Director's Message

Thank you for visiting the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Vulnerable Population and Environmental Health, National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER).

Today, the global community faces a range of environmental health issues such as environmental pollution, increase in chemical use and climate change threatening human health. In 2016, WHO estimated that 12.6 million people died due to environmental health risks caused by air, water and soil pollution, climate change and chemical exposure, etc. In particular, low and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia region are found to have the highest burden of environmental diseases.

In January 2014, the Environmental Health Research Department, NIER was designated as a WHO Collaborating Centre in the field of environmental health for the first time in Northeast Asia. Since then, the Centre has actively supported WHO-led work to improve environmental health of vulnerable populations including children, pregnant women and the elderly, who are the greatest victims of environmental pollution, and strived to establish networks among environmental health experts for regional cooperation.

Activities of the Centre during the 1st term were focused on conducting research on environmental exposure and health effects of vulnerable populations at home and abroad, hosting international workshops and training programmes for research capacity building of LMICs in the Asia-Pacific region, and sharing technology and information through diverse publications.

In January 2018, NIER was re-designated as a WHO Collaborating Centre in recognition of successful achievements and contribution for the past 4 years, reaffirming our commitment to stepping up cooperation with WHO by setting more feasible and concrete workplans in various fields.

The Centre will continue its efforts in strengthening environmental health capacity of LMICs by developing training programmes and hosting workshops on WHO priority issues including children’s environmental health, water and air quality and chemical safety. Furthermore, we will support WHO to develop environmental health indicators of countries in the Asia-Pacific region to evaluate the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and keep moving forward to promote global environmental health beyond the regional level in robust cooperation with LIMCs in the Asia-Pacific region as well as WHO.

We will take the lead in environmental health research and cooperation to live up to expectations to take action against global environmental health issues and look forward to your continuous support and cooperation.

WHO Collaborating Centre for
Vulnerable Population and Environmental Health

Director Seung-Do Yu, Ph.D.