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Virtual Library in Sustainable Development and Environmental Health
 

The area of Sustainable Development and Environmental Health (SDE) is a multid-isciplinary team of PAHO that leads and catalyzes an innovative, intersectoral and strategic effort to reduce the health risks and promote the healthy environments where the people live, study, work, and are amused, as a substantial and essential element of the Human Safety and of the Sustainable Development.
SDE is functionally divided into three technical units: The Unit of Healthy Settings, that of Environmental Risks and CEPIS that functions as the Unit of Basic Sanita-tion. It also includes the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP) and has advisers in the PAHO/WHO Representative Offices of the coun-tries. Beyond this, there is a close relationship between SDE and a network of col-laborating centers.
This functional structure of SDE is reflected in all the efforts and instruments that it develops and that is projected in the Virtual Library of SDE for the information field: BVSDE.
BVSDE is a Web that brings together a group of sources of information on sustain-able development and environmental health. It constitutes an effective response to the needs of information from the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
The BVSDE is the expansion of the Environmental Virtual Health Library (BVSA) that in turn, follows the model of technical cooperation in information on health, promoted by the “Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Infor-mation”, BIREME.
It has adapted the methodological instruments from the BVSA, updated the manu-als on the databases, software, guides and a thesaurus that compiles the terminol-ogy of the area of sustainable development and environmental health in five lan-guages. All this methodology is available for the institutions that wish to construct their own Virtual Libraries in this topic.

Configuration BVSDE

The main page of the BVSDE has the units of work of SDE/PAHO on the left col-umn. Each subject is a virtual library, presenting relevant information on each spe-cialty.
The services are found in the central part, giving the possibility of searching all the sources of information on the BVSDE and the greatest technological innovation: recover information in other sources at the same time that is in several Virtual Li-braries, both nationally and by topic, located in different webs, presenting a unique search result.
It can also be sought in each source of information on sustainable development and environmental health, which is updated daily:

Technical Information

Full texts: It gives access to almost 20,000 documents, such as presentations, articles, books, reports, etc.

Bibliographic references: It contains nearly 170,000 references with summa-ries, from the cooperating centers of REPIDISCA and of the library that is physi-cally located in the Unit of Basic Sanitation/CEPIS of SDE.

Journals: There are more than registered 530 titles, both printed and electronic.

Others webs: It includes links to approximately 3,000 sites.

Courses and events: Database with more than 1,000 announcements, both at-tending and long distance and/or virtual. It includes conferences, summits, fairs, forums, days, round tables, panels, seminars, symposia, and workshops.

Institutions: It contains basic information on about 2,500 related institutions, mainly of Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as direct links to their elec-tronic addresses and to their sites the Web.

Indicators: They can be consulted by countries or years. They appear in the publication of PAHO Health in the Americas.

SERVICES

News: Obtained from newspapers, bulletins, announcements, etc.

Selective Dissemination of the Information: It makes it possible for the sub-scribers to keep themselves informed monthly, on the latest news, courses, bib-liographic references, full texts, journals, and websites in their area of interest. The information is received via E-mail and they are the same registries that are incorporated to the different sources of the BVSDE.

EDUCATION

Educational materials: We have almost 1,500 multimedia support materials for the traditional education and for the distance learning, virtual short courses, presentations, etc.

Courses in Self-teaching: To date there are 11 self-instruction courses, acces-sible to every interested person, the approval of the final examination merits a diploma.

Academic Programs: Almost 1,000 courses of undergraduate, master’s pro-grams, doctorates, fellowships, diplomas, both attends them and virtual have been registered.

VIRTUAL COMMUNITY

Lists of discussion

Virtual opportunities to exchange ideas, under the coordination of a specialist. Lists of discussion opened or closed according to the needs for each subject.

ON THE BVSDE

It presents the information concerning the Virtual Library, the Advisory Committee, and the Access Statistics.

REPIDISCA, from its creation in 1981, has applied frontier technologies, thus, the Virtual Library in “Sustainable Development and Environmental Health” - BVSDE currently is the principal product that accompanies the boom of the Internet.

The Pan American Network of Information in Environmental Health, known by the acronym REPIDISCA, is made up of more than 370 Cooperating Centers in 24 countries of the Region, that work jointly to reach its main objective: the timely access to the information that the countries of Latin America and the Ca-ribbean require and produce.