Health impacts of planetary change, swelling cities: New assignment for UN think tank in Malaysia
Monday, June 16, 2014
United Nations University will help pioneer a fresh trail in global health research, exploring links between the planet’s health and human health at an institute in Kuala Lumpur generously supported by Malaysia.
As the world’s post-2015 development agenda takes shape, including new sustainable development goals (SDGs), the UNU International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) has been assigned a new mandate focused on several key issues of universal concern, including:
- Health impacts of biodiversity loss and climate change. The work will include identifying potential adaptation strategies and options to mitigate harm
- Physical and mental health hazards posed by the world’s rapid ongoing urbanization and how to optimize city development for better health
- Health problems due to trans-boundary pollution, including fossil fuel-related air pollution causing millions of premature deaths, especially in Asia.
The recent report of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change underscored the threat climate change poses to Earth’s life-support systems, including:
- Changes in infectious disease patterns, and the mental health consequences of trauma, loss, and displacement from resource conflict or floods and drought due to extreme weather events and the loss of habitable (especially coastal) land
- Declines in regional food yields
- Freshwater shortages