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WHO Workshop Discusses Adaptation to Health Impacts of Climate Change in Southern and Eastern Africa

WHO19 December 2012: The first inter-country workshop for the preparations of national plans of action for public health adaptation to climate change in Southern and Eastern Africa discussed identification of public health risks of climate change, implementation of adaptation plans and strategies and interventions to mitigate the health impacts of climate change.

Organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), the workshop followed up on a decision of the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to provide technical and financial assistance to developing countries for measures to mitigate the negative consequences of climate change on populations. The workshop aimed to: facilitate dialogue on adaptation priorities for public health; develop the health components of national climate change adaptation plans; and determine financial resource needs on a country by country basis.

Participants discussed, among other issues: ways and means of identifying the public health risks of climate change; mechanisms for developing, coordinating and implementing adaptation plans; strategies and interventions to mitigate the impact of climate change on peoples' health; monitoring and evaluation; and follow-up actions, including stakeholder meetings at the country level to raise awareness.

The workshop was held from 17-19 December 2012, in Windhoek, Namibia, and was attended by representatives from ministries of health and environment from ten different countries. [IISD RS Sources] [WHO website on Health and Climate Change]