Building climate-resilient health systems

Source: picture of metamorworks, Shutterstock


Health Minister Roberto Speranza on the occasion of the SIVEMP congress "Agenda 2030 for Public Veterinary: infectious diseases, climate change and food crises", approved the implementing measure and established the National Health Prevention System from environmental and climate risks (SINPS).



Art. 23 of the PNRR2 Decree foreseen the establishment of the SINPS in order to "improve and harmonize the policies and strategies implemented by the National Health Service for the prevention, control and treatment of acute and chronic, communicable and non-communicable diseases, associated to environmental and climatic risks".  DECREE



The minister Speranza starts from the valid observation that in our country there is a gap between Health and Environment and wishes, with the establishment of the SINPS, the overcoming of a sectoral vision on health topic and environment and the growth of a One Health culture that considers health humans, animals, plants and the environment in line with what is expressed in the 2030 Agenda.


SINPS represents the tool for a more modern response to the fight against climate change and natural disasters.



Today there are two tracks:



– on the one hand, the Prevention Departments of the Health Authorities which guarantee collective prevention and public health also in support of the local health authority:


a) prophylaxis of infectious and parasitic diseases;

b) protection of the community from health risks in living environments also with reference to the health effects of environmental pollutants;

c) protection of the community and individuals from accident and health risks linked to the workplace; ;

d) veterinary public health, which includes epidemiological surveillance of animal populations and prophylaxis of infectious and parasitic diseases; veterinary pharmacovigilance; hygiene of livestock production; health and hygiene protection of food of animal origin;

e) hygienic-sanitary safety of food;

f) nutritional surveillance and prevention



– and on the other hand the System of Environmental Agencies. A system that combines knowledge of the environmental problems of a given area with national environmental prevention and safety policies.




Goal 13 of the 2030 Agenda "To promote actions to combat climate change", intends to strengthen in all countries the resilience and adaptation to climate-related risks and natural disasters and to integrate climate change measures into policies, national strategies and planning.



SINPS will have as objectives the fight against climate change and natural disasters; it will be a complex and not short path to be able to create, build and keep alive and dynamic relationships with the structure, organization and with the prevention departments, environmental agencies, research institutes, the world of the third sector, administrations local universities, scientific societies.


In this regard, the Ministry of Health, in together with the other ministries involved, will have to produce implementing decrees. This process, however, will foresee the participation of local authorities of the territories and the experiences of people in the sector present in the territories.




In particular, the following functions are entrusted to the SNPS:


  1. identifies and evaluates health issues associated with environmental and climate risks, to help define and implement prevention policies through the sharing and involvement of other sectors;
  2. favors the presence of health in decision-making processes involving other sectors, also through institutional communication and training activities;

  3. contributes, for the profiles of competence, to the definition and implementation of planning acts on prevention and the basic levels of assistance associated with primary prevention priorities, ensuring consistency with the actions on main levels of performance environmental techniques (LEPTA), referred to article 9 of law no. 132;

  4. contributes to the identification and development of criteria, methods and integrated monitoring systems, also making use of information systems functional to the acquisition, analysis, integration and interpretation of models and data;
  5. ensures support to the competent authorities in the environmental sector for the implementation of the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) in the context of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the Integrated Environmental Authorization (IEA).




Useful links



Intervento integrale del ministo Speranza



CeRVEnE – Centro Regionale di Riferimento Veterinario per le emergenze non epidemiche



Centro di Referenza Nazionale per l’analisi e studio di correlazione tra ambiente, animale e uomo (CdRN)  










Source: CERVENE; quotidianosanità.it


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