ISDE is an environmental NGO of medical doctors. It is an
independent, non-governmental non-profit organisation. It was
created on 25 November 1990 (history) and has now national and
regional member organisations in over 35 countries. Physicians
from these countries are invited to join their national
organisations; physicians from other countries are invited to join
as direct members (joining information.)
The Executive Office of ISDE is located in Switzerland. ISDE also
has a scientific office, which coordinates research, information
and training activities.
The People: Doctors for the Environment
We are family doctors, researchers, clinicians, as well as
specialists of all branches who are only too aware of the
ecological problems impinging on our health and safety and who
strive to promote healthier lifestyles. We are professionals,
who in the face of growing pollution and environmental decay,
are concerned about the rise in incidence of pathological
conditions related to environmental degradation, and are
resolved to offer to our patients not only an answer in terms of
medical care, but to also advocate, initiate and promote
effective preventative actions. This goal is the foundation of
ISDE, and since its inception many doctors have joined.
Purpose of ISDE
The main purpose of ISDE is to help defend our environment both
locally and globally to prevent numerous illnesses, ensure the
necessary conditions for health, and improve the quality of
life. In order to safeguard the health of our own generation and
of future ones, we must care for the environment.
ISDE was established as a tool for educating and updating
physicians and the general public, and stimulating awareness and
initiatives by public and private bodies, in particular
The Association intends to reach out to all, as fellow citizens
of the world.
Impending Global Dangers
We, doctors for the environment, warn:
A global-wide experiment is in progress, devised to test the
planet's ability to sustain and tolerate the burden of a myriad
of destructive actions.
It is an undeclared experiment. No International agency has
openly declared this experiment or supported it, but its single
components are nonetheless carefully planned, actively pursued
and strongly supported.
Everyday resources are exploited well over their capacity to be
renewed, endangering the chances of future generations to use
them. Everyday a huge number of artificial substances pollute
the environment, without ever knowing how toxic they actually
are to the biosphere and to mankind in the long term. Lethal
nuclear waste is unsafely dumped (or travel around the world).
Megaprojects upset entire regions. Crop yields are dropping.
Forests are suffering. Chances are that human activities have a
negative impact on the ozone layer. The incidence of skin
cancers will rise as a consequence of a thinning ozone layer.
Everyday risks to health are increasing, because of
environmental damages. Examples of local ecological catastrophes
are recurrent. The global climate itself is threatened. The
lifestyles of billions of people are constantly pushed toward
consuming beyond their real requirements. More and more
technology is used to raise profits or for short-term gains
rather than to satisfy the needs of human populations. Progress
in science has had a negligible effect on improving the usual
behaviour of people.
A lack of precise and exhaustive knowledge about the
consequences of all these actions and their combined effects
does not justify this absurd undeclared project.
No one knows how long the ecological systems can withstand this
burden. By the time we fully comprehend what all these actions
and their combined effects have produced, it could be too late
to reverse the situation.
WE STAND FIRMLY AGAINST THIS EXPERIMENT. We all must say
NO, as not only is it unacceptable from any ethical perspective,
but it has already produced a heavy toll in terms of deaths,
disability and suffering, and has increased health disparities
between more and less favoured socio-economic groups as well as
between rich and poor countries. Moreover, it may represent a
threat to the survival and the health of the human species
itself, not to mention the quality of life, in the same way that
it has affected many other species so far, by driving them into
TO REMAIN INDIFFERENT IS TO PASSIVELY ACCEPT ALL THIS!
We must intervene in advance, before any full-blown wide-scale
irreversible damage is done even in the absence of exhaustive
Priorities: Working for a Safer Future
ISDE's purpose is not to hamper technological development whose
goal is to achieve more comfortable and safer living conditions,
but rather, it asks that priority be given to the development of
environmentally sound and safe technologies.
ISDE advocates that adequate resources in medical research be
allocated for prevention projects. The history of medicine
teaches us that the great victories over endemic diseases of the
past have been achieved through low-cost population-based
ISDE asks that all efforts be made to prevent ecological
disasters, and their effects on physical and psychosocial
ISDE advocates that health policies give priority to prevention
rather than the cure of diseases, and information campaigns and
other psychosocial programs aimed at reducing unhealthy and
ISDE asks that any new commercial product or chemical produced,
in particular non-degradable and those prone to bioaccumulation,
be submitted to adequate testing in order to ascertain its
harmlessness before being approved, rather than to merely
Although ISDE is a non-party organisation alien to political
commitments, it offers its expertise and counselling to
political bodies and governments, and stimulates lobbying or
campaigns in favour of environmentally safe choices.
ISDE also offers its advice to private sector activities and
business management to help determine choices with preventative
It also offers the competence and help of its experts in the
event of ecological disasters.
The environment has no national borders. All national
Associations of Doctors for the Environment are ISDE members.
ISDE has over 20.000 members and is continually growing. In
countries from all five continents, there are doctors who share
and promote its purposes and goals.
It fosters contacts and co-operative efforts with international
organisations such as UNO, UNEP, UNESCO, WHO, EU, and many NGOs
to support projects of international relevance, and to link-up
together national groups working on local projects.
Appeal to Humankind
We, doctors for the environment, appeal:
To doctors and health professionals all over the world to be
aware of their social functions and responsibilities and take
actions to warn of health risks linked to environmental
pollution and decay.
To inhabitants all over the world to adopt behaviours more
respectful of nature and themselves by reducing unnecessary
pressures on the environment.
To governments, national and international organisations, public
and private companies, administrators and politicians, and to
citizens to solicit, favour or implement actions and choices
respectful of the environment and stop actions and choices which
put pressure on it.
We appeal to the above bodies to ensure:
That the rights of the people are respected.
That the right to breathe unpolluted air, to
drink pure water and not a solution of chemicals, be respected.
That the rights of the public to be
adequately informed be respected.
That the right of future generations to use
the residual environmental resources be respected.
Before it is too late!