Climate change and human health

Health Vulnerability and Climate Adaptation Assessments: Costa Rica Consultation

July 20-23, 2010

Health Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change Assessments (V&A), are a core activity in the protection of populations from the impacts of climate change.

V&A assessments are important as they can provide national level evidence of the linkages between climate and health; improve understanding of local and specific health risks and vulnerabilities, provide the opportunity for capacity building, and serve as a baseline analysis to monitor how health risks may be influenced by a changing climate over time.

The generation of such evidence and understanding is a critical step for countries to identify the needs of the health sector, identify appropriate protective measures to be implemented, and justify receiving support to help protect health from climate change.

Member States of WHO requested the development of tools for V&A Assessments through a World Health Assembly Resolution in 2008, and a new WHO workplan on climate change and health in 2009. Building on previous work by the WHO European Regional Office, in 2009 WHO/PAHO prepared a new guidance document which was pilot tested in studies across all WHO Regions.

The 2010 Costa Rica Consultation brought together 15 countries to share their pilot study experiences, and to provide their perspective and contribution to revise the guidance document. The updated V&A Assessment Guidance will be published later in 2010.

Below are the presentations and assessment summaries.

Infographics on health and climate change

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