Public Health and Climate Change - Southern Climate Impacts ...

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Public Health and Climate Change - Southern Climate Impacts ...

OVERVIEWPURPOSE OF GUIDEBOOKThis guidebook is designed to support efforts to initiate and integrate climate planning within county,regional and tribal public health departments and agencies. It will provide you and your department withthe knowledge and skills to build capacity to address climate impacts and/or develop a climate action planfor your department. The strategies and activities will enhance your efforts to both reduce greenhouse gasemissions and to prepare for impacts. By working through the guidebook and activities over the next sixmonths to a year, you can build sustained institutional capacity to manage the health impacts of climatechange.An individual can complete the guidebook and associated activities independently. However, adoption andintegration of the recommendations by your department is likely to be more effective when the guidebook iscompleted in partnership with, or at least with support from, organizational leadership.The guidebook is divided into four sections:Section One provides an overview of the impacts of climate change on public health;Section Two discusses opportunities and strategies for integrating climate planning across programs;Section Three focuses on identifying and building unique external collaborations to help you meet yourgoals in a resource-efficient way; andSection Four provides recommendations for communicating with different stakeholders.Each section has an activity or series of activities to move you and your program or department further downthe path of implementation. The Appendices at the end of the guidebook provide additional resources. Whilethe guidebook was designed to be completed from start to finish, you can focus on certain sections whereyou need the greatest support and skip those where you’ve already made progress.Because we have found that a climate mitigation or adaptation process must meet the unique needs (andconstraints) of the community, sector, or department for which it’s being developed, we do not provide astep-by-step methodology for climate planning. Instead, this guidebook is intended to supplement planningefforts and provide strategies to build support for action among colleagues and within your community. Foradditional support on climate planning, please refer to Appendices A and B.THE NEED FOR PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONClimate change is happening, and we can already see the adverse impacts on human health around theworld. Public health departments are the “first line of defense” in our public health system. As such, it isOVERVIEW5