Highlights Urgent Need for Action

HKPR Releases Climate Change Health Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment Report

The report identifies key findings on the local health risks of climate change impacts

Port Hope – Thurs., June 22, 2023 –  A new report released today by the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR District Health Unit) sheds light on the significant health risks posed by climate change in the HKPR District Health Unit area. The Climate Change Health Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment report emphasizes that climate change is not just an environmental issue but also the “biggest global health threat of the 21st century”.

ClimateChangeReport

The Climate Change Health Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment report presents a comprehensive analysis of the current and future impacts of climate change on the health of residents in the HKPR Health Unit District area. It identifies populations more likely to be impacted by climate change and provides recommendations on building adaptive capacity to reduce the associated health risks.

According to the report, climate change can affect health in two main ways:

  1. It can worsen existing health conditions.
  2. It can introduce new health threats in areas where they have not been previously observed.

Climate hazards identified in the report include extreme temperatures, extreme weather, poor air quality, vector-borne diseases, safe food and water, and solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Many populations are at increased risk and can be more vulnerable to climate-related health effects. Individual, environmental or social factors can make some people more sensitive or exposed to climate hazards.

“This report shows that climate change is not a distant problem but a pressing local public health issue that requires immediate attention, said Sue Shikaze, Health Promoter with the HKPR District Health Unit. We must act now to protect the health and well-being of our residents, especially those at greatest risk.”

There is a strong need for collaborative efforts to increase adaptive capacity and resilience in the face of climate change. The report calls for action from multiple sectors, including healthcare, environmental agencies, community organizations, and policymakers, to address the identified vulnerabilities and implement strategies to protect health.

Key findings from the Climate Change Health Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment report include:

Many programs of the HKPR District Health Unit address the health risks posed by climate change, including public education, collaborative initiatives, and advocacy for policy changes. The next phase of this work is the development of a Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan that will provide a detailed roadmap for implementing adaptive measures to ensure the future health and well-being of the community.

For More Information

Read the complete Climate Change Health Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment report by visiting hkpr.on.ca/ClimateChange.

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