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Journal Article

Health Synergies across International Sustainability and Development Agendas: Pathways to Strengthen National Action


Bowen,  Kathryn
IASS Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies Potsdam;

Murphy,  Nabreesa
External Organizations;

Dickin,  Sarah
External Organizations;

Dzebo,  Adis
External Organizations;

Ebikeme,  Charles
External Organizations;

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Bowen, K., Murphy, N., Dickin, S., Dzebo, A., Ebikeme, C. (2021): Health Synergies across International Sustainability and Development Agendas: Pathways to Strengthen National Action. - International journal of environmental research and public health, 18, 4, 1664.

Cite as: https://publications.iass-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_6000745
Since 2015 there has been a surge of international agendas to address a range of global challenges: climate change (Paris Agreement), sustainable development (Agenda 2030), disaster risk reduction (Sendai Framework) and sustainable urban transformation (New Urban Agenda). Health is relevant to all of these agendas. Policymakers must now translate these global agendas into national level policies to implement the agreed goals in a coherent manner. However, approaches to synergise health activities within and across these agendas are needed, in order to achieve better coherence and maximise national level implementation. This research evaluated the framing of human health within these agendas. A content analysis of the agendas was conducted. Findings indicate (i) the importance of increased awareness of health systems strengthening as a helpful framework to guide the integration of health issues across the agendas, (ii) only two health themes had synergies across the agendas, (iii) the lack of a governance mechanism to support the integration of these four agendas to enable national (and sub-national) governments to more feasibly implement their ambitions, and (iv) the vital component of health leadership. Finally, planetary health is a relevant and timely concept that can support the urgent shift to a healthy planet and people.