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    Research Agenda Agreed on Climate Change and Health

    By Keith R | October 9, 2008

    Topics: Climate Change, Health Issues | No Comments »

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    From the World Health Organization (WHO):

    WHO agreed on a research agenda on climate change and public health

    A meeting of experts convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Madrid agreed today to a research agenda to develop an evidence-based framework for action on the human health implications of climate change. The plan builds on a comprehensive review of what is already known about health risks from climate change. It was developed by WHO with more than 80 top researchers on climate change and health along with representatives of donor and other UN agencies. The meeting took place 6-8 October and hosted by the Ministry of Health of Spain.

    “Many agencies, including WHO, have highlighted the health dangers of climate change” said Dr Margaret Chan, WHO’s Director-General. “Our 193 Member States asked WHO to help them strengthen the evidence base for policy action. This plan provides the framework for doing just that. It sets out guidance to governments, research institutions and donors looking to fill crucial knowledge gaps.”

    In the last decade, even though climate change has been increasingly acknowledged as an important risk to human well-being, its effects on health have received little research attention. Scientific papers describing the links between climate change and health are outnumbered by those on air pollution by almost 8 times, and by those on smoking by almost 40 times.

    The plan aims to speed-up, focus and intensify climate change and health research to strengthen the evidence base for discussion at the 15th United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP15), to be held in Copenhagen in December 2009, where world leaders will forge a new global climate agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol.

    The research plan identifies five priority research areas; including,

    “This meeting has made clear that there is a need to enhance our evidence base on ways to protect health from climate change”, said Dr. Bernat Soria, Spain’s Minister of Health and Consumption,: ” We welcome this plan which sets out a clear research agenda and addresses all countries needs for evidence-based policy making” he added.

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