This project commenced in 2012 and focuses on both capacity building and research on the broad topic of Climate Change in Developing Countries. Two capacity building projects have been initiated and completed. The first one was the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology-East Asia Chapter (ISEEE-AC) 2012 Conference which was held in Kuala Lumpur from 15 to 18 October 2012. It was attended by 96 participants from 12 countries. This Conference was self-funded by the registration fees of the participants.
The second capacity building project was the Global Environmental Change and Human Health Project funded by the Asia Pacific Network for Global Change Research from 2013 to 2016. This was a project led by UNU-IIGH in collaboration with UNU-INWEH, Queen’s University, Charles Sturt University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wetlands International-South Asia. It was intended to enhance the scientific capacity of young scientists from the Asia-Pacific Region, especially those from the developing countries to improve their decision-making and public awareness capability. Year 1 of the project involved the training of 24 young scientists from 9 Asia Pacific countries on various aspects of climate change, extreme weather events and urbanisation through a Symposium and Workshop on Global Environmental Change and Human Health : Extreme Events and Urbanisation, which was held in Kuala Lumpur from 14th to 18th January 2013. The Symposium and Workshop featured 8 international speakers. A video montage on the same topic was also produced and posted on Youtube. Another outcome of this project was the publication of a supplement issue of the Asia Pacic Journal of Public Health on Global Environmental Change and Human Health which was edited by 2 authours from UNU-IIGH.
In Year 2 of the project from 23rd to 25th March 2015, a Science Policy Dialogue on Emergency Preparedness and Management of Health Impacts of Extreme Weather Events in the Asia Pacific Region was held in Kuala Lumpur. The Dialogue was attended by 25 local and foreign participants from Malaysia, Australia, Thailand and China. The objective was to solicit new and pertinent knowledge and information on emergency preparedness and management of the health impacts of extreme weather events that can be disseminated to policy makers and relevant stakeholders.
The research component of this Project involves high-impact research conducted by 4 doctoral students of UNU-IIGH researching on the following topics of research : 1) Impact of climate change on foodborne and waterborne diseases in Malaysia; 2) Environmental factors associated with malaria susceptibility areas in Sabah, Malaysia using remote sensing and GIS techniques; 3) Prevalence and associated factors of heat-related illnesses among solid waste management workers in Negeri Sembilan; and 4) Health co-benefits from the introduction of mass rapid transit as climate change mitigation in Greater Kuala Lumpur. Another climate change-related research project was on occupational heat exposure and heat-related illnesses among agricultural workers in Malaysia and Cambodia. Among the occupational groups studied were paddy, sugarcane and cassava farmers.