Environmental impact assessment, the implementation of environmental protection measures, negative environmental factors influencing the citizens’ health, public participation in decision-making as regulated by the Aarhus Convention – these are the issues motivating a growing number of citizens to contact the Office of the Ombudswoman. This fact points to the need for a stronger public focus on these topics with the aim of both informing the public more thoroughly as well as encouraging discussion among the experts. With the aforementioned in mind, on 9 June 2016 in the House of Europe in Zagreb Ombudswoman Lora Vidović is organizing an expert meeting titled “The Right to a Healthy Living and the Preconditions for a Healthy Environment”.
To what degree is the protection of the environment, nature and health subordinated to the goals of the economic growth? Are we pursuing sustainable development integrating the ecological, social and economic dimensions of development, as foreseen in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development? Are we protecting the health of the citizens and ensuring all of the preconditions for the further development of health ecology while bearing in mind the constitutional definitions of the right to life and the right to a healthy environment? These are just some of the issues to be discussed by Ombudswoman Vidović and the representatives of the Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection, Croatian Institute of Public Health, the European Parliament Information Office in the Republic of Croatia, the Project Management Office of the United Nations Development Program in the Republic of Croatia and the non-governmental organization Zelena akcija.
The meeting is organized to coincide with the UN World Environment Day, marked annually on 5 June.since 1974. The UN has dubbed this day, celebrated in over 100 countries around the world, „its most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment”.