Priority focus areas for a sub-national response to climate change and health: A South African provincial case study

Godsmark, Christie Nicole, Irlam, James, van der Merwe, Frances, New, Mark and Rother, Hanna-Andrea (2019) Priority focus areas for a sub-national response to climate change and health: A South African provincial case study. Environment International, 122. pp. 31-51. ISSN 0160-4120

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    Abstract

    Introduction: The intersection of health and climate change is often absent or under-represented in sub-national government strategies. This analysis of the literature, using a new methodological framework, highlights priority focus areas for a sub-national government response to health and climate change, using the Western Cape (WC) province of South Africa as a case study. Methods: A methodological framework was created to conduct a review of priority focus areas relevant for sub-national governments. The framework encompassed the establishment of a Project Steering Group consisting of relevant, sub-national stakeholders (e.g. provincial officials, public and environmental health specialists and academics); an analysis of local climatic projections as well as an analysis of global, national and sub-national health risk factors and impacts. Results: Globally, the discussion of health and climate change adaptation strategies in sub-national, or provincial government is often limited. For the case study presented, multiple health risk factors were identified. WC climatic projections include a warmer and potentially drier future with an increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. WC government priority focus areas requiring further research on health risk factors include: population migration and environmental refugees, land use change, violence and human conflict and vulnerable groups. WC government priority focus areas for further research on health impacts include: mental ill-health, non-communicable diseases, injuries, poisonings (e.g. pesticides), food and nutrition insecurity-related diseases, water- and food-borne diseases and reproductive health. These areas are currently under-addressed, or not addressed at all, in the current provincial climate change strategy. Conclusions: Sub-national government adaptation strategies often display limited discussion on the health and climate change intersect. The methodological framework presented in this case study can be globally utilized by other sub-national governments for decision-making and development of climate change and health adaptation strategies. Additionally, due to the broad range of sectoral issues identified, a primary recommendation from this study is that sub-national governments internationally should consider a “health and climate change in all policies” approach when developing adaptation and mitigation strategies to address climate change.

    Item Type: Article
    Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of International Development
    Related URLs:
    Depositing User: LivePure Connector
    Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2018 11:30
    Last Modified: 09 Apr 2019 14:01
    URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/69362
    DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2018.11.035

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