Environmental health is an extremely democratic and non-elitist issue. Anyone can be a player in environmental health, and anyone and everyone has legitimate contributions to make. The planning group reflected this in the diversity of the speakers on this program. By sponsoring the workshop, the Roundtable wanted to explore the following:
Better understand the systems approach, that is, understanding the bidirectional contributions of individual components in environmental health by understanding the linkages and interactions of the elements from a holistic view.
Better understand the diversity and inconsistency of global health and environmental issues and regulations.
Better understand the challenges of operating responsibly in the absence of either health infrastructure or regulation.
Discuss the respective roles of voluntary actions and regulation.
Capture learnings that might promote more rapid progress toward a better environment for human health.
It is hoped everyone will better understand the challenges of operating responsibly in the absence of regulations. Sometimes from the perspective of corporations, there is too much regulation, but sometimes there is not enough, noted Harrison of ExxonMobil. There are parts of the world where there is no such thing as direction, essentially no government effectiveness of any type; and that makes it very difficult to ensure that company employees and the communities where they work have adequate health infrastructure.