RFSD 2019 SDG 16 Session 2

SDG 16, SESSION 2 “Empowering People to Protect the Planet: The Environmental Dimension of SDG 16

Dear all,

My name is Pavlina Ivanova. I’m coming from Bulgaria, representing Association of Doctoral Candidates in Bulgaria, but I am here today to speak as a representative of civil society, as part of the UN ECE Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism for the Environmental Dimension of SDG 16.

Empowering People to Protect the Planet

How do we protect our Planet? Is it a personal responsibility? These are questions that comes to my mind when looking further into SDG 16. The main point that I want to mention is access to information for the levels of environmental pollution and factors that can be harmful for the nature and for the health of the citizens. Nature is sensitive, but people are not sensitive for most of the pollution factors including electric and magnetic fields and radiation, noise and ect. that can affect their health. If we have common regulations for measurements and limits, nowadays ICT technologies have the potential to give us effective public access to environmental information for detection and spreading data in every moment and to protect our forests our cities and our homes.

For the adequate use of ICT for detection and spreading information for biophysical and biochemical factors of the environment we need clear rules and technological standards on international level.

We need to work on governmental level and create common rules and limits and measurements for the biophysical and biochemical factors and pollutants dangerous for our nature, our homes and all the buildings where people live or work with priority of kindergartens, schools and hospitals where the individuals are more sensitive and spend a large amount of time. For example: There are lot of qualifications for limits for electric and magnetic fields in different countries and there is a lot of countries without any regulations.

As people have illness qualified in medicine with syndromes and strict measurements, we need rules and common levels to measure the damages of the nature and after to create effective judicial and administrative procedures on international level. For example we have: Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) mentioned first in 1984 from World Health Organization (WHO). It is a medical condition where people in a building suffer from symptoms of illness or feel unwell for no apparent reason. Long list of illness has a proved relation with living and working environment.

Synchronization of national laws for the permissible limits for the different types of pollution as well as the biophysical and biochemical factors of the environment that could be dangerous for the nature and for the health of the citizens. A unique system for assessing the harmfulness of different factors affecting the human body and public access to the level of dangerous factors.

Thank you for your attention!