31 August 2012, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Noumea
Pacific Island countries will continue to strengthen their commitment to tackling climate change and health issues together.
About 140 participants from around the Pacific and international climate change and health experts will convene at the University of Fiji in Nadi on 13–15 September 2012 to exchange information and ideas and discuss adaptation strategies under the theme: ‘Improving health through adaptation – strengthening health systems to protect Pacific Island communities from the health impacts of climate change’.
The purpose of this inaugural symposium is to bring together health professionals, researchers and stakeholders from government and non-government sectors throughout the Pacific to discuss the climate change and health vulnerabilities of a range of Pacific Island countries, share knowledge and experiences of managing climate-sensitive health issues, and plan for effective adaptation strategies to avoid the most serious impacts of climate change on the health of communities.
Pacific Island countries are among those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Globally, adaptation to the impacts of climate change has focused on all development sectors, with the health sector receiving much less attention.
There is now, however, a growing body of evidence that changing climate (warming air and sea surface temperatures, sea-level rise, altered rainfall patterns and increasing severity of extreme weather events) may increase the burden of vector-borne diseases, diarrhoeal illness, respiratory disease, malnutrition, non-communicable diseases and a range of other health outcomes in the Pacific region. This health burden, which will be compounded by differing geographic, demographic and socio-economic factors, will present a great challenge to communities, health systems and governments throughout the region.
The symposium is jointly supported and organised by the University of Fiji, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Fiji Ministry of Health.
For more information please contact:
Professor Mahendra Kumar, Vice-Chancellor, University of Fiji, Mob: 9999732, Tel: 6650292/ 6640600, Email:
Dr Yvan Souares, Director, Public Health Division, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Email:
Dr Lachlan McIver, Climate Change and Health Officer, World Health Organization Suva, Mob: 9087496, Tel: 3234 134, Email: