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Ministry of Climate Change and Environment Holds Workshop to Assess and Promote Adaptation to Climate Change in the Health Sector

The workshop brought together health stakeholders in the UAE to define actions for climate change adaptation. The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) organized a stakeholder workshop on climate change adaptation in the health sector at its headquarters in Dubai Academic City. Around 100 stakeholders representing health authorities, academia, and other related entities attended the two-day event that concluded today (March 29).

The workshop was organized as part of the implementation of the National Climate Change Plan, which was approved by the Cabinet in June 2017. One of the three pillars of the Climate Plan is dedicated to climate change adaptation, which aims at better preparation for and building resilience to the potential local impacts caused by global climate change.

During the workshop, Dr. Helen Brown, Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health Impact Assessment, based in Curtin University, Western Australia, provided an overview of linkages between climate change and public health, reviewed the sectoral risk assessment, and facilitated the discussion with stakeholders.

The MOCCAE’s Climate Change Department is currently working with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) on the assessment of climate risks to the four key sectors most important to the country’s sustainable, climate-resilient future – health, energy, infrastructure, and the environment. The team focused on the health sector in the first phase of this assessment, conducted a survey and interviews with key health authorities, and compiled their understanding on climate change adaptation and existing measures and capability. The collected information was analyzed according to an original risk assessment framework elaborated from international best practices.

In the opening remarks, Fahed Mohamed Al Hammadi, the ministry’s Acting Assistant Undersecretary for Green Development and Climate Change, noted: “Climate change adaptation aims to ensure that the impacts of climate change will not hamper our development efforts while transforming the risks into opportunities toward a more climate-resilient and sustainable future.

“Climate resilience cannot be achieved overnight and a concerted effort from various sectors of our society is required. The ministry continues to engage other authorities, industry and academia in the implementation of the Climate Plan.”

Al Hammadi indicated that the workshop was organized with a main aim to validate the findings from this assessment with health sector stakeholders around the country. The validation through this workshop will serve the basis for identifying climate change adaptation measures and planning concrete initiatives. He added that the Ministry will continue with the assessment of the other three sectors and plans to develop an action plan later this year.

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