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[Activity Report] HGPI Participates in the Kick-off Dialogue Session of Connecting Climate Minds (August 23, 2023)

[Activity Report] HGPI Participates in the Kick-off Dialogue Session of Connecting Climate Minds (August 23, 2023)

Mr. Joji Sugawara, Vice President and Ms. Niaya Harper Igarashi, Program Specialist at Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) participated as a regional co-convenor in the first dialogue of Connecting Climate Minds for East and Southeast Asia region as a facilitator of the group discussion which brought together over 60 participants from research, policy, healthcare, climate action and lived experience. The discussion concentrated on the impacts of extreme weather events and how it affects vulnerable populations throughout the region. Participants were divided into smaller breakout rooms where the discussion was guided toward identifying emerging needs and evidence gaps to develop research priority areas.

Southeast Asia is among the regions of the world hardest hit by climate change and has already been exposed to many climate change-related impacts, such as floods, droughts, urban heat, as well as biodiversity and habitat losses. In Japan, it is projected that extreme heat, longer periods of droughts, and rising sea levels is also expected to increase, impacting agriculture, fisheries, infrastructure, and tourism. The impacts of climate change are increasingly part of our daily lives, and currently there is very little dedicated mental health support available for people and communities dealing with climate-related hazards. A 2021 World Health Organization(WHO) Survey of 95 countries found that only 9 have included mental health and psychosocial support in their national health and climate change plans.

Awareness and understanding of the impact of climate change on mental health has grown in recent years, but there are still many regions where there is limited or no data at all. It is important to foster discussions and connect across sectors, disciplines, and regions, to learn from each other and work toward more collaborative solutions for both climate change and mental health.


■About Connecting Climate Minds

Connecting Climate Minds is a global initiative funded by Wellcome, that brings together expertise across research, policy, design, and lived experience from across the globe. The aim of the project is to develop a research and action agenda of global and regional community convenors dedicated to connecting climate change and mental health.

For more information on the activities of the Connecting Climate Minds, please click here and for more information on the regional community of practices, please click here.

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