5102.0 Indicators of climate vulnerability and community resilience

Wednesday, November 10, 2010: 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Climate change is already contributing to the global burden of illness and mortality. As climate-related environmental changes continue to occur, millions living in vulnerable communities with low adaptive capacity are likely to be affected. It is important to try to understand what factors contribute to individuals’ and communities’ vulnerability to harm from climate change-related extreme events. Multiple vulnerability factors for different types of climate-health impacts have been described and mapped in prior studies. These can be useful in designing interventions targeted at reducing negative impacts in the most vulnerable communities. To complement this prior research, the presenters in this session will look not only at climate-health Vulnerability Indicators, but also at indicators of Community Resilience to climate change. This dual Vulnerability-Resilience approach uses a continuum of environmental health indicators –from those associated with negative health outcomes to those potentially benefitting health – to develop solution-based thinking that can help communities cope with climate disruption. The Vulnerability-Resilience session will offer presentations representing different applications of this approach. In different geographic areas, different sets of environmental, health, social and built environment circumstances may be critical in determining vulnerability and resilience indicators. These circumstances are intimately linked to social justice, the annual meeting’s theme. Adaptation to climate change is already a public health necessity for a number of especially vulnerable communities in the U.S. and globally. Many environmental justice issues that have long plagued vulnerable communities are being exacerbated by rising sea levels, hotter temperatures, and more frequent storms, flooding and infectious disease outbreaks. Students and practitioners of public health will learn from the successes and concerns of expert presenters how climate change adaptation projects already underway might apply these indicators. Through the lens of public health education and practice, their research can be applied in ways that truly benefit both public health and social justice.
Session Objectives: 1. Identify three indicators of climate change vulnerability and two indicators of resilience. 2. Describe four sources of environmental monitoring or health surveillance data that are needed to develop these indicators. 3. Discuss limitations and research gaps in current environmental and health monitoring related to climate change indicators.

Minding the Climate Gap: Assessing Equity Impacts of Mitigation Strategies
Rachel A. Morello-Frosch, PhD, MPH, Manuel Pastor, PhD, James Sadd, PhD and Justin Scoggins, MS
Social Vulnerability Index and Climate Change in the Southeastern US
Susan Cutter, PhD and Christopher Emrich, PhD

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Environment
Endorsed by: American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Caucus

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)

See more of: Environment