TJ8.4 The Global Heat Health Information Network (GHHIN): Supporting to Global Heat Health Disaster Risk Reduction

Tuesday, 8 January 2019: 2:15 PM
North 224A (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Hunter M. Jones, NOAA, Silver Spring, TX; and J. Shumake-Guillemot and J. Trtanj

Human exposure to extreme heat is one of the principal and most manageable impacts of climate on human health. Yet, every year worldwide, tens of thousands of people die as a result of avoidable heat-induced health consequences and countless others experience reduced labor productivity, physiological stress and ill health. The IPCC predicts with high confidence, that the observed trend of longer lasting, more frequent, more intense, and earlier onset heat waves will continue into the future. This situation requires us to aggressively confront this recognized risk.

Despite the fact that recent major heat events in Western Europe, Russia, and the subcontinent have claimed 50,000 to 80,000 lives at a time, with concurrent air quality, labor productivity and other economic impacts, heat waves are still quite often not considered disasters. Many countries and cities worldwide have developed heat action plans or heat health early warning systems, but these efforts tend to fall short of disaster planning which includes many long-term policy hooks, compensatory regimes for losses, long-term tracking of outcomes, and clear guidance on incentives and approaches to reduce risk. To address such gaps and accelerate heat health protection, the Global Heat Health Information Network (GHHIN) was launched in June 2016, by the WMO/WHO joint office for Climate and Health and the NOAA Climate Program Office.

GHHIN is an independent, voluntary, member driven forum of scientists, professionals, and policymakers focused on enhancing and multiplying the global and local learning and resilience-building for heat health that is already occurring. GHHIN seeks to serve as a catalyst, knowledge broker, disseminator of good practices, and a forum for facilitating exchange and identifying needs. GHHIN will promote evidence-driven interventions, shared-learning, co-production of information, synthesis of priorities and capacity building to empower actors to take more effective and informed life-saving preparedness and planning measures.

This presentation will cover the outcomes of GHHIN’s First Global Forum on Heat and Health, which will be held in Hong Kong in December of 2018. The Forum will bring together the community of heat health practitioners and researchers to share experience, inform a global common agenda, strengthen the network, and formally launch GHHIN. It will include discussion of extreme a disaster, and will seek to further the aims of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. As such, it is expected that this presentation will provide global perspective on extreme heat as a disaster.

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