Joint presse release by German Environment Agency and German Federal Environmental Foundation

A focus on risks and side effects for mankind and the planet

UBA and DBU open exhibition on interactions between environment and human health

Foto der Ausstellung in OsnabrückClick to enlarge
Exhibition "Planet Health"
Source: Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt

Climate change, air pollution and contaminated water bodies harm more than just the environment. "Planet Gesundheit", the new interactive exhibition opened today shows how to manage daily life with fewer risks and side effects to health and the planet. The exhibition is a joint project by the German Environment Agency (UBA) and the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) and will be on display at the DBU National Heritage building in Osnabrück until spring 2021. After that date, the exhibition will be available for loan.

Climate change influencing human health

DBU's Secretary General Alexander Bonde addressed the links between climate change and health in his welcome address. Extreme weather events are the most tangible effects of climate change that people fee. "Long-lasting heat waves can cause sunstroke and heatstroke, and excessive sunbathing can cause skin cancer. And let's not forget the psychological strain of heavy rain and flooding," Mr Bonde remarked. Dr. Lilian Busse, Head of Division “Environmental Health and Protection of Ecosystems“ at UBA , emphasised: “We can all do something in our everyday lives for the sake of the environment and health, for example by buying environmentally friendly products with the Blue Angel ecolabel or in our choice of transport.”

Strong commitment to environmental and health protection

Both partners were clear about their commitment to protection of the environment and health. “Because environment and health are so closely related, virtually everything we do to protect water, soil, air and climate is also good for our health and well-being. In a nutshell, environmental protection is also protection of health,” explained Dr Busse. Mr Bonde underscored the special role played by cities, which must ensure in particular that land sealing is avoided and new green areas and natural floodplains are created. Such measures are classified as neighbourhood development and are also important aspects of project funding provided by the DBU.

More quality of life through change

"It’s not the climate or Earth we must save – it’s us! Earth can do just fine without us, but the reverse is not true. Healthy people can only exist on a healthy planet. That’s why we have to put more focus on the benefits for ourselves when we take climate action,” added Dr. Eckart von Hirschhausen. Changes are needed urgently in the areas of nutrition, mobility and energy production, which would also lastingly boost quality of life. Von Hirschhausen – physician, comedian and supporter of “Scientists for Future” collaborated on the development of the exhibition. Visitors can listen to him at two audio stations.

Fictitious journey through everyday life

Planet Gesundheit takes visitors on a fictitious journey through their everyday lives: the morning bath routine casts a look at the fine print to uncover the chemicals hiding in toiletries and cleaning products. An office scene where one blows out a digital candle reveals why soot is bad for indoor air. Visitors must decide at the next station whether to drive a car, take a bus or cycle, or walk to visit friends. A visit to a bathing lake considers the aspect of how climate change is affecting water quality. For anyone who wants to test their knowledge in addition to exploring the interactive stations, points can be collected at the stations on a chip card. The most ambitious collectors of points can win a sticker at the end.

Educational programmes tailored for schools

DBU Zentrum für Umweltkommunikation (Centre for Environmental Communication) is offering educational programmes tailored for school instruction in years 5 to 13. The programmes are associated with a talk series featuring presentations once a month. The exhibition is open Monday thru Thursday from 8.00 to 17.00, Friday from 8.00 to 13.00, and upon prior appointment. Admission is free. For more information see www.planetgesundheit.org.

Umweltbundesamt Hauptsitz

Wörlitzer Platz 1
06844 Dessau-Roßlau
Germany