The World Metrological Organization (WMO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have jointly launched the first global knowledge platform dedicated to climate and health, “ClimaHealth.info” with support from the Wellcome Trust.
“It is in response to growing calls for actionable information to protect people from the health risks of climate change and other environmental hazards,” WMO said in a statement.
Climate and health are inextricably linked. Climate change, extreme weather events and environmental degradation have a fundamental impact on human health and well-being.
More people than ever before are exposed to increased risk, from poor water and air quality to infectious disease transmission to heat stress.
In recognition of this, WMO is strengthening its climate and health related activities.
“There is no doubt that climate change is killing people,” said Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, coordinator of WHO’s climate change and health program.
“It impacts the basics we need to survive – clean air, safe water, food and shelter – with the worst impacts being felt by the most vulnerable” he said.
Unmitigated climate change has the potential to undermine decades of progress in global health, and reducing its impacts requires evidence-based policy backed by the best available science and tools.”
WMO and WHO 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.
“The site represents the public face of the Joint Technical Programme, bringing together the expertise and science of both organizations for the first time” it said.
“We often speak with public health practitioners who are concerned about the environmental impacts on health they are witnessing, but don’t have access to the training, resources or tailored climate information needed to address these growing issues.” said Joy Shumake-Guillemot, WMO-WHO Climate and Health Joint Office lead.
“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” she added.
It said the ClimaHealth will help connect the 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 – from policy makers to community groups – to inform and advocate for action and investment.
“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 an eye towards expanding its offerings to meet the needs of users on all sides of the climate – environment – health interface” said WMO.