To effectively adapt to climate change, it is important to understand the current and future impacts climate change can have on community health over time. As climate change progresses, the impacts these changes have on the environment and humans change as well. Early climate change impacts to human health can be difficult to identify which can make health adaptation measures to climate change ineffective and unsustainable in the long-term. There are many hidden health risks to climate change that won’t be visible right away, but it is important to prepare for them early to protect people’s health.
Conducting a health vulnerability assessment is a way to identify and measure potential harm to human health caused by climate change impacts. A health vulnerability assessment is an assessment of a community or region’s potential health risks brought on by climate change, and their ability to adapt. These assessments are a necessary starting point for understanding any vulnerabilities that a community or region may face over time due to climate change to provide key knowledge on adaptation. This knowledge improves the effectiveness of community adaptation planning. A health vulnerability assessment can minimize the impacts of climate change by identifying ways to limit poor health outcomes and health hazards related to climate change, and identifying and improving health adaptation measures.
Indigenous Services Canada’s Climate Change and Health Adaptation Program for First Nations South of 60⁰N has supported ____ community-led health vulnerability assessment projects from 2016-2020.
*Piece on past projects identifying risks to mental health, food security, heat, air quality, etc. Positioning communities to better respond to the health immediate and future health needs of community members impacted by climate change.
Click on a link below to check out how these communities are engaging in climate change adaptation!
Jean Marie River (Tthets’éhk’edélî)