Side Event

Water for Climate Mental Health Resilience

On 20 March, UNU-MERIT and UNU-CRIS will co-organise a side event as part of the UN 2023 Water Conference.

- Europe/Berlin

On 20 March 2023 at 15:00 (CET), the UNU Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT) and the UNU Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS) will co-organise the event “Water for Climate Mental Health Resilience — Integrating Inclusive Water Strategies in Climate Services“. This online event is part of the UN 2023 Water Conference. 

This session aims to enhance understanding of:

  1. interlinkages of water insecurity, water-related disasters, climate risks,  mental health, and psychosocial well-being, with a focus on vulnerability factors and inequalities.

  2. environmental degradation and biodiversity and its impact on mental health (e.g., climate change anxiety, eco-grief, solastalgia).

  3. what unique advantages could youth and future generations have/contribute to the vision of an inclusive climate-resilient future?

  4. multisectoral and community-based approaches for building and implementing smart water strategies in climate services to foster mental health resilience for all.


Welcome: Bartel Van de Walle, UNU-MERIT Director, Professor

Scope of the session: Sanae Okamoto, UNU-MERIT Researcher

Opening keynote speech: Xiaomeng Shen, UNU-EHS Director, Professor / UNU Vice-Rector in Europe

Insights from different geographic regions, and gender and vulnerability issues

  1. Tahseen Jafry: Professor of the Mary Robinson Center for Climate Justice, Glasgow Caledonian University

  2. Quincia Gumbs Marie: Hon. Minister of Sustainability, Innovation & the Environment, / Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers, Minister of Education and Social Development at Government of Republic of Anguilla

  3. Deodato Xavier Dias: Ministry of Health, São Tomé and Príncipe

  4. Amal Sarsour: Researcher, psychosocial well-being support for women in Palestine, UNU-CRIS

  5. Kehkashan Basu: Founder, Green Hope Foundation, youth led global social innovation enterprise, Canada

Insights from practice

  1. Matteo Innocenti: Psychiatrist / Psychotherapist, Italian Institute for Planetary Health, Istituto Psicologico Italiano, Italian Climate Change Anxiety Association, European Climate Pact Ambassador, Italy.

  2. Kenneth Yongabi Anchang: Director PRF Research Group, Imo State University, Nigeria

  3. Christian Schweizer or Oliver Schmoll: Scientist, Climate Change and Health, WHO

Insights from Disaster Risk Reductions, Emergency response, Water insecurities

  1. Jekulin Lipi Saikia: United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth, Asia-Pacific focal point – DRR, UN MGCY, India

  2. Duminda Perera: Researcher, UNU-INWEH, Water disasters and threats

  3. Elena Lopez Gunn: Director, ICATALIST, Spain

  4. Closing remarks: Robert Oakes, UNU-EHS


Please register in advance at:

For updates and more information, visit the UNU-MERIT website.