First Global Forum on Heat and Health

The First Global Forum for Heat and Health took place in Hong Kong, China, from the 17-20 December 2018.

As the inaugural global forum of the Global Heat Health Information Network, the event featured talks from leading experts on heat health science and implementation, and inform a global common agenda on heat and health. As well as engaging talks and content from experts in the field, the forum also featured an interactive segment with a focus on heat health communication.

The 2nd Global Forum on Heat and Health will be held in Europe in 2020. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to stay informed.

Agenda and Presentations

Forum Overview

The Forum served as an international platform to build capacity, promote sharing, and encourage evidence-based policy and actions to improve the management of extreme heat risks. For access to presentations, click on the titles in the agenda below.

Day 1: The Status of Global Action for Heat Health
Setting the stage with focusing keynotes by world-class experts, and regional heat health updates from across the globe.

Day 2: Technical Heat Health Stocktaking and Agenda Setting
In-depth discussion on progress and challenges within the GHHIN thematic areas

Day 3: Workshop on Communicating and Taking Action
A hands-on workshop to prepare attendees to communicate heat health risk effectively

Day 4: Hong Kong Heat Project Site Visits
Visits to Hong Kong’s exemplary sites where heat health is actively managed

Day 1: Global Perspectives, Local-Regional Issues

8:30am Opening and Welcome Statements
- Joy Shumake-Guillemot, WHO/WMO Joint Office for Climate and Health
- Chao Ren, University of Hong Kong
- Dr Tian Linwei, School of Public Health, University of Hong Kong
- Chi-Ming Shun, Director of Hong Kong Observatory
- Chris Webster, School of Architecture, University of Hong Kong
- Elena Manaenkova, Deputy Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization

9:00am Keynote 1: Facing the Future of a Warming World
Kristie Ebi, University of Washington & Lead Author of IPCC SR1.5

9:15am Keynote 2: Making a difference in the context of DRR
Virginia Murray, Head of Disaster Risk Reduction at Public Health England

9:30am Keynote 3: Heat-related Health Impacts in Subtropical Cities: Global Overview and Research Frontiers in Hong Kong
Emily Chan, Director of the Centre for Global Health, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Moderator: Donald Li, President of the World Association of Family Doctors

Break & Networking

10:30am Global Status of Heat Knowledge and Action

An expert panel reviews the state of knowledge and practice in the five major science themes of GHHIN, raising key issues and questions which GHHIN will set out to address.

1. Building Heat Health Management Networks: Partnerships and capacity
Julie Arrighi
2. Understanding Risk and Predicting Health Outcomes
Sari Kovats, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
3. Observations, forecasts, early warnings and information to inform action
Hannah Nissan, International Research Institute for Climate and Society
4. Actions to manage heat risks - interventions and effectiveness
Shubayu Saha, US Center for Disease Control
5. Taking Action: Engagement, Outreach, and communications
Margaret Harris, Risk Communications Adviser, WHO

Followed by: Panel discussion with key experts
Moderated by Juli Trtanj, NOAA

12:30pm Catered Lunch

1:30pm Regional Issues, Innovations, and Opportunities
Regional presentations will provide flash presentations on the state of heat hazards; evidence of impacts and vulnerabilities; hotspot populations and issues of concern; and innovation and progress being made to address heat risks. Inputs and presenters will be sought from attendees registered for the forum.

Chairs: Joy Shumake-Guillemot, Glen McGregor

1:30pm Regional Panel 1: Regional Perspectives of Heat Risks

- North and East Asia - Luo Ming, Lau Ngar-Cheung, CUHK
- South and South East Asia – Subhash Bhan - India Meteorology Department
- Africa and Middle East - Ousman Ndiaye, ANACIM Senegal Department of Meteorology
- Australia and Pacific – John Nairn - University of Adelaide, State Manager South Australia - Bureau of Meteorology
- North America – Melissa McDonald – Environment and Climate Change Canada
- Caribbean and South America – Cedric VanMeerbeck (CIMH) Natalia Herrera - NMS Argentina
- Europe - Andreas Matzarakis - Research Center Human Biometeorology of the German Meteorological Service (DWD)
- Facilitated Discussion
- Q&A

3:30pm Regional Panel 2: Innovations and Actions
- Overview
- North and East Asia - Gloria Chan, CUHK, Asuka Suzuki-Parker, University of Rissho - Japan
- South and South East Asia - Liviu Vedrasco, WHO-Thailand
- Africa, North Africa, Middle East - Rachid Wahabi, Ministry of Health, Morocco
- Australia and Pacific – Leigh Wilson, University of Sydney, Australia
- North America – Juli Trtanj NOAA
- South America and Caribbean – Francisco Chesini, Ministry of Health, Argentina
- Europe - Hans-Guido Mucke German Federal Environment Agency
(Umweltbundesamt/UBA)

- Facilitated Discussion and Q&A

5:00pm Closing: Discussion on Common Challenges and Issues

5:30pm Evening Interactive Reception and Expo

Keynote Speaker, Kristie Ebi on Facing the Future of a Warming World. Learn more.

Keynote Speaker, Virginia Murray, on Making a difference in the context of DRR

Keynote Speaker, Emily Chan is the Director for the Centre for Global Health at the Chinese University of Hong Kong

Day 1 featured an interactive drinks reception with Expo

Day 2: GHHIN Technical Themes

Facilitated working sessions to identify emerging issues, priorities, challenges, and innovations in 5 thematic areas.

9:00am Workshop 1 (in parallel)

Theme 2: Understanding Risk and Predicting Health Outcomes

Considering needs and priorities to improve risk and impact research, including impact assessment, vulnerability modeling and mapping, understanding extreme heat exposure mechanisms, impact forecasting, and the challenge of translating research into practice.

Chairs: Sari Kovats, Pat Kinney, Shubhayu Saha Introduction by Sari Kovats, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Part 1. Population Based Studies.

Part 2. Physiological Studies/Occupational Health

Part 3. Studies on Health Perceptions and Behaviours

Panel discussion

Theme 3: Observations, Forecasts, EWS, and Information Products to Inform Action

Considering needs and priorities to improve observations, forecasts, and information products required for operational heat risk monitoring and prediction. Building on operational decision needs discussions will identify opportunities and obstacles to improved generation and uptake of data, surveillance and forecast products, including risk monitoring and forecasting for heat risk management and early warning.

Chairs: Hannah Nissan, Shubhayu Saha, Kumar Kolli, Glen McGregor

Glenn McGregor, Durham University- A demand perspective on developing weather and climate information for a heat action plan
Melissa MacDonald - Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC)- Overview of forecasting capabilities, available forecast products and important things to consider in a forecast product
Natalia Herrera - National Meteorological Service – Argentina
Subash Bhan - India Meteorological Department - Experience and scale up of heat EWS in India – lessons and challenges
Cedric Van Meerbeeck, Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (Barbados) - Seasonal heat forecasts in the Caribbean – how to provide climate services for heat when there is low predictability

Panel: Weather and Climate Information to Facilitate Action

  • Serge Janicot, Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace (IPSL) - developing country perspective, overcoming data issues
  • Melissa MacDonald, Environment Climate Change Canada (ECCC) - Heat Warning and Information Systems in Canada
  • Inoka Suraweera, Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka - demand side perspective: lessons from Sri Lanka about what works/doesn’t work with the forecasts
  • Wassila Thiaw, NOAA - Building integrated capacity within met services for heatlh early warning systems
  • Serge Janicot, Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace (IPSL)- Bridging Weather and Climate

Discussion: future direction of heat information products

  • Sarah Klassen, START
  • AK Sahai, India Institute Tropical Meteorology - S2S and seamless prediction
  • Shubhayu Saha, United States Center for Disease Control - Communicating useful and usable information; interpretations of risk.

12:30pm Lunch and Poster Session

1:30pm Workshop 2 (in parallel)

Theme 1: Partnerships and Capacity to building heat health management networks

Considering needs and priorities to build the institutional capacity required to address heat risk as a society, noting needs and good practices in identifying and building partnerships across disciplines and organizational boundaries.

Chairs: Glen McGregor, Juli Trtanj

Theme 4: Action to Manage heat risk: actions, interventions and effectiveness

Considering needs and priorities to upscale solutions to heat health risk management across timescales - from planning cities to reduce the Urban Heat Island effect, to municipal heat health action plans, and emergency management. A focus on understanding and measuring the effectiveness of interventions will be front and center.

Chairs: Kris Ebi, Shubhayu Saha

Heat Interventions at Different Scales

Kaz Ito; NYC: "Household interventions on A/C distribution"
Dave Hondula; Arizona: Cooling shelters
Junaid Razzak; Pakistan: heat intervention for healthcare providers
Yasushi Honda; Japan: community trials
Lars Nybo; Europe: Occupational heat stress mitigation
Ren Chao; Hong Kong: Urban Heat Island mitigation
Jerome Faucet; Vietnam: Red Cross Vietnam: Forecast based financing

Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Interventions
Tom Kosatsky; Canada: warning system

Development of a Heat Action Plan

Moderated Discussion

Day 3: Communications for Heat Action

This interactive day is aimed to empower participants to become more effective communicators and enable reflection and take-home skills and ideas for effective communication of heat risks.

8:30am Keynote: Evidence-based Health Risk Communications
Margaret Harris Cheng (Risk Communication Adviser for WHO)

9:00am Plenary Panel Discussion: Communicating for Action
- Alex TS Tsoi, Broadcast Meteorologist and HKO Scientific Officer, ‘How we can use broadcast meteorology to save lives’
- Candy Yeung, Deputy Secretary General, Hong Kong Red Cross: ‘Engaging communities to reduce risk’
- Jason Gale, Senor Editor, Bloomberg- ‘How the media can communicate to reduce risk’
- Yu Fat Chow, World Association of Family Doctors, and Hong Kong Jockey Club- ‘Perspectives on communicating risk from a family doctor’

10:30am Networking

**11:30 _The Great Heat Health Resilience Debate_**
A simulated debate to uncover controversies in the state of the art of heat health risk communications. Particpants will argue for the most effective solutions to address heat risk.

  • Moderator: Roop Singh, Climate Risk Advisor, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre
  • Responding to acute heatwave events: Jason Gale, Bloomberg News Australia
  • Seasonal preparedness: TBD
  • Engaging communities: Julie Arrighi, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Center,

12:30 Lunch

1:30pm (in parallel)

a) Masterclass: Communicating for Future Resilience
In partnership with the Hong Kong Red Cross

With Masterclass presentations and Q&As on best practices from:
- Hong Kong Observatory
- Thomson Reuters
- the South China Morning Post
- Public Health England.

b) Simulation Exercise: Communicating to Save Lives in a Heat Emergency Scenario
Delivered by the World Health Organization, this session will simulate an extreme heat event with many casualties in a fictional country. Participants will be equipped with practical experience of effective communications strategies to save lives in a heat emergency.

4:00pm Closing Plenary: Future Directions for the Global Heat Health Information Network
by Joy Shumake-Guillemot, Juli Trtanj
- Closing Statement and Presentation
- Member survey final synthesis
- Summary of Theme 1 Outcomes: Capacity and Partnerships
- Summary of Theme 2 Outcomes: Understanding Risk and Predicting Health Outcomes
- Summary of Theme 3 Outcomes: Weather and Climate Information to Facilitate Action
- Summary of Theme 4 Outcomes: Actions to Reduce Health Risks from Extreme Heat

Day 3 featured a Simulation Exercise in order to mimic the response to an extreme heat event

Day 4: Hong Kong Heat Project Site Visits

Visit 1: Hong Kong Housing Authority - Exhibition Centre

Visit 2: Senior Citizen Home Safety Association

See how the The Senior Citizen Home Safety Association enhances the living quality of the elderly in the community through the use of technology, people-oriented services, and innovative methods

Visit 3: Hong Kong Observatory Tour

The guided tour will take the visitors backward in time to trace the development of the Observatory in the past 130 years. Visitors can see how weather forecasts are made and how technology is put to use.

Visit 4: Energy poverty Lab - Simulated Subdivided Flat tour

Experience for yourself what it is like for the many residents of Hong Kong to live in cramped quarters, cooking, relaxing, and sleeping in a small room with inadequate cooling.

Read more about the Hong Kong Heat Health Site Visits.

Day 4 featured visits to a simulated subdivided flat tour at Hong Kong's Energy Poverty Lab