Launch of special initiative to address climate change impact on health in Small Island Developing States

Today, on the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23), WHO, in collaboration with the UN Climate Change secretariat and in partnership with the Fijian Presidency of the twenty-third Conference of the Parties (COP23), has launched a particular initiative to guard folks residing in Small Island Developing States from the heath impacts of local weather change.

The imaginative and prescient is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States could have well being programs which might be resilient to local weather change and international locations all over the world shall be decreasing their carbon emissions each to guard probably the most susceptible from local weather dangers and ship giant well being advantages in carbon-emitting international locations.

The initiative has four predominant targets.

First, to amplify the voices of well being leaders in Small Island Developing States, so that they have extra impression at residence and internationally.

Second, to collect the proof to assist the enterprise case for funding in local weather change and well being.

Third, to advertise insurance policies that enhance preparedness and prevention, together with “climate proof” well being programs.

Fourth, to triple the degrees of worldwide monetary assist to local weather and well being in small island creating states.

“People living in Small Island Developing States are on the frontline of extreme weather events, rising sea levels and increased risk of infectious disease,” stated Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO. “We owe it to these people to do everything we can to help them prepare for the future that is already washing up on their shores.”

“We in Fiji know all too well that climate change poses a serious threat to the health of our people. I’m delighted that we are launching this initiative – in partnership with the WHO and UNFCCC – to better equip small island states like ours with the knowledge, resources and technology to increase the resilience of their health systems, as part of larger efforts to adapt to climate change,” stated Fijian Prime Minister and COP23 President Frank Bainimarama.

Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, stated: “Climate change will increasingly impact the health and well-being of people everywhere unless nations fully implement the Paris Agreement”.

“Small islands are in the frontline from extreme weather events that can contaminate drinking water to health-hazardous heatwaves and the spread of infectious diseases. This initiative can strengthen the response of small islands to the rising risks as the world works to ensure that together we keep a global temperature rise well below 2 degrees C and better, no higher than 1.5 degrees,” she stated.

Small Island Developing States have lengthy been acknowledged as particularly susceptible to the hostile results of local weather change. Their scenario is highlighted within the UNFCCC, by Ministers of Health on the 2008 World Health Assembly, and within the 2015 Paris Agreement.

They have additionally pioneered modern approaches to enhance the resilience of their well being programs to local weather change. As effectively as emitting a small proportion of the greenhouse gases which might be driving local weather change, many are additional decreasing their already low carbon emissions.

“Small Island Developing States are able to take management in direction of inexperienced, resilient and health-promoting nationwide improvement – however the assist of the worldwide neighborhood is important,” stated Dr Joy St John, just lately appointed Assistant Director-General for Climate and Other Determinants of Health at WHO.

“Less than 1.5% of international finance for climate change adaptation is allocated to projects which ensure that the health of all people is preserved, and only a fraction of this supports small island developing states. The recent severe weather events in the Caribbean demonstrate that targeted interventions are important. We need to do much more and we need to act very quickly.”

Country possession is a central precept of this initiative. Ministers of well being from among the most affected international locations have already began to offer enter by session with WHO’s Director-General and at WHO Regional Committee conferences, and this course of will proceed.

Since 2015, WHO has been working with the UNFCCC secretariat to develop detailed nation profiles to evaluate dangers, and supply tailor-made recommendation on how these international locations can adapt to, and mitigate, the well being results of local weather change. More than 45 nation profiles have already been accomplished and, as a part of this initiative, WHO commits to publishing a rustic profile for all small island creating states by the top of 2018.

Many nationwide well being actors, improvement and United Nations companies are already making essential contributions to guard well being in small island creating states. WHO’s initiative goals to deliver collectively current and new efforts and scale them up so that they obtain most impression.

“The vision is that, by 2030, all health systems in small island developing states will be able to withstand climate variability and change,” provides Dr St John. “And, of course, that countries around the world will have substantially reduced carbon emissions.”

For extra info, please contact:

Nada Osseiran
Communications Officer
Mobile: +41 79 445 1624

Sarah Cumberland
Communications Officer
Mobile: +4179 2061403

James Creswick
WHO EURO Office in Bonn
Mobile +491722083967

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