Small Island Developing States (SIDS) face particularly acute health risks as a result of the climate crisis. Warming temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, rising sea levels and extreme weather events lead to increased risks of injuries, deaths, food insecurity and the spread of vector-borne, waterborne and foodborne diseases.
Despite these growing challenges, island states are leading in the global response to climate change by advocating for limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C; implementing adaptation actions; and establishing climate-resilient and environmentally sustainable health systems.
A new SIDS dynamic data dashboard, launched today, illustrates the progress made by island states to date in responding to the health threats of climate change. The interactive dashboard, presenting data from the WHO UNFCCC Health and Climate Change Country Profiles, visualises key health and climate change indicators to empower SIDS policy makers to:
- Assess the implementation of policies and plans;
- Identify gaps in evidence;
- Better understand the barriers to achieving health adaptation and mitigation priorities, including for implementation and monitoring.
Alongside the dynamic SIDS dashboard WHO is also publishing a series of SIDS Health and Climate Change Country Profiles, adding to the existing library of these national outputs.
WHO is publishing new country profiles for the Dominican Republic, Mauritius, and Sao Tome and Principe. The country profiles present national climate projections; indicators on health vulnerabilities to and health impacts of climate change; policy responses to health and climate change; and recommendations to address the national health threats posed by climate change. Additional SIDS country profiles will be published in 2021.
The WHO SIDS dynamic data dashboard and country profiles complement each other, and are part of the WHO Special Initiative on Climate Change and Health in SIDS. The SIDS Special Initiative aims to provide health authorities from island states with the political, technical, scientific and financial support to improve understanding and address the health impacts of climate change.
The data presented in the dynamic dashboard allows readers to view data at the global, regional or national level, while the SIDS country profiles provide detailed information on specific health and climate challenges in a given country. Together, the SIDS interactive report and SIDS country profiles are therefore invaluable tools in showing the global, regional and national progress SIDS are making in tackling health and climate change challenges.