By Jeremy P. Feakins
On March 21-22 of this year, key stakeholders from Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of Africa and South East Asia met in Mauritius for the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Third Global Conference on Climate Change and Health. Health Ministers, Environment Ministers, Experts, Officials, and more convened to discuss a collaborative approach to health systems that are responsive to the ongoing effects of climate change.
Health Minister, Dr Hon. Anwar Husnoo, opened the conference, stating that, “Climate change constitutes potential threats to SIDS due to their small size, geographical remoteness, level of development, and vulnerability to national disasters.” Extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and increasing temperatures lead to health risks such as flash floods, outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases, and damages to food and water supply. Coupled with easily damaged developing infrastructure and geographical isolation, extreme weather events can and have caused health crises in Mauritius alone in 2009, 2014, and 2015 (dengue fever) and 2013 (fatal flash floods). Read more about the conference here.
Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) can help relieve suffering in SIDS countries by providing reliable energy, clean water, and locally produced food using their most abundant local resource: the ocean. This environmentally benign technology is resilient to extreme weather and helps mitigate the effects of climate change. My company, Ocean Thermal Energy Corporation, is working to bring this technology to countries that need it most. To learn more about our mission and how you can get involved, visit our website.