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Media Alert: COP28’s first dedicated Health Day recognises that a health crisis is inextricably linked to the climate crisis

Monash University 4 mins read

The health system's response to climate change has never been more important and to highlight this, COP28 will host the first Health Day at the 2023 conference in Dubai, UAE. 

As part of Monash University’s Blue Zone pavilion at COP28, a number of Monash University academics and industry experts will host a series of events that focus on increasing the visibility of the health impacts of climate change to raise ambition for emissions reduction and climate resilience, and exploring how community-led solutions can lead to greater health protection. 

Sunday 3 December, 9 - 10am (Gulf ST)
Limits to human survivability with extreme heat and humidity

Co-hosted by the University of Sydney, this event aims to highlight new research which shows that when accounting for physiological restrictions to thermoregulation, death due to heatstroke and/or cardiovascular collapse will almost certainly occur at lower wet-bulb temperatures.


  • Ollie Jay - Professor of Heat and Health, Director of the Heat and Health Research Incubator Lab and Thermal Ergonomics Laboratory, University of Sydney
  • Andrew Forrest - Chairman and Founder Fortescue Metals Group, Fortescue Future Industries, Minderoo Foundation and Tattarang Group
  • Angie Bone - Associate Professor (Practice), Planetary Health, Monash Sustainable Development Institute, Monash University

The following can be attributed to Associate Professor Bone:

“Extreme heat is already impacting people’s health across the globe and current projections show this is only going to get worse as climate change progresses. What this new research shows is that heat risks have been under-estimated, when other factors which affect vulnerability are taken into account, such as older age, essential activities and physiological cooling responses like the ability to sweat.  This underlines once again the urgent need for heat risk management strategies and interventions, and to limit further global heating.”

Sunday 3 December, 12 - 1pm (Gulf ST)
Nurturing the Future: Maternal and Child Health in a Changing Climate

Co-hosted by Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education and Columbia University, this event will provide a comprehensive understanding of how climate change affects maternal and child health.


  • Ashish Barua - Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation (Bangladesh)
  • Katie Huffling - Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments
  • Cecilia Sorensen - Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education, Columbia University
  • Zerina Tomkins - Associate Professor Nursing and Midwifery at Monash University 

The following can be attributed to Associate Professor Tomkins:

“Climate change is a multifaceted challenge, with a disproportionate impact on marginalised communities, giving rise to profound health, environmental, social justice, and ethical concerns. Now is the time for collective action for a sustainable and resilient future, ensuring the well-being of mothers and children in a changing climate.”

Sunday 3 December, 1.30 - 2.30pm (Gulf ST)
Digital Health Solutions for Climate Change Resilience: Adapting and Mitigating the Impact

This event focuses on the intersection of digital health and climate change, aims to heighten awareness, ignite discussions, inspire innovation, and facilitate collaboration among participants and experts. 


  • Stefan Wheat - MD, University of Washington, School of Medicine
  • Victor Anthony - Lopez-Carmen, Harvard Medical School
  • Suman Pant - Nepal Health Research Council
  • Gabriela Fernando - Monash Malaysia
  • Zerina Tomkins - Associate Professor Nursing and Midwifery at Monash University 

The following can be attributed to Associate Professor Tomkins:

“This event will provide a platform for structured dialogue and engagement to address the vital questions surrounding environmentally sustainable digital health solutions for climate resilience. It’s imperative that we have a balanced discussion on how we can design digital health interventions that meet the needs of our communities but also do not harm the environment. Digital health can be one of the cornerstones of Net Zero climate-resilient healthcare if we can address its carbon footprint and help ensure that the manufacturing and recycling processes in low-resource settings are supported through best practices: keeping people employed while also keeping their environment free of toxic pollutants. We can achieve this by adhering to climate justice principles to improve the health of our planet.” 

Sunday 3 December, 3 - 4pm (Gulf ST)
Empowering communities for wellbeing and disaster resilience

Communities are experts in their own lived experience and in ways to improve and sustain their health and wellbeing in and out of times of crisis. This event will explore the value and challenges of community led approaches to wellbeing and disaster resilience, and how governments, academics and industry can help and not hinder these processes.


  • Tristan Kennedy - Professor and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous), Monash University
  • Briony Rogers - Chief Executive Officer of Fire to Flourish program, Monash Sustainable
  • Development Institute, Monash University - Pre-recorded film
  • Eka Permanasari - Associate Professor Urban design, Architecture, and Southeast Asian Studies, Monash University, Indonesia
  • Cara Cook - Director of Programs, Alliance of Nurses for a Healthy Environment
  • Janine Mohamed - Chief Executive Officer, Lowitja Institute

Sunday 3 December, 4.30 - 5.30pm (Gulf ST)
Revitalising Informal Settlements and their Environments (RISE)

Informal settlements are on the frontlines of climate change impacts, disproportionately impacted by flooding, sea level rise and extreme weather. By innovating in the ways we plan sustainable urban infrastructure, we can make impact in these communities. RISE is a transdisciplinary research program with a vision to improve the health and wellbeing of people living in urban informal settlements across the developing world. RISE is trialling, through a randomised control trial methodology, a water-sensitive approach to water and sanitation management in informal settlements in Makassar, Indonesia and Suva, Fiji.


  • Tony Wong - Professor of Sustainable Development, Monash University, and Director of Upscaling, Revitalising Informal Settlements and their Environments (RISE)
  • Mere Naulumatua – Senior Engagement Specialist (Urban Planning), Monash University, RISE Fiji
  • Dr Ruzka Taruc – Chief Investigator and Assessment Project Manager, Universitas Hasanuddin, RISE Indonesia

The following can be attributed to Professor Wong:

“Working with communities, governments, local leaders and partners, RISE is co-designing site-specific solutions that combine engineering with nature-based technologies, to deliver water and sanitation services, improve climate resilience, and transform the health and wellbeing of the communities.”

“With the first-ever rigorous series of evidence of practical implementation and effectiveness emerging, the long-term ambition is to expand the approach across the Asia-Pacific and the world, to give millions the opportunity to live healthier and safer lives.”

Follow Monash University’s COP28 journey and join the global conversation on climate change. 


About Monash University’s presence at COP28
Monash is deeply committed to urgent, collective action on climate change. 
Our focus will be on sharing expertise, influencing policymakers and convening change makers in our shared pursuit of a more sustainable, just world for all.

The Monash University delegation will join the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference, COP28 in Dubai, UAE, from 30 November to 12 December 2023.


A range of Monash University experts will be available to discuss climate related issues at COP28. Read more from them in our climate change special on Monash Lens.

Monash Media
T: +61 (0) 3 9903 4840

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