Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment NGO
Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment (AWHHE) was founded in 1999. Since its establishment, AWHHE has been actively involved in national policy discussions on chemical safety and promotion of safe alternatives in health care, waste management, water management and sustainable agriculture in Armenia. During over 20 years of operation AWHHE successfully implemented more than 150 projects locally, nationally and internationally.
AWHHE works for sustainable development, protection of human health and environment and poverty reduction in partnership with international environmental and health networks such as International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN); Women Engage for a Common Future (WECF); Pesticide Action Network Europe (PAN Europe); Zero Mercury Working Group (ZMWG); Health Environment Alliance (HEAL); Women for Water Partnership (WfWP); Health Care Without Harm (HCWH); Global Anti-Incineration Alliance (GAIA); GEF NGO network; Break Free From Plastic (BFFP).
In 2022, AWHHE was accredited to the UN Environmental Assembly (UNEA) and UN Environment (UNEP).
AWHHE’s mission is to explore the issue of environment pollution in Armenia; advocate the human right to live in healthy environment; promote the decrease of risks from environmentally harmful impacts on human health, as well to promote healthy lifestyle focusing on women as catalysts of change, and children.
AWHHE promotes the solution of the problems related to environmental health risks and risks due to climate change through advocacy, education and information campaigns; independent monitoring and investigations on chemical contamination of polluted sites; contributes to sustainable rural development focusing on safe agriculture practices and energy efficiency; advocates for ecologically sound methods of solid waste treatment and disposal including medical waste management; strengthens the participation of women in decision-making at local and national levels.
The organization members are experienced specialists: epidemiologists, environmentalists, toxicologists, hygienists, communications experts and scientists who have work experience in governmental bodies and international organizations.
Chemicals and health
Since its establishment, AWHHE has been actively involved in national policy discussions on chemical safety and promotion of safe alternatives in health care, waste management, water management and sustainable agriculture in Armenia. AWHHE works to collect data and raise awareness on toxic contamination of consumer products and the environment in Armenia focusing on mercury in lamps, lead in paint, phthalates in children’s toys, heavy metals in cosmetics, etc. The collected data and project results are used in advocacy work: AWHHE is national NGO focal point for the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants and national NGO focal point for the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and its successor, Global Framework on Chemicals (GFC). AWHHE is member of the National Steering Committees for the Stockholm Convention and Minamata Convention on mercury.
Water and Sanitation
AWHHE has proven experience in the area of drinking water supply and management: (a) representing the national NGO community in the Steering Committee of the EU Water Initiative National Policy Dialogue to improve the use of water resources and provide for sustainable investment in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); (b) participating in water-related national and international forums, conferences, meetings and processes, including all Meetings of the Parties to the UNECE/ WHO-EURO Protocol on Water and Health starting from 2007; Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), etc.; (c) Implementing a number of projects funded by donors such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands through WECF and WfWP; Aqua for All (A4A) through WfWP; NGO Forum of the Asian Development Bank.
AWHHE is promoting safe alternatives to pesticides including highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs) in agriculture through policy advocacy, capacity building of farmers and information sharing. AWHHE contributes to women empowerment by training rural women and creating opportunities to engage in innovative agriculture activities, encouraging social entrepreneurship for growing local climate resilient crops, solar fruit drying and product marketing.
In 2017, joined the Sustainable Lifestyles and Education Programme of the One Planet Network contributing to the transition towards sustainable, resource efficient and low-carbon lifestyles at the rural community level, through a range of instruments: information sharing, the piloting for conducive policies, dialogues and partnerships with the relevant stakeholders for sustainable lifestyles and responsible marketing practices in rural Armenia.