Climate Change and Health
Climate change is a global concern that leaves no part of the world untouched. Numerous scientific findings and local observations from the last 20 years clearly point to a climate that is rapidly changing with these changes having significant impacts on human health and wellbeing. Indigenous people are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change on health in part due to a variety of factors related to social determinants of health indicators. Temperatures in Canada have increased at twice the global average (1.6°C from 1948-2013) and in Canada’s Arctic, the increase has been threefold, leaving Indigenous communities observing the most extreme environmental changes and experiencing various health impacts. The expected outcomes of a warmer planet are numerous and will have direct and indirect health implications particularly for more vulnerable communities.
Some specific areas/issues related to human health and climate change can include, but are not limited to:
Support for building capacity to enable Indigenous people to develop research skills, health related adaptation plans and communication materials is essential to advancing adaptation decision-making with respect to human health and a changing environment. Mitigation strategies to reduce the advancement of climate change are critical to minimize the effects of climate change in the future. Advancing Indigenous leadership and building collaborative partnerships that takes into account cultural sensitivity and consider health holistically (e.g. mental, social, physical and spiritual) is required.
Watch this video for more information: Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change