HERA COVID-19 Webinar


HEra’s first webinar event

The HERA consortium issued a response on the research needs around the interlinkages of the COVID-19 pandemic with Environment, Climate and Health and prepared a webinar to communicate the outcomes to all stakeholders. The webinar was organized on 15 June 2020 via Webex Training platform kindly provided by our WHO partner. We had three speakers/panelists - Cathryn Tonne (ISGlobal), Jana Klánová (RECETOX/Masaryk University) and Brigit Staatsen (RIVM)  and we would like to thank them for their active and enthusiastic involvement in our event and also appreciate Genon Jensen from HEAL for being moderator of the round-table.

Please find below a link to the recording of the webinar and buttons to download presentations.

We were very pleased to see more than 150 participants from many EU and non-EU countries. The participants backgrounds were diverse - we had researchers but also government representatives and EU and international institutions as well as representatives of the civil society or interested individuals.
The participants also had the opportunity to ask questions to our speakers. Due to time constrains three of the questions remained unanswered during the event, but the answers are provided below.

Q1: Although the COVID 19 underline the importance of interdiscplinarity and comprehensive approach as essential and as underlined by all presenters. What is envisaged in terms of regional and inter-regional action cooperation?

It is either reflected in the research goal RG5 of the interim agenda that we need to complement our knowledge with shared European infrastructures that will be opened for use to EU countries and widening region. But if the question was asked on the immediate regional and inter-regional cooperation, then we would like to say that we are also preparing stakeholder workshops that will be organized in October 2020 online in Central, Eastern, Southern and Western Europe and we will provide further details very soon on our website or via a dedicated mailing. Should you be interested to participate, please do subscribe for news on our website.

Q2: The COVID-19 pandemic is a good example that Europe cannot stay out of threats originated from other parts of the planet. I am wondering how the European Green Deal will address planetary health in the other parts of the planet, specially in LMICs. (Low and medium income countries)

Thank you for this question. This is beyond the HERA project scope. The EU is the world’s largest development aid donor, providing more than 50% of assistance worldwide and working closely with our partners to deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Please visit the External Action Service website for more information.

Q3: Environmental Health community needs high quality data for COVID-19, such as daily number of cases, deaths, and recoveries for every city. This is missing now. How HERA can contribute to this and provide an infrastructure for research?

There are two parts of the question - for high quality data, there are differences in definition/data reporting even at the EU level, so it is not easy to compare/interpret . Nevertheless, statistical information is already being generated at various levels of granularity and dedicated servers from academia are collecting this information and make it available as it appears.  In addition, relevant EU national authorities are also collecting the information, but it is not clear how quickly it becomes public.

On the part of infrastructure for research - yes, the HERA project has identified the need to prepare pan-European infrastructures tackling health-environment nexus that would study health effects. See RG5 in our research agenda. A coordination and preparation of such infrastructure networks is already taking place in several EU countries. In addition, the Horizon Europe multi-annual programme will also support development of the European Partnerships including research infrastructures.


Click here & join our survey

Last but not least, we would like to invite you also to participate in the online survey where collect your views or opinions on our COVID 19 paper and interim research agenda. Your views are important to us and we use them to enrich the research agenda and making sure we have not left behind any important research needs relevant to environment-health-climate nexus!