BOX 1-1
Statement of Task

An ad hoc committee will plan and conduct a public three-part webinar series (workshop) in spring 2013 on three themes identified from the 2012 fall meeting of the Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine and its collaborative on Global Environmental Health and Sustainable Development. The webinars will feature invited presentations and discussions to look at the role of health in measuring a country’s wealth (going beyond gross domestic product), health scenario communication, and international health goals and indicators. The workshop will focus on fostering discussion across academic, government, business, and civil society sectors to make use of existing data and information that can be adapted to track progress of global sustainable development and human health. The committee will develop the webinar agendas, select invited speakers and discussants, and moderate the discussions. A workshop summary based on all three webinars will be prepared by a designated rapporteur in accordance with National Research Council policies and procedures.

health indicators, the role for health in the context of novel sustainable economic frameworks that go beyond gross domestic product, and scenarios to project climate change impacts.


Defined in the 1987 report by the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) (commonly known as the Brundtland Commission), the term “sustainability” comes from the concept of sustainable development defined as “development which meets the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (WCED, 1987). Sustainable development is supported by three pillars—the economic, social, and environmental dimensions—in which health is both an outcome of and precondition for all three pillars (UN, 2012). In 1992, sustainable development was formally endorsed by the international community at the historic Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Earth Summit resulted in the creation of Agenda 21, an ambitious action plan for global sustainable development (UN, 1993), and the Rio Declaration, which outlined 27 principles for global sustainability (UN, 1992).

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