The World Health Orgnisation (WHO) and World Meteorological Organization (WMO) alongwith Wellcome Trust has launched a global knowledge platform dedicated to climate and health – climahealth.info.
According to WHO, this is in response to growing calls for actionable information to protect people from the health risks of climate change and other environmental hazards.
WHO and WMO have designed this new global open-access platform to become the go-to technical reference point for users of interdisciplinary health, environmental, and climate science.
Climate and health are inextricably linked. Climate change, extreme weather events and environmental degradation have fundamental impact on human health and well-being.
“Climate change is killing people right now,” said Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, coordinator of WHO’s climate change and health programme.
“It is affecting the basics we need to survive – clean air, safe water, food and shelter – with the worst impacts being felt by the most vulnerable. Unmitigated climate change has the potential to undermine decades of progress in global health. Reducing its impacts requires evidence-based policy backed by the best available science and tools,” he added.
“We often speak with public health practitioners who are concerned about the environmental impacts on health they are witnessing. But they lack access to training and tailored climate information needed to address these growing issues.” said Joy Shumake-Guillemot, who leads the WMO-WHO Climate and Health Joint Office.
Joy stated, “On the other side, we have climate experts sitting on troves of research and resources that could be applied to support public health goals, but just aren’t reaching the right people.”
“Collaboration between climate, health and technical specialists is crucial for helping us understand and tackle the health effects of climate change,” said Madeleine Thomson, Head of Climate Impacts and Adaptation for the Wellcome Trust.
Site users will be able to connect with global experts; find upcoming events, news, opportunities, technical resources and data, applied decision and learning tools, case studies, and curated guidance and research documents; explore country, hazard- and theme-focused entry points and a growing number of climate service provider profiles and resources.
This living platform will be enhanced with new content and dynamic features in the coming months and years, with a view towards expanding its offerings to meet the needs of users on all sides of the climate – environment – health interface, added WHO.