Webinar: Climate Change and Health Adaptation: Working with BC First Nations
Climate change imposes serious potential threats to short-term and long-term health of all BC residents but it particularly affects the well-being in First Nations communities. Incidences of climate change associated community health emergencies, amplified by other cumulative environmental impacts, are becoming commonplace in BC. Climate change also worsens symptoms of many chronic diseases and may indirectly increase the prevalence of new non-communicable diseases. The rural location of many communities, ongoing colonialism, cumulative social, socioeconomic, and environmental stressors, and the deep connection to the land make First Nations’ health particularly sensitive to climate change. However, as highlighted in the recent IPCC reports, Indigenous peoples also have a key role to play in helping to develop more sustainable governance models to dealing with climate change.
Stories we tell and the way we frame problems influence the outcomes of our projects. The goal of this presentation, led by Paivi Abernethy of the First Nations Health Authority, is to provide a more nuanced picture of climate change and health adaptation than usually is discussed, emphasizing especially aspects that First Nations tend to pay more attention to. The webinar will introduce a systems approach to climate change impacts on health and highlight the role of sustainable environmental governance in addressing climate health challenges, together with BC examples of contemporary Indigenous climate leadership. This more systemic approach to climate health will hopefully inspire new innovative intersectoral thinking in climate adaptation approaches and also help facilitate collaborative work.
About the speaker: Paivi Abernethy is Climate Change & Health Specialist with the the First Nations Health Authority. She is also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability at the University of Waterloo and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Global Studies, University of Victoria.