The impact of heat on health is perhaps the most obvious and direct consequence of the rising temperatures characteristic of climate change. Adaptation to heat is therefore, urgently required. It includes releasing heat advisories, proper urban planning, and much more. This is an important part of enhancing communities' health resilience to the impact of climate change. India's National Action Plan for Climate Change has now been expanded to 12 missions including one for health. Similarly, State Action Plans exist for almost all the states of India, and 'health' figures as one of the important components of these Plans. As the health sector gears up to the challenges of increasing severity and frequency of heat waves, it is also critical to understand inter-sectoral planning and issues related to it for a coordinated, evidence-based approach to public policy. The webinar featured prominent experts from the climate and health policy sector who discussed this issue at great length. Climate, public health, and public policy professionals also contributed to the discussion.
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Dr Nitish Dogra
Topic: Introduction to Understanding Climate and Health Associations in India (UCHAI).
Dr Nitish Dogra, MD, MPH is Sector Adviser (Health & Nutrition) at TARU Leading Edge, New Delhi and the Inaugural Member Secretary for the UCHAI Advisory Committee. He is a physician, physiologist and public health specialist by training with a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from the Johns Hopkins University, United States. Based out of New Delhi, he has over a decade's experience related to environmental health with a strong focus on studying the health impacts of climate change. He was awarded the Fulbright-Nehru Environmental Leadership Program Fellowship by the US State Department and the Government of India for work related to climate change attributable burden of disease in India. Dr Dogra has worked extensively with the World Health Organization (WHO). In August, 2014 he delivered, on request, an invited commentary at the Conference on Health and Climate organized by WHO Headquarters, Geneva; the first such global-level ministerial meet in this area.
Dr John M. Balbus
Topic: Overview of integrating heat adaptation with climate action plans
Dr John M. Balbus, M.D., M.P.H., is the Senior Advisor for Public Health to the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), National Institute of Health, United States. He is also Director, NIEHS-WHO Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health Sciences. He serves as the Department of Health and Human Services Principal to the U.S. Global Change Research Program and also co-chairs working groups on Climate Change and Human Health for the US Global Change Research Program and for the National Institutes of Health. Dr Balbus was a lead author on health for the US National Climate Assessment and a Review Editor on Urban Areas for the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He is currently leading an initiative on Sustainable and Climate Resilient Health Care Facilities as part of the US President's Climate Action Plan. Dr Balbus received his MD degree from the University of Pennsylvania, his MPH degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from Harvard University.
Dr Anil Kumar Gupta
Topic: Heat Adaptation viewed as Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation
Dr Anil Kumar Gupta is a leading expert of disaster management (DM) and resilience. He is currently Head of Division of Policy Planning at India's National Institute of Disaster Management, at New Delhi. He steered international cooperation, research & capacity building programmes on mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), climatic resilience, ecosystem approach, disaster forensics, jurisprudence, policy planning and tools. His contribution includes - preparation of national disaster management plan including mitigation, response and recovery framework, national human resource plan for DRR, institutional development, besides guiding states in drawing DRR Roadmap on line of Sendai Framework, State/District level DM/DRR and developmental planning integrating CCA-DRR, village level plans, damage-loss and needs analysis, training strategies, national drought management manual, national action plan for chemical disasters, heat wave, etc. Dr Anil Gupta has to his credit more than 130 publications including 20 books and 47 journal papers.
Dr Peter Berry
Topic: International experience of integrating heat adaptation with climate action plans
Dr Peter Berry, is Senior Policy Analyst at Health Canada. He has close to two decades of experience leading and facilitating interdisciplinary health, environmental, economic and social policy research for risk assessment and adaptive management concerning health sensitivities, vulnerabilities and impacts from climate change and climate variability, as well as assessment of adaptive capacity for risk management. He has contributed to efforts to disseminate climate change and health adaptation information, data and tools to public health and emergency management partners in Canada and internationally to facilitate efforts to prepare Canadians for climate change. He is responsible for applying currently available research tools and techniques to further the study and practice of health policy analysis as it relates to climate change and the health protection and promotion programs and policies of Health Canada.
Dr Vikas Desai
Topic: State and City adaptation plans with special reference to Gujarat
Dr (Mrs.) Vikas Desai has 45 years of experience in public health, epidemiology, operational research and urban health. She has also been involved in flood management. Currently she is serving as Technical Director of Urban Health and Climate Resilience Centre (UHCRC) since April 2013. She is responsible for centre development, technical planning and management. The centre activities include research, training, documentation, networking and consultancy services for the Centre. UHCRC, Surat Municipal Corporation and TARU have jointly received UN Big data Recognition Award as projects to watch. UHCRC have prepared evidence based "Heat and Health Action Plan Surat" which is a first coastal city action plan for India. Formerly Dr Desai was Director, Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) Gujarat. She has been involved in the teaching and training of public health at the Government Medical College , Surat, Gujarat for almost 40 years. She is also the Founder Secretary of Urban Health Society of India.
Ms Suruchi Bhadwal
Topic: India's experience of integrating heat adaptation with national action plan for climate change and state level plans
Suruchi Bhadwal, has been working with TERI since 2000 and has contributed to several projects. She is listed as a UNDP regional roster of expert on vulnerability & adaptation and is a Member of Working Group on Climate Change and Environment for the Twelfth 5-Year Plan (2012-2017). She has published several papers and has contributed as a Lead Author for the IPCC AR4 WGII Report. Her area of expertise includes climate change and impacts, vulnerability and adaptation.