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SOCIAL ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN DENMARK

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POVERTY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

No information available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

No information available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans

No information available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information available.

Programmes and Projects

No information available. 

Status

Poverty is not an issue of major concern in Denmark. There is no national definition of "poverty".

Challenges  

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

No information available.

Information

No information available.

Research and Technologies

No information available. 

Financing

No information available. 

Cooperation  

No information available. 

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This information is based on Denmark's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.


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DEMOGRAPHICS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Ministry of Health is the institution that is most directly concerned with demographic issues in Denmark, but Government Ministries are not engaged in integrated policy coordination in the field of population, environment and development policies.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

No information available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information available.

Programmes and Projects   

No information available. 

Status 

No information available.

Challenges  

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information available.

Information 

No information available.

Research and Technologies

No information available.

Financing

No information available. 

Cooperation

No information available. 

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This information is based on Denmark's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997


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HEALTH

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The political and administrative responsibilities for the operation of the Danish health care system are highly decentralized. Health care policy in Denmark is based on cooperation among a wide range of authorities. Under the guidance provided by law and by the administrative rulings of the national health authorities, the country councils are in charge of hospitals and specialized medical services, while municipal councils are responsible for primary health care.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

No information available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information available.

Programmes and Projects   

No information available.

Status 

In Denmark, health care is considered a public responsibility. Any resident of Denmark has the right to free hospital treatment, including specialized treatment. The health care system is highly decentralized, and primary health care services, comprising general practitioners and specialists, dentists and home nurses, are available throughout the country. Both the urban and rural population have access to conveniently located health care. The responsibilities of the health care system cover a wide range of tasks in various sectors, such as, securing access to safe drinking water, safe sanitation, the quality of food, sound housing and working conditions, and traffic safety. The health requirements for clean water and sanitation have been met. Environmental pollution is slightly more serious in urban than in rural areas; however, urban pollution is not associated with excess morbidity and mortality or any other serious pollution-oriented problems. 

The health care sector is highly dynamic and continuous updating and adjustment (according to economic possibilities and to technological development) is undertaken in order to meet the changing needs of the population.

Challenges  

Among communicable diseases, measles, mumps, rubella, tuberculosis and AIDS exist in Denmark.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information available.

Information   

No information available.

Research and Technologies   

Technological development within the health care sector has made it possible to introduce a number of new treatments and to operate successfully on a larger part of the population, including the elderly.

Financing

Almost all health care services are financed, planned and operated by public authorities, and the financing is derived mainly from general taxation. During the last two decades, total expenditure for health care has remained at 6 to 7% of GNP.

Cooperation

No information available. 

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This information is based on Denmark's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

To access the Health for All On-Line Database (WHO): Europe and CIS countries, click here:
Click here to go to the Health and health-related statistical information from the World Health Organization.

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EDUCATION

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Environment and Energy are primarily responsible for environmental education activities. 

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

An Act on the Danish Foldeskole (The Danish Primary and Lower Secondary School) provides the basis of environmental education in schools. The general goal of the Education Act states that education should further the pupil's understanding of human interaction with nature. The Act emphasizes the integration of environmental education with existing subject areas. The new subject aims and, along with the redefined basic knowledge and proficient area, demonstrate that the "green" aspect is essentially present in many subjects.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The national plans of action for environmental education and green dimension are implemented through the decisions referred to above and through different national school development projects, including those undertaken as a part of the "Nordic Environmental Education" and the Nordic Council of Ministers on Conflicting interests in the use of natural resources. In addition, several innovative initiatives are being carried out locally with the aim of developing education that gives priority to understanding sustainable development. Cooperation takes place on several levels among NGOs, research centers and ministries, through projects, seminars, coordination meetings and other mechanisms.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

See under Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans.

Programmes and Projects   

See under Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans and Cooperation.

Status 

In Denmark, education is free at all levels.

Challenges  

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

In-service training programmes are available for teachers, concerning the nature and methods of environment and development education. Environment and development concerns are part of teacher educational programmes.

Information

The Web Sites links given below have been provided by the Government of Denmark.

Cooperation

Denmark participates in several international projects, in which it reports to a number of ad hoc working groups. The following projects are examples of this international cooperation: OECD project on environmental education (ENSI); project for countries around the Baltic Sea (BSP); global IT-project on environment and nature (GLOBE); and Nordic project on environmental education (MUVIN). Denmark also participates in EU cooperation on environmental education through the Directorate General (DGXI).

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This information is based on Denmark's submission to the Fifth and Sixth Sessions of the Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: 20 January 1998



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HUMAN SETTLEMENTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

Management of housing areas is the responsibility of municipalities which, in turn are in charge of almost all services in terms of infrastructure and maintenance. Service delivery is provided by the municipality through collective enterprises and by private or semiprivate companies. The decisions on construction of directly subsidized housing are entirely the responsibility of local governments.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The overall planning is provided by the municipality under the Planning Act, which since 1991 has stressed sustainability as a prime objective for regional and municipal planning. The present building regulations were revised in 1994 in order to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. According to legislation, the general public is involved in planning and housing activities.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

One of the top priorities of Danish national policies is to provide the whole population with sound and adequate housing. The objective has been pursued through a combination of economic incentives to stimulate the building of privately-owned homes, and provision of public subsidies for rental housing by non-profit organizations. A public subsidy has been provided for cooperatives, slum clearance and upgrading old buildings. The Ministry of Housing has created an ecological plan of action for housing. Recently a cross-sectoral Advisory Committee on City-Ecology published its recommendations on how to enhance ecological behavior in an urban environment. The overall objective is to clarify and coordinate a broad array of initiatives related to city ecology. The Report on Denmark's Nature and Environment Policy 1995, and the draft National Planning Report from the Ministry of the Environment and Energy deal with sustainable human settlement and development.

The non-profit housing sector is organized by law with administrative and economic responsibilities left to locally elected boards under the supervision of the municipality. The cooperative sector, in which the inhabitants exert their collective influence, is in some respect organized in a similar way, while homeowners' associations are common in the private housing sector.

One of the top priorities of Danish national policies is to provide the whole population with sound and adequate housing. The objective has been pursued through a combination of economic incentives to stimulate the building of privately-owned homes, and provision of public subsidies for rental housing by non-profit organizations. A public subsidy has been provided for cooperatives, slum clearance and upgrading old buildings. The Ministry of Housing has created an ecological plan of action for housing. Recently a cross-sectoral Advisory Committee on City-Ecology published its recommendations on how to enhance ecological behavior in an urban environment. The overall objective is to clarify and coordinate a broad array of initiatives related to city ecology. The Report on Denmark's Nature and Environment Policy 1995, and the draft National Planning Report from the Ministry of the Environment and Energy deal with sustainable human settlement and development.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

See under Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies.

Programmes and Projects 

No information available.

Status

Due to changes in family patterns and growth in the number of elderly people, more single persons are now demanding accommodation, thus emphasis has been placed on building specifically for young and elderly people. During the last decade, in order to preserve the historical sections of Danish cities, emphasis has been placed on upgrading worn out structures.

Half the number of Danish dwellings are occupied by their owners. The average floor space available is 50m2 per person. 95% of all dwellings have central heating and 59% have bathrooms. A plan of action for obtaining compulsory measurements of individual household consumption of power, gas, heat, hot and cold water, is being implemented.

Challenges

One of the major problems in relation to sustainable development has been the priority given by a large part of the population to single family housing, leading to additional demand for energy and transportation. Also, differences in housing costs for similar quality housing between privately owned homes, private housing for rent and non-profit housing has tended to reduce the mobility of the population, making it difficult to obtain a sound functional distribution of housing, as related to family size and age.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information available.

Information   

No information available.

Research and Technologies

No information available.

Financing

The provision of housing for special groups, including the homeless, persons with mental diseases, the elderly and handicapped, persons with senile dementia, as well as refugees, is being subsidised by the State under an experimental scheme for the years 1994-97. Activities related to spatial planning are financed by the involved ministries, regional and local authorities as well as by the EU.

Cooperation

Denmark participates in the Urban Environment Expert Group established by the European Commission in 1991, as a follow up to the Commission's Green Paper on the Urban Environment. Further work on an European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) within United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE), United Nations Commission on Human Settlements UNCHS/HABITAT, the Council of European OECD and the Nordic Council of ministers is being undertaken.

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This information is based on Denmark's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.

For information related to human settlements and refugees, you may access the UNHCR Country Index by clicking here:

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