FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 22, 2019
CLIMATE CHANGE SIGNIFICANT PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE OF OUR ERA:
NEW REPORT FROM GREENBELT FOUNDATION AND SIMCOE MUSKOKA DISTRICT HEALTH UNIT
“Health in a Changing Climate” discusses key health risks posed to Ontarians by climate change and highlights actions that could mitigate these impacts
The Greenbelt Foundation has partnered with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit for an in-depth look at how a changing climate impacts the health of Ontarians. By highlighting the key health risks, as well as the actions individuals and communities can take to respond, Health in a Changing Climate discusses climate change as both a public health threat and an opportunity for positive action.
Among other risks, the report identifies heat exhaustion, waterborne and food illnesses, and injury and mental health impacts from flooding as key public health concerns linked to climate change. But there are opportunities to use green spaces like the Greenbelt, build compact complete communities, and invest in green infrastructure as some of our best actions to mitigate and adapt to a changing climate.
This is the third report in the In a Changing Climate series. The series explores how everything from our health to many of our day to day interests and activities, like birding and gardening, are impacted by climate change. The series was launched in partnership with experts from various prominent organizations. Along with identifying impacts of climate change, the series highlights the role the Greenbelt plays in mitigating climate impacts, and the ways we can individually and collectively respond.
“Climate change is most often thought of as an environmental issue but it is also a defining public health concern of our time,” says Dr. Charles Gardner of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. “What we have learned in Simcoe Muskoka can be applied to similar districts across Ontario.”
“Thriving green spaces like the Greenbelt have always been important but they take on an increasingly important role as solutions for healthy communities as our climate changes,” says Edward McDonnell, CEO of The Greenbelt Foundation. “By protecting and enhancing our green spaces and our watersheds, and investing in green infrastructure—we are not just addressing environmental health but also tackling a critical public health issue.”
Health In a Changing Climate is available at www.greenbelt.ca/changing_climate, along with other resources including a shareable two-page summary.
About the Greenbelt:
Ontario’s Greenbelt is the solution for fresh air, clean water, healthy local food, active outdoor recreation, and a thriving economy. At nearly 2 million acres, it’s the world’s largest permanently protected greenbelt, keeping our farmlands, forests, and wetlands safe and sustainable. The Greenbelt Foundation works to help keep farmers successful, strengthen local economies, protect natural features, and promote sustainable growth. Learn more at: greenbelt.ca.
About Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit:
The Health Unit works with its communities to prevent disease and injury, and promote and protect health for all in Simcoe Muskoka.The Health Unit works toward achieving it vision of healthy people, healthy place. Learn more at: simcoemuskokahealth.org.
The Greenbelt Foundation
416-960-0001 ext. 306