Climate Change and Health Adaptation Capacity Building Program (HealthADAPT)

Backgrounder

April 30, 2019

The World Health Organization has called climate change the greatest threat to human health in the 21st century. Climate change is already affecting the health and well-being of Canadians. It is increasing risks to the health of individuals and exerting greater pressures on Canada’s health sector.

More knowledge is needed on the range of climate-related risks to health, to health systems (e.g., increased costs, impact on infrastructure and services), and to communities and people at greater risk.

HealthADAPT, a multi-year program managed by Health Canada, is providing $3 million over three years to support 10 projects at local, regional, and provincial and territorial levels of the Canadian health sector to prepare for and respond to the impacts of climate change.

This program supports the human health and well-being objectives of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The objectives of this new program are to:

  • increase understanding of climate change impacts to health and health systems;
  • identify communities or populations that could be more vulnerable;
  • develop, test and implement relevant climate change adaptation plans for regional or other specifications; and
  • monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of adaptation plans.

The 10 funded projects selected represent the diversity across the country, including Indigenous peoples, urban, rural and coastal communities, and both official languages. The 10 confirmed projects are:

Project Title: Climate Change and Health Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment for Northern Ontario Public Health Units
Recipient: Northwestern Health Unit
Funding Amount: $300,000
Project Summary: This project will result in climate change and health vulnerability and adaptation assessment reports for each of the partner health units in northern Ontario. Regional vulnerabilities and health risks from climate change will be identified, along with current capacity and possible mitigation strategies. This is a collaborative initiative that will involve all seven public health units in northern Ontario.

Project Title: Climate Change and Health: Assessing vulnerabilities and adaptive capacity in the Region of Waterloo, the City of Guelph, the County of Wellington, and the County of Dufferin
Recipient: Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health
Funding Amount: $300,000
Project Summary: This project will result in a climate change and health adaptation and vulnerability assessment, targeting the residents of the Waterloo Region, the City of Guelph, the County of Wellington and the County of Dufferin. These regions, which include both urban and rural communities, are among the fastest growing in Canada.

Project Title: Understanding Health Risks from Climate Change in the Northwest Territories and Building Local Capacity for Successful Adaptations
Recipient: Department of Health and Social Services, Government of the Northwest Territories
Funding Amount: $300,000
Project Summary: This project will result in a comprehensive assessment of the health risks posed by climate change in the Northwest Territories and a detailed Health and Social Services Department Action Plan to support improved adaptation in communities and the Government of the Northwest Territories. It is a collaborative initiative involving all regions of the territory.

Project Title: Adapting to Climate Change in New Brunswick: Health Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessments with an Urban and Rural Perspective
Recipient: New Brunswick Department of Health
Funding Amount: $300,000
Project Summary: The project will result in New Brunswick-specific Climate Change and Health Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment tools. Tools and training will be piloted in one primarily English-speaking urban setting and in one primarily French-speaking rural setting.

Project Title: Regional assessments – Vulnerabilities to climate change in public health and development of adaptation plans tailored to regional public health branches
Recipient: Institut national de santé publique du Québec
Funding Amount: $299,945
Project Summary: The project will result in assessments of regional, population, and organizational vulnerability to climate change in public health and climate change adaptation plans. The recipient will collaborate with the following eight public health units: Bas-Saint-Laurent, Mauricie-Centre-du-Québec, Nord-du-Québec, Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Laval, Lanaudière, the Laurentianss, and the James Bay Cree Territory.

Project Title: Prioritization of climate change adaptation measures for all facilities of the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) de l’Outaouais
Recipient: Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) de l'Outaouais
Funding Amount: $300,000
Project Summary: The project will result in a climate change and health adaptation and vulnerability assessment and adaptation plans to enhance the resiliency of facilities across the Outaouais region’s health and social services networks, which includes the City of Gatineau and four regional county municipalities: Pontiac, Vallée-de-la-Gatineau, Papineau, and Collines de l’Outaouais.

Project Title: Assessment and support of the capacity of health systems to prevent and limit negative impacts on the mental health and psychosocial well-being of individuals and populations exposed to extreme climate events (ECEs).
Recipient: Centre intégré de Santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) de Chaudière-Appalaches
Funding Amount: $300,000
Project Summary: The project will result in a climate change and health adaptation and vulnerability assessment and adaptation plans to enhance health system resiliency, with a focus on preventing negative impacts on the mental health and psychosocial well-being in populations exposed to extreme climate events. The recipient will collaborate with the Bas-St-Laurent Region.

Project Title: WATCH: We All Take Care of the Harvest. Safe and Secure Harvesting of Marine Foods in the Context of Climate Change
Recipient: First Nations Health Authority
Funding Amount: $297,936
Project Summary: The project will result in the development of local- and Indigenous-relevant adaptation strategies to reduce the impacts of climate change on Indigenous marine foods and enhance the resiliency of First Nations communities in British Columbia.

Project Title: Bridging the Gap: Engaging York Region Residents and Stakeholders to Build Climate-Resilient Communities 
Recipient: York Region Public Health
Funding Amount: $300,000
Project Summary: This project will support the climate change and health vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning. The project will be conducted across all nine municipalities of York Region and engage demographically diverse populations living in rural, suburban and urban geographies.

Project Title: Together We Can: Population Health-Based Integrated Climate Change and Health Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Planning for Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health Authority
Recipient: Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
Funding Amount: $300,000
Project Summary: This project will result in the creation of a multi-agency Climate Change and Health Adaptation Strategic Plan to increase health system resiliency. Public Health, Emergency Management, and Facilities Management for the two health authorities will collaborate on this initiative, which will benefit over 450 health facilities and 60% of the BC population.


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