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Regional Healthy Environment Day
Friday December 10 2021
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), environmental factors are responsible for nearly a quarter of deaths worldwide. It can contribute, with its various components (outdoor and indoor air quality, water quality, food, etc.), to many diseases that have several factors as their origin: cancer, respiratory diseases, allergies, asthma, etc., cardiovascular diseases, diabetes . obesity and others.
Regional Health and Environment Day was held yesterday 9 December. Citizens’ expectations regarding environmental health issues are high. To answer this, some programs have already been published on Reunion Island. In order to complement them in topics that are emerging and complex or not sufficiently taken into account in the reunification, the Ministry of Environment, Planning and Housing (DEAL), the Reunification District and the ARS in 2017 adopted the 3rd Regional Plan for Health and Environment (PRSE3) for a period of 5 years. To bring these expectations into line with projects already implemented by PRSE, local actors were invited to the Regional Health and Environment Day held yesterday at NORDEV.
The majority of respondents are skeptical about the information from the authorities
As part of the Regional Plan for Health and Environment (PRSE), in 2019 the Regional Health Observatory of Reunion Island (ORS) conducted a survey, co-funded by DEAL and ARS, among 1,000 Reunion residents aged 18 to 75 years to understand them. Recognize environmental health risks: outdoor air, housing, noise, food, water consumption, shower water, sun exposure, waste management, vector-borne diseases, and emerging risks.
Although the quality of the tap water is considered fairly satisfactory, more than half of the residents of Reunion Island consider that there are significant risks to their health associated with the quality of the tap water and more than a quarter of the risks are very high.
The majority of Reunion Islanders say they are skeptical about the information they receive
Half (49%) because they think information about the effects of the environment on health is incomplete or insufficient and 12% because they think the information is too worrisome.
Pesticides, sun and air pollution are top concerns
• The people of Réunion are concerned above all with pesticides (84%).
• In second place, residents of Reunion say they are concerned about the dangers of sun exposure (78%).
• Two thirds of them consider outdoor air pollution a concern.
• Indoor air quality is an issue where Réunion residents say they are the least familiar (74%).
• Percentage of satisfaction with collecting household waste and bulky objects (76%).
• In addition, the residents of Réunion say that they are involved in illegal deposits, declaring that they are strongly in favor of coercive measures on the part of the communities (95%).
Three-quarters of Reunion Islanders questioned stated their willingness to commit individually or collectively to environmental health initiatives.
• To improve their living environment, approximately 50% of the population would be ‘extremely’ or ‘somewhat’ interested in a communal garden project in their area.
Promotion of communal vegetable gardens in cities
Almost 10 years ago, the island of Reunion experienced the birth of communal gardens on its territory: at the foot of a building, in an abandoned plot, or even on premises. They respond to concerns about healthy food and controlled supplies, social cohesion, and biodiversity conservation. These parks are also places and opportunities to raise everyone’s awareness of environmental health issues, as close as possible to everyday life.
Since 2020, DEAL and the Council for Architecture, Urbanism and Environment (CAUE) have been studying these parks to identify initiatives and feedback, resulting in a practical guide “Implementing a Collective Garden in Reunion Island” that advises project leaders wishing to create and maintain a collective garden.
There is a website dedicated to communal gardens in Reunion. Adjusts over time according to changes: https://www.caue974.com/fr/portail/356/mediatheque/56238/jardins-collectifs-de-la-reunion.html
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