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Why is it good to be a Healthy Region: the Vysocina Region (magazine “For Cities and Municipalities”, October 2017)

Martin Hysky, Vysocina Region Councillor

(a Healthy Cities member since 2004, approximately 510 000 inhabitants)

Healthy Cities provide its members with methodological support in implementing activities related to the Healthy Region Program or Local Agenda 21. The Healthy Cities staff are ready to offer advice personally or virtually at any time. A major advantage of membership is the possibility to exchange experience and good (but also bad) practices with other members of the network dealing with similar issues. The coordinator of the Vysocina Healthy Region Program and LA21 makes use of the possibility of accredited training and acquiring new specialized information at Healthy Cities Schools. These training events are also an opportunity for face-to-face meetings between coordinators and politicians from Healthy Cities and Regions, and other prominent figures from all over the Czech Republic.

I also perceive the membership of our Region in Healthy Cities as a prestigious matter. All activities related to the Healthy Region Program and Local Agenda 21 are closely interconnected. In implementing Local Agenda 21, our Region complies with the LA21 criteria, and has achieved the category C since 2009. Every two years, we hold a Vysocina Region public forum attended by some 140 representatives of the specialized and lay public who discuss topical issues and problems of the Region. In 2017, the first Youth Forum of the Vysocina Region took place. This activity will be followed by further regular meetings.

From the good practice examples of the Region, I would like to mention for example the policy agenda of Health 2020 for the Vysocina Region. Its main objective is to improve systematically and conceptually the health and key health indicators of our Region's population. We have been preparing various activities to promote health and provide financial support to the implementers of these activities within the Region. With methodological support from Healthy Cities, the document is the product of the cooperation of specialists from various public institutions and non-profit sector, as well as medical professions. Our Region also provides systematic financial support to LA21 implementers and schools involved in the National Network of Healthy Schools. The annual allocation of this tool is 2, 800, 000 CZK, which earned our Region the Good Practice Stamp Award awarded by Healthy Cities. In 2009, a new event called Clean Vysocina was created as part of the awareness-raising campaign Earth Day. It involves the collection of rubbish from the roadsides and public spaces by volunteers from schools, companies, NGOs, municipalities and private individuals. The event is organized by our Region in cooperation with the regional administration.



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