The Caribbean has been selected as one of the priority regions of the Lancet Countdown over the period 2019-2023 based on the region’s extreme vulnerabilities to climate change.
The St. Lucia-based OECS Commission said that in an effort to raise the profile and stimulate action on climate change and health in the Caribbean, the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) will host the first Lancet Countdown Launch Event in the Caribbean in Barbados on Thursday.
The objectives of the event include the official launch of the Lancet Countdown 2019 Report, titled “Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change,” engage high-level policymakers around climate change and health as well as share HCC advocacy plans to support the climate change and health/Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) agenda in the Caribbean.
The meeting in Barbados will also provide an opportunity to jointly strategise on how to build on the response to climate change, NCDs and other health priorities in the Caribbean.
The official launch of the 2019 Report immediately follows the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 25th Conference of Parties (COP) negotiations that recently ended in Spain.
The Caribbean was well represented at the international climate change event and actively participated in negotiations to convince major emitters to commit to 1.5C – a critical target for the island states of the region.
“Climate change is increasingly gaining political traction at the highest levels in the Caribbean as the region falls victim to increasingly active hurricane seasons which are devastating entire communities and raising serious questions around climate resiliency across all sectors including health,” the OECs Commission noted.
The Lancelot Countdown tracks progress on health and climate change and is an international research collaboration, dedicated to tracking the world’s response to climate change, and the health benefits that emerge from this transition.
The Barbados meeting is being held in collaboration with the island’s Ministry of Health and Wellness, the Barbados National NCD Commission, the OECS, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) as well as the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO).