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Title: Adaptation strategies for health impacts of climate change in Western Australia: Application of a Health Impact Assessment framework

Abstract

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the globe and there is substantial evidence that this will result in a number of health impacts, regardless of the level of greenhouse gas mitigation. It is therefore apparent that a combined approach of mitigation and adaptation will be required to protect public health. While the importance of mitigation is recognised, this project focused on the role of adaptation strategies in addressing the potential health impacts of climate change. The nature and magnitude of these health impacts will be determined by a number of parameters that are dependent upon the location. Firstly, climate change will vary between regions. Secondly, the characteristics of each region in terms of population and the ability to adapt to changes will greatly influence the extent of the health impacts that are experienced now and into the future. Effective adaptation measures therefore need to be developed with these differences in mind. A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) framework was used to consider the implications of climate change on the health of the population of Western Australia (WA) and to develop a range of adaptive responses suited to WA. A broad range of stakeholders participated in the HIA process,more » providing informed input into developing an understanding of the potential health impacts and potential adaptation strategies from a diverse sector perspective. Potential health impacts were identified in relation to climate change predictions in WA in the year 2030. The risk associated with each of these impacts was assessed using a qualitative process that considered the consequences and the likelihood of the health impact occurring. Adaptations were then developed which could be used to mitigate the identified health impacts and provide responses which could be used by Government for future decision making. The periodic application of a HIA framework is seen as an ideal tool to develop appropriate adaptation strategies to address the potential health impacts of climate change.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [2]
  1. WHO Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health Impact Assessment, Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Public Health, Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U1987, Perth, Western Australia (Australia)
  2. (Australia)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21499685
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Impact Assessment Review; Journal Volume: 31; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: DOI: 10.1016/j.eiar.2010.07.001; PII: S0195-9255(10)00091-0; Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; CLIMATIC CHANGE; DECISION MAKING; ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS; ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY; FORECASTING; GREENHOUSE GASES; HEALTH HAZARDS; MITIGATION; PERIODICITY; POPULATIONS; PUBLIC HEALTH; WESTERN AUSTRALIA; AUSTRALASIA; AUSTRALIA; DEVELOPED COUNTRIES; GOVERNMENT POLICIES; HAZARDS; PUBLIC OPINION; VARIATIONS

Citation Formats

Spickett, Jeffery T., E-mail: J.Spickett@curtin.edu.a, Brown, Helen L., E-mail: h.brown@curtin.edu.a, Katscherian, Dianne, E-mail: Dianne.Katscherian@health.wa.gov.a, and Western Australian Department of Health, Department of Health WA, PO Box 8172, Perth Business Centre WA 6849. Adaptation strategies for health impacts of climate change in Western Australia: Application of a Health Impact Assessment framework. United States: N. p., 2011. Web. doi:10.1016/j.eiar.2010.07.001.
Spickett, Jeffery T., E-mail: J.Spickett@curtin.edu.a, Brown, Helen L., E-mail: h.brown@curtin.edu.a, Katscherian, Dianne, E-mail: Dianne.Katscherian@health.wa.gov.a, & Western Australian Department of Health, Department of Health WA, PO Box 8172, Perth Business Centre WA 6849. Adaptation strategies for health impacts of climate change in Western Australia: Application of a Health Impact Assessment framework. United States. doi:10.1016/j.eiar.2010.07.001.
Spickett, Jeffery T., E-mail: J.Spickett@curtin.edu.a, Brown, Helen L., E-mail: h.brown@curtin.edu.a, Katscherian, Dianne, E-mail: Dianne.Katscherian@health.wa.gov.a, and Western Australian Department of Health, Department of Health WA, PO Box 8172, Perth Business Centre WA 6849. Fri . "Adaptation strategies for health impacts of climate change in Western Australia: Application of a Health Impact Assessment framework". United States. doi:10.1016/j.eiar.2010.07.001.
@article{osti_21499685,
title = {Adaptation strategies for health impacts of climate change in Western Australia: Application of a Health Impact Assessment framework},
author = {Spickett, Jeffery T., E-mail: J.Spickett@curtin.edu.a and Brown, Helen L., E-mail: h.brown@curtin.edu.a and Katscherian, Dianne, E-mail: Dianne.Katscherian@health.wa.gov.a and Western Australian Department of Health, Department of Health WA, PO Box 8172, Perth Business Centre WA 6849},
abstractNote = {Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the globe and there is substantial evidence that this will result in a number of health impacts, regardless of the level of greenhouse gas mitigation. It is therefore apparent that a combined approach of mitigation and adaptation will be required to protect public health. While the importance of mitigation is recognised, this project focused on the role of adaptation strategies in addressing the potential health impacts of climate change. The nature and magnitude of these health impacts will be determined by a number of parameters that are dependent upon the location. Firstly, climate change will vary between regions. Secondly, the characteristics of each region in terms of population and the ability to adapt to changes will greatly influence the extent of the health impacts that are experienced now and into the future. Effective adaptation measures therefore need to be developed with these differences in mind. A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) framework was used to consider the implications of climate change on the health of the population of Western Australia (WA) and to develop a range of adaptive responses suited to WA. A broad range of stakeholders participated in the HIA process, providing informed input into developing an understanding of the potential health impacts and potential adaptation strategies from a diverse sector perspective. Potential health impacts were identified in relation to climate change predictions in WA in the year 2030. The risk associated with each of these impacts was assessed using a qualitative process that considered the consequences and the likelihood of the health impact occurring. Adaptations were then developed which could be used to mitigate the identified health impacts and provide responses which could be used by Government for future decision making. The periodic application of a HIA framework is seen as an ideal tool to develop appropriate adaptation strategies to address the potential health impacts of climate change.},
doi = {10.1016/j.eiar.2010.07.001},
journal = {Environmental Impact Assessment Review},
number = 3,
volume = 31,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Apr 15 00:00:00 EDT 2011},
month = {Fri Apr 15 00:00:00 EDT 2011}
}
  • Internationally the inclusion of health within environmental impact assessment (EIA) has been shown to be limited. While Australian EIA documentation has not been studied empirically to date, deficiencies in practice have been documented. This research developed an audit tool to undertake a qualitative descriptive analysis of 22 Major Project EAs in New South Wales, Australia. Results showed that health and wellbeing impacts were not considered explicitly. They were, however, included indirectly in the identification of traditional public health exposures associated with the physical environment and to a lesser extent the inclusion of social and economic impacts. However, no health datamore » was used to inform any of the assessments, there was no reference to causal pathways between exposures or determinants and physical or mental health effects, and there was no inclusion of the differential distribution of exposures or health impacts on different populations. The results add conceptually and practically to the long standing integration debate, showing that health is in a position to add value to the EIA process as an explicit part of standard environmental, social and economic considerations. However, to overcome the consistently documented barriers to integrating health in EIA, capacity must be developed amongst EIA professionals, led by the health sector, to progress health related knowledge and tools.« less
  • Health service and partners completed an equity focussed health impact assessment to influence the consideration of health and equity within regional land-use planning in Queensland, Australia. This project demonstrated how an equity oriented assessment matrix can assist in testing regional planning scenarios. It is hoped that this HIA will contribute to the emerging interest in ensuring that potential differential health impacts continue to be considered as part of land-use planning processes.
  • Global climate change (GCC) may have serious and irreversible impacts. Improved methods are needed to predict and quantify health impacts, so that appropriate risk management strategies can be focused on vulnerable areas. The disability-adjusted life year (DALY) is proposed as an effective tool in environmental health impact assessment (HIA). The DALY accounts for years of life lost to premature death and/or morbidity. Both the DALY and the determinants-of-health approach are applied to HIA of GCC in Bangladesh. Based on historical data, a major storm event may result in approximately 290 DALY per 1000 population, including both deaths and injuries, comparedmore » to a current all-cause rate of about 280 per 1000 in the region. A more precise result would require a large input of data; however, this level of analysis may be sufficient to rank risks, and to motivate and target risk management efforts.« less
  • Changes in climate associated with changes in atmospheric concentrations of CO{sub 2} and other greenhouse gases might affect soil erosion by wind and water. Changes in erosion could in turn cause changes in productivity and sustainability of agricultural systems, and changes in air quality (PM{sub 10}) and water quality (sediment transport). Substantial effects on productivity may, however, only occur several decades after climate changes. This paper presents a procedure for assessing the potential effects of climate change on erosion and productivity. A preliminary screening process is used to identify and prioritize regions and management systems. Subsequent simulation of selected sitesmore » with the EPIC model is used to investigate potential practices to adapt agricultural systems to climate change. In some cases, proposed adaptation strategies might reduce sustainability if they are not matched to environmental conditions found at specific sites. As an example, the assessment procedure is applied to evaluate vulnerability and adaptation practices for a 20% increase in mean monthly wind speeds in the US corn belt.« less
  • It has taken about 35 years for scientists to bring the global climate change issue to the attention of the world s people and their leaders. With the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference of December 2009, it was hoped that the issue identification phase would segue at last into the solution phase. However, the outcome of COP15 shows that interdisciplinary work on impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability is still critically needed to advance the development of the solution phase.