CAPE is a group of physicians, allied health care practitioners and citizens committed to a healthy and sustainable environment. CAPE brings its health expertise to environmental issues and is an important voice for environmental health in Canada. We address issues of environmental degradation by educating health care professionals and the public, through advocacy and in close cooperation with partner groups.
Why Environmental Health?
In 1948, the World Health Organization defined health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.” Since then, we have come to a better understanding of the place of humans within the global ecosystem. It might be more appropriate, today, to say that health is a state of complete physical, mental, social and ecological well-being. The level of health we enjoy in Canada today is the result of centuries of social and economic development rooted in exploitation of the earth’s natural resources. Ultimately, our health depends upon the health of the ecosystem of which we are a part.
The Canadian Affiliate of the International Society of Doctors for the Environment
The International Society of Doctors for the Environment (ISDE) has recognized the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment as its Canadian affiliate since September 18th, 1994. ISDE is an international federation of physicians’ organizations concerned with the environment, founded in 1990. ISDE in the fall of 1994 recognized 24 national and regional affiliates and had individual members in 50 countries, for a combined total of about 20,000 members. ISDE is headquartered in Switzerland and sponsors a Scientific Center and International School on Environment and Health, based in Italy. ISDE is officially recognized by the United Nations as a non-governmental organization.