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Climate Change and Child Health: Where is Canadian Global Health Research?

Climate Change and Child Health: Where is Canadian Global Health Research?

Date: Wednesday, January 26, 2022 – 2:00-3:00 pm EST

This webinar will address how today’s children experience the health impacts of climate change throughout their lifetime. We already know that children are at a different and increased risk from environmental hazards compared to adults and a multitude of studies show that this is also valid for the effects of climate change. As per the UN Convention on the Rights of Child, all children deserve the right to grow up in a healthy, sustainable environment where they can reach their full potential as citizens of the world.

Yet, as recent literature reviews point out, there are critical gaps in global health research and our scientific understanding of the connections between child health and the changing climate. Not only do we lack a sufficient overview of the situation, but most of the existing studies on climate impacts and child health focus on upper-middle-class-income or high-income countries, despite the fact that climate change is causing greater changes in the Global South and the Arctic.

Furthermore, climate change disproportionately affects people already challenged by other stressors and negative socioeconomic factors. What are we missing as health researchers to identify hazards and conditions that impair children’s ability to grow and mature safely and in good health? This talk provides an overview of the situation and highlights some of the most critical gaps in current global health research on children’s health in the changing climate.

Speaker - Dr. Paivi Abernethy

Dr. Paivi Abernethy is an interdisciplinary researcher-practitioner with academic training in public health research (Lancaster University, UK, MRes); biochemistry (University of Copenhagen, Denmark, MSc); and children’s environmental health, health promotion, and sustainability governance (University of Waterloo, PhD). She was the very first Climate Change & Health Specialist in Canada, with the First Nations Health Authority in BC, and is currently working as a Senior Scientist at the Natural Resources Institute Finland.

She’s also an Associate Research Fellow at the Centre for Global Studies, University of Victoria, BC, as well as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria, and in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability at the University of Waterloo, ON. Paivi’s research interests focus on the interface between health and the environment, particularly on climate health and other cumulative socio-ecological impacts on well-being of children and youth in rural and Indigenous communities – and how to strengthen climate resilience in the communities. She’s been one of the core members in the Working Group on Climate Change and Health since its early stages in 2018.

Register now!