TERI organises a workshop focused on addressing the intersection of climate change and health in the Indo-Pacific Region

November 22, 2023
Climate change

New Delhi, November 22, 2023: TERI conducted an expert workshop on “Climate Change Impacts on Health and Health System Response in the Indo Pacific Region" on Tuesday. This critical initiative received support from the South Asia Research Hub- Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), in collaboration with esteemed partners, namely, the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) and the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS).

The workshop was conducted on a hybrid format, attracted more than 50 participants from diverse countries in the region. The inclusive assembly included professionals from health, climate, and the environment, as well as public health experts, sub-national figures in climate and health, policy specialists, government delegates, researchers, academics, and representatives from international organizations and multilateral agencies in the Indo-Pacific Region.

The workshop unfolded through a series of dynamic sessions, engaging participants in evidence-based discussions, the exchange of expertise, and collaborative efforts aimed at formulating strategies to enhance public health resilience. The event's primary objectives included the sharing of evidence regarding the impact of climate change on health across seven countries in the Indo-Pacific region. Additionally, the workshop sought to facilitate country and regional discussions to prioritize recommendations rooted in emerging evidence of effective practices. Furthermore, the gathering aimed to collect narratives and examples showcasing climate change adaptation and mitigation practices within the health sector, aligning with national plans.

The event commenced with welcoming remarks from Dr Asha Ram Sihag, Distinguished Fellow, TERI, setting the tone for the profound discussions to follow. Dr Sihag's insights paved the way for an insightful exploration of the critical juncture between climate change and health in the Indo-Pacific Region. Dr Jaya Singh Verma, Policy and Programme lead for the Asia Pacific Region at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, British High Commission, delivered opening remarks that highlighted the urgency and importance of addressing climate change's impact on public health in the region.

The sessions encompassed a context setting presentation, breakout group discussions focused on specific regions, and a comprehensive panel discussion integrating climate change into health response systems. The panel discussion, moderated by Mr RR Rashmi, Distinguished Fellow, TERI, served as a platform for a dynamic exchange of ideas, showcasing best practices, success stories, and models for developing robust health systems resilient to the impacts of climate change.

Distinguished experts like Dr Aakash Shrivastava, Additional Director of the National Programme for Climate Change and Human Health (NPCCHH) NCDC, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, shared insights into innovative approaches for integrating climate adaptation strategies within health frameworks. Dr Shrivastava highlighted the diverse responses of the medical community across different states in India to the intersection of climate change and health.

Dr Renzo Guinto, Associate Professor and Director of the Planetary and Global Health Program, contributed insights by presenting globally acclaimed practices for fostering climate-resilient health systems, drawing examples of successful initiatives from the Philippines.

Dr Iqbal Kabir, representing the Climate Change and Health Promotion Unit at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in Bangladesh, emphasised successful national-level initiatives. He also underscored the significance of community-led efforts in preventing water-borne diseases.

Ms Laetania Belai Djandam, a Climate Officer at Healthcare without harm in Indonesia, shared pragmatic experiences and innovative strategies implemented within the region's healthcare sector, particularly focusing on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The panel marked the end of the workshop where experts shared their ideas and strategies for building resilient health systems in the face of climate change impacts. Ms Suruchi Bhadwal, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Climate Change Research at TERI, delivered the closing remarks and vote of thanks to all participants and contributors for their valuable insights and active engagement throughout the event.

Climate change
Climate impact
Public Health