Regional Climate Change Dialogues

In 2012 the Public Health Agency hosted two Regional Dialogues on Climate Change and Public Health (Halifax, Nova Scotia and Regina, Saskatchewan). The overall goal was to provide an opportunity for knowledge development and exchange toward strengthened understanding of the health risks associated with climate change and ways to build local adaptive capacity.

Objectives

The objectives of the sessions were to:

  • discuss both current and anticipated issues relative to climate change threats and impacts on public health in the region;
  • discuss current provincial and local strategies, best practices, innovations and gaps related to climate change adaptation;
  • identify regional challenges, opportunities and key areas for strategic action; and
  • identify opportunities to strengthen and develop linkages and partnerships to build regional capacity.

Results

Participants emphasized that tackling the health issues of climate change requires a multi-jurisdictional, multi-disciplinary collaborative approach that brings together the various areas of environment, health, emergency preparedness, and research, as well as industry, First Nations and other stakeholders.

Specific research areas highlighted by participants included:

  • climate change impacts,
  • human health implications,
  • vector- and water-borne diseases,
  • infrastructure,
  • water treatment,
  • risk assessment,
  • surveillance, and
  • best practices.

Data and information sharing, including cross-jurisdictional surveillance, integration of research results, and knowledge dissemination are crucial.

Climate change is one of many core risks to the health of Canadians. Hearing regional perspectives from a diversity of participants is important for the Agency in setting priorities. The information gathered at the regional dialogues, as well as from upcoming sessions, will help to inform future work on health effects of climate change.

For more information or a copy of the full meeting reports, please contact healthandenvironment@phac-aspc.gc.ca.

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