Now Available: HERA EU Research Agenda Document

The HERA EU Research Agenda for the Environment, Climate & Health 2020-2030 Interim Document is now available for download (with Annex 1 and Annex 2 documents) in the Outcome Tab or click HERE.


Introducing the HERA Interim Research Agenda

The European citizens are extremely concerned about the effects of climate change and of environmental deterioration on both human and ecosystem health. The recently adopted European Green Deal addresses their concerns and sets a number of specific objectives to address these problems. Innovative and creative research is needed to support such adaptive and preventive measures and the aim of the HERA consortium was to identify and prioritise the major research goals that could address these challenges.

Over the first year of the HERA project, an extensive review of current knowledge, policies and activities was performed. Web- based surveys targeting research communities and stakeholder groups have been carried out along with a series of online and face-to-face consultation meetings involving hundreds of researchers and other stakeholders in Europe resulting in the identification of a number of research areas that needed to be addressed by the EU Research Agenda. The interim results are hereby presented.

Recommendations cover research to reduce the effects of climate change and environmental degradation on health, to eliminate environmental exposures harmful to health such as chemicals, plastics and radiation and to promote healthy lives in sustainable and inclusive societies including research on urban and rural living, air pollution and occupational conditions. To achieve these goals, infrastructures and tools such as cohorts, exposome infrastructures and planetary health monitoring are required. Due to the urgency of the challenges that we are facing, a series of research needs to achieve transformational changes using innovative interdisciplinary approaches are put forward.

The work of the HERA consortium will continue and the interim research agenda will be further refined to provide more specific directions through Europe-wide consultations to be carried out in 2020. A final research agenda will be available in 2021.

Disclaimer: While numerous aspects of global changes and biological agents are covered in the interim agenda so far, the unprecedented and totally new implications that the COVID-19 pandemic will have on global societies are not included in this version. The HERA interim agenda will be updated in the next few months to take into account implications to research priorities of the current and future global pandemics.

Farid Akmal bin Karim