was represented by Healthy Cities of the Czech Republic. Other panellists included the representatives from Norway, Turkey, Italy and Belgium.

The participants in the important ministerial conference reviewed the progress achieved in the field of the environment and health in the WHO European Region, and by signing the Ostrava Declaration they committed themselves to joint action. The networks of WHO Healthy Cities and Regions jointly expressed their full support for the Declaration and attached a complementary statement on the active role of municipalities and regions.

For more information about the Sixth WHO Ministerial Conference, click here.
(Source: WHO)

 

Healthy Cities of the Czech Republic endorsed the global Basque Declaration of Sustainable Cities

Being a member of a number of important international associations of cities and regions, the association of Healthy Cities of the Czech Republic has been actively engaged at international level. In connection with its active involvement in ICLEI– a global association of local governments working towards sustainable development, Healthy Cities endorsed the Basque Declaration, a key document building on the Aalborg Charter, and thus became a part of the global platform of (http://www.sustainablecities.eu/).Sustainable Cities (http://www.sustainablecities.eu/).

The Basque Declaration guides municipalities and regions in addressing issues which members of Healthy Cities deal with in their everyday work, and thus will enable them to share their good practice not only in the Czech Republic but also abroad:

1. Decarbonise our energy systems and reduce total energy consumption;
2. Create sustainable urban mobility patterns and accessibility for all;
3. Protect and enhance biodiversity and ecosystem services;
4. Reduce the use of greenfield land and natural space;
5. Protect water resources, water and air quality;
6. Adapt to climate change, and reduce the risk of disasters;
7. Improve public space to create convivial, safe and vibrant environments;
8. Provide sufficient and adequate housing for all;
9. Guarantee the social inclusion and integration of all parts of society;
10. Strengthen our local economies and local employment opportunities.

 

Healthy Cities discussed how to carry out the financial management of cities, regions and their organisations in an appropriate way

Over 70 participants from among politicians, secretaries, financial auditors and other stakeholders from cities and towns gathered at the Healthy Cities seminar on Effective management of cities and regions and their organisations. Particular emphasis was put on the area of financial management, existing and draft legislation – both Czech and European, planned changes, amendments or possible risks, and especially on examples of application of these rules in practice.

Since this theme is under the aegis of the Ministry of Finance, it was introduced and opened by Tomas Vyhnanek, Deputy Minister for Financial Management and Audit. He outlined the planned amendments to the Act on the Management and Control of Public Finance and the vision in the area of reviewing the management of municipalities and regions. The act is aimed at reducing the reporting duty of the smallest municipalities, laying emphasis on strong methodological support from the Ministry of Finance, as well as showing good practice examples. The Deputy Minister also mentioned the duplication of controls and the efforts to reduce it wherever possible, and, in particular, to share the results of various controls and the ensuing plans.

The topic of economy, effectiveness and efficiency – the 3E's principles – and its connection to sustainable development and strategic management was covered by Milan Pucek. He stressed the importance of a truly functioning system of financial controls and expressed the need for a thorough risk analysis, which has been used in the Czech public administration only inadequately or rather formally. More information about this topic can be found in the publication of Healthy Cities called "Sustainable Financial Management".

Practical examples were provided by Miloslav Kvapil and Roman Fiser, Healthy Cities' professional consultants on this issue and the issue of quality management. They underlined the dimension of managing municipalities and regions as public law corporations which fully include its subsidized organisations and commercial organisations, whose property should be managed by municipalities and regions in economical, effective and efficient way to ensure the quality of public services.

Examples from practice were presented by the representatives from Healthy Vysocina Region and Benesov Healthy City.

The presentations and photos from the event are available HERE.

 

The Association of Healthy Cities, Towns and Regions has joined the Alliance for Health Literacy

At the spring session of the General Meeting of Healthy Cities, it was approved to join the Alliance for Health Literacy – to become part of the organisations and institutions of the Czech Republic which are aware of the social and individual value of health and regard health literacy as an essential part of culture in the 21st century.

The Alliance for Health Literacy seeks to disseminate information on this issue, to develop a dialogue between citizens and public administration, between patients and health professionals, and to strengthen health literacy and its promotion. On an international scale, the outcomes of the survey on the health literacy rate in the Czech Republic are quite unsatisfactory. The Alliance wishes to respond to this situation actively to achieve improvement with Healthy Cities being a logical partner in these activities.

For more information: www.uzg.cz

 

The updated "Sustainable Cities Assessment Methodology” – a practical tool for Healthy Cities

The new version of Sustainable Cities Assessment Methodology reflects many years of experience with its practical application and current international trends of sustainability assessment. The methodology was developed in 2010-2011 with the support of the Ministry of the Environment and was launched as a pilot project in Healthy Cities of Chrudim, Koprivnice, Litomerice and Vsetin. The methodology was completely updated last year and is now available in version 2017. In addition to the authoring team of Healthy Cities of the Czech Republic and Charles University Environment Centre, the methodology update was also carried out by a group of 40 experts from various fields to cover all the assessed themes. The Methodology is actually used mainly by cities that implement Local Agenda 21 in Czech Republic.

To enable the practical application of the Methodology, Healthy Cities developed a comprehensive online system of Sustainable Development Audits which is now being actively used by many municipalities and regions. The system enables not only to keep records of sustainable development assessments or to hold expert discussions, but also benchmarking and connection to good practice in various themes on the portal of the Gallery of Sustainable Development..

More information (in Czech) about the Methodology can be found HERE.

 

Healthy Cities, Towns and Regions celebrated Earth Day 2017

Earth Day, the largest international campaign focused on environmental protection, is observed annually on 22nd April. It was first celebrated in 1970 in the U.S. Nowadays, the campaign is organised in 192 countries with the assistance of more than 22,000 partner organisations, and more than one billion people from around the world are involved in the activities. The Czech Republic has been celebrating Earth Day for more than 20 years.

This year too, Healthy Cities, Towns and Regions were part of the Earth Day campaign organising awareness-raising actions focused on learning about nature and environmental protection but also on Eco-fairs, spring cleaning or entertaining events for children focused on environmental education. Healthy Cities and Regions also prepared varied complementary activities for the public. At the events, participants could buy fair-trade products as well as typical regional products. The activities of Earth Day celebrations also involved a number of professional partners, including zoos and organised nature conservationists.

Twenty-nine Healthy Cities and Regions joined the celebrations of Earth Day 2017.

For more information: www.zdravamesta.cz/dze and www.earthday.org/.

 

Czech Healthy Cities support Fairtrade

The idea of promoting Fairtrade in cities has been supported by Healthy Cities since the very beginning of 2011. The first official Fairtrade Cities were the Healthy Cities of Vsetin and Litomerice gradually joined by other Healthy Cities of Chrudim, Trebic, Kromeriz, Hodonin, Mlada Boleslav, Valasske Klobouky. Nowadays, 8 out of 10 Fairtrade Cities in the Czech Republic are Healthy Cities. In 2017, the Healthy Municipal district of Prague 8 was declared the first Fairtrade Municipal district.

The Fairtrade City status offers cities tools for fulfilling national and international goals of sustainable development. The positive use of purchasing power of cities to buy fairtrade products has a major impact on the lives of farmers and the environment in developing countries.

More information can be found at the following websites: http://www.fairtradovamesta.cz and http://www.fairtrade.cz.

 

The Newsletter is published by Healthy Cities of the Czech Republic, contact: HCCZ Office.
All our Newsletters are also available at www.healthycities.cz/newsletter
The photographs used come from the HCCZ and its members archives.
© HCCZ, 2017

      WHO Healthy Cities Project
 

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