Climate variability, climate change and health in small island states
Bandos Island resort, Maldives, 1-4 December 2003
The Synthesis Workshop on Climate Variability, Climate Change and Health in Small-Island States was conducted on Bandos Island Resort, Maldives, from 1 – 4 December 2003. Specific goals of the Synthesis Workshop included:
- To inform health scientists, practitioners, and officials of the impacts of climate variability, and long-term climate change in the Indian Ocean, Pacific, Caribbean and other regions;
- To address vulnerability assessment and adaptation options for Small Island Countries;
- To address findings and proposed actions as discussed in previous workshops in the Pacific and the Caribbean, with regard to:
- Integration of health-relevant sectors (e.g., water resources, agriculture and fisheries);
- Introduction of strategies in coastal zone management as they relate to sewage disposal and other health issues;
- Fostering joint interdisciplinary research projects among local participants, as well as developed/developing nation scientist partnerships.
- Summarize conclusions and recommendations for common actions and activities for Small Island States and vulnerable islands in general.
The workshop was attended by 40 participants. There were representatives from 13 Small Island Countries (Comoros, Barbados, Cuba, Fiji, Maldives, Mauritius, Palau, Saint Lucia, Sao Tomé-et-Principe, Samoa, Seychelles and Tonga), in addition to participants from Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, United Kingdom and United States of America; and representatives from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). WHO provided four temporary advisers and four WHO staff members, serving as the secretariat.
The workshop was opened by the Minister of Health of the Maldives and followed with a keynote presentation by Professor Tony McMichael on climate change and health issues with some reference to the world’s small-island states. Presentations were made on the following topics: the Pacific Island workshop on climate variability; the Caribbean workshop on climate variability; weather, climate variability and climate change; challenges of climate prediction and its application in the health sector; climate change and health; sustainable development in small-island developing states; climate forecasts and applications; estimating the burden of disease from climate change; predictions, prevention, and preparedness: application of climate information for public health; analysis of impacts of climate variability on malaria transmission in Sri Lanka and the development of an early-warning system; climate variability and climate change and health in small-island states: the Pacific experience; vulnerability and adaptation: an introduction; vulnerability and adaptation assessment; water and sanitation issues in the Maldives; climate change and health in Indonesia; modeling the relationship between climate variability and human health: case study from Cuba; weather-related disasters: an approach to managing the potential health impacts of climate variability and change in the Caribbean; and adaptation policy framework.
Mrs Shaheeda Adam Ibrahim, from the Maldives was elected Chair. Dr Ronald Kinght, from Barbados and Mr Navi Litidamu from Fiji were elected Rapporteurs.
This Report is divided into two parts. Part 1 - Workshop Report - includes: the Opening Session; Keynote and other Presentations; Annex A the Workshop Agenda; Annex B the List of Participants; and Annex C the Opening Speeches (Statement of Regional Director SEARO and Opening remarks on behalf of the Interagency Network on Climate and Human Health - WHO, UNEP, WMO). Part 2 - Workshop Background Paper - is entitled "Climate Variability, Climate Change, and Health in Small-Island States"