WHO and WMO launch new knowledge platform for climate and health

The first global knowledge platform dedicated to climate and health has been launched by the Joint Office of the World Health Organization and World Meteorological Organization, with support from the Wellcome Trust. It aims to provide actionable information to protect people from the health risks of climate change and other environmental hazards.

The site – climahealth.info – is a response to a growing concern about the impact climate change, extreme weather events and environmental degradation are having on human health and wellbeing. The organisations say that more people than ever before are exposed to increased climate-related health risks, from poor water and air quality to infectious diseases and heat stress.

Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, coordinator of WHO’s climate change and health programme, said: “Climate change is killing people right now. 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.”

WHO and WMO have designed this new global open-access platform to become a technical reference point for users of interdisciplinary health, environmental, and climate science. The site is intended to be the public face of the WHO-WMO joint technical programme, which brings together the expertise and science of both organizations.

Joy Shumake-Guillemot, who leads the WMO-WHO climate and health joint office, said: “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. 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.”

ClimaHealth aims to help connect health and climate communities, and support the acceleration of multidisciplinary research, national capacity and the use of evidence and decision tools by a wide range of audiences to inform and advocate for action and investment. 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 list of climate service provider profiles and resources.

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