National Consultation on Planning Heatwave Management in India
The National and State Governments face considerable challenges in tackling this issue, even when they have recognized the gravity of the situation and works towards it. Most affected states have no plans in place to prevent mortality and morbidity associated with heatwave. The Ahmedabad Heat Action Plan is already a well known and well appreciated model showing that such an action plan can improve resilience of the citizens and reduce the severe health impacts of heatwave. Though efforts of scaling up this model with local adaptation and modification have been made at the sub-national (state) or sub-state levels in the recent past, there is a case for systematic, comprehensive planning for the same at the national level. A consultative workshop therefore was proposed to address the heatwave issues cutting across various sectors and institutions and guide the roadmap for planning the heatwave management in India.
In this context, National Consultation on Roadmap for Heatwave Management in India was held on the 21st of September, 2016. It was organized by Taru Leading Edge in collaboration with Indian Institute of Public Health, Gandhinagar (IIPH-G), Indian Meteorological Society (IMS), Understanding Climate and Health Associations in India (UCHAI) initiative and with support of Climate Development and Knowledge Network (CDKN) and Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) of The Rockefeller Foundation.
The specific objectives of the consultation for heatwave management were to identify gaps in research and policy, initiate a discussion on institutional leadership, integrate long-term urban planning measures, develop a partnership action plan, learn from the experience of current initiatives in other States and recommend measures and steps towards national heat action plan.
During the consultation a ‘Roadmap for Planning National Heatwave Planning in India’ was released. The document was prepared by Taru Leading Edge with support from CDKN. The document was the result of inputs from various national and international experts from health, disaster, urban planning and environment fields. The changing weather patterns, prolonged summers and increasing intensity of heatwave requires a national, subnational and local level plan to combat with the effects of the heatwaves. This document aims to guide such planning process.