Release notice – Two approaches, one shared learning journey to support climate-health adaptation planning

Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention in Canada Journal

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The Public Health Agency of Canada, Ontario Region (PHAC), the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) and Cambium Indigenous Professional Services (CIPS) collaborated to conduct two knowledge projects on climate change adaptation planning: Two Approaches, One Shared Learning Journey to Support Climate-Health Adaptation Planning.

PHAC and SMDHU undertook a scoping review to collate the literature on climate-health adaptation interventions that address risks related to the six climate-sensitive categories deemed most relevant to Ontario: extreme weather, extreme temperature, air quality, vector-borne disease, ultraviolet radiation and water and food quality and quantity.

The first learning approach refers to a knowledge synthesis project designed to identify the range, characteristics and critical gaps in the literature available on climate-health adaptation planning, including traits of climate-health adaptation interventions. Planning/decision-making and health communication approaches were the most frequently described, and risks of vector-borne disease and extreme temperature were the most commonly mentioned, while ultraviolet radiation and food and water risks were least commonly mentioned. Only seven articles addressed mental health.

An important gap in the results of the search was the absence of an Indigenous perspective. This was due to methodology rather than to a lack of Indigenous literature. To address this, CIPS was invited to undertake, as a second learning approach, a knowledge synthesis project based on the lived experience of Kerry-Ann Charles-Norris of the Georgina Island First Nation. She illustrates an Indigenous perspective and the importance of including such perspectives into climate adaptation. She also introduces critical concepts of Indigenous ways of knowing and doing, as well as some best practices that public health authorities must understand and apply in order to engage meaningfully with Canada’s Indigenous Peoples.

The report is available here.

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