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Environmental Health

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Promoting Healthy Environments

A group of community members repairing a well in Djbouti.Climate change is a universal problem. Different communities, however, feel the effects in distinct ways and disadvantaged populations suffer its consequences more acutely. With about two-thirds of the world’s population projected to be in urban areas by 2050, it is vital to mitigate urban climate change challenges.

JSI recognizes the interconnectedness of city policies and citizen action. Our approach to supporting sustainable, livable, and inclusive urban growth consists of working with cross-sector government stakeholders to support effective urban planning, and increasing citizens’ awareness about the dangers of climate change and ways to take action.

Cities are a major cause of environmental change. Urban sprawl transforms landscapes, harming ecosystems and biodiversity. They are also a major contributor to global warming, as they are responsible for around 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions (UNEP). Other major environmental concerns that are heightened in urban areas are air pollution, waste and wastewater management, use of green spaces, and heat. JSI has worked with stakeholders from community members and leaders to city government officials to find solutions to these problems.

Read our Statement on Climate Change.

Learn more about our environmental health work in the United States.

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Improving Conditions in Homes & Communities
  • Improving governance and management of community-led total sanitation and community-managed water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) activities.
  • Education and behavior change on communal and personal hygiene.
  • Medical waste management.
  • Environmental and climate-change adaptation, resiliency planning, and mitigation.
  • Reducing indoor pollution from smoky cooking fires and cookstoves.
  • Implementing community projects to control mosquitoes and other disease vectors.
  • Supporting community leaders and civil society to improve sanitation, water management, school environments, and medical waste management.
  • Responding during crises, whether natural disasters or man-made outbreaks, to implement WASH standards and help local providers improve infection prevention, with a focus on longer-term resiliency.
Supporting Institutional Actions
  • Helping health ministries and district health and water offices establish disease, waste, and pollution surveillance systems and training staff to use them.
  • Researching connections between health and the environment through epidemiological research, indoor/outdoor monitoring, and industrial hygiene inspections.
  • Writing location-specific environmental health assessments.
  • Providing education and training to build the capacity of local providers to meet community needs related to WASH and other environmental concerns.
  • Integrating population, health, and environment components to broader community development, family planning, and conservation.

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