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.
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
Why heatwaves are the silent killers more devastating than hurricanes / World Economic Forum
Why hotter Earth poses greater health risks to Hong Kong than other cities around the globe / South China Morning Post
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
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
3:30pm Regional Panel 2: Innovations and Actions
- 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
- 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
Facilitated working sessions to identify emerging issues, priorities, challenges, and innovations in 5 thematic areas.
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
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
Discussion: future direction of heat information products
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
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’
**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.
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
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