About us

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 governmental agencies.
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 extinction.
We must intervene in advance, before any full-blown wide-scale irreversible damage is done even in the absence of exhaustive scientific knowledge.

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 preventative interventions.
ISDE asks that all efforts be made to prevent ecological disasters, and their effects on physical and psychosocial well-being.
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 harmful lifestyles.
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 presume it.

Earth Consultants

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 implications.
It also offers the competence and help of its experts in the event of ecological disasters.
International Scope
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!