SEOUL, Jan. 15 (Yonhap) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) will open a regional environment and health center in Seoul in May to identify environmental and health risks and provide advice to governments in the Asia-Pacific region, the environment ministry here said Tuesday.
To that end, the ministry, WHO and Seoul city government signed a memorandum of understanding on the setup of the Asia-Pacific Center for Environment and Health (APCEH) at Seoul Global Center (SGC) earlier in the day.
"We've introduced the WHO regional center in order to create a healthy society in which people are free from harmful environmental factors like fine dust and toxic chemicals," Environment Minister Cho Myung-rae said.
According to the MOU, the APCEH will open at the SGC building in May.
The APCEH's main objectives are to collect scientific information and evidence regarding the influence of environmental contamination and climate change on health, present policies to reduce pollution and improve regional health capabilities.
The center will have three teams -- one in charge of air quality, energy and health, one for climate change and health and one for water and the living environment.
In particular, the teams will focus their studies on cross-border air pollution, climate change, toxic chemicals and environmental pollution.
The center is the second of its kind in the world, following the WHO European Center for Environment and Health (ECEH), which opened in Bonn, Germany, in 1991.
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