Almost 100 experts from 20 countries participated in the workshop “Climate, Environment, and Health for the Americas”


From 13 to 17 March, scientists from a diversity of disciplines, policymakers, and climate and health practitioners from across the Americas convened in San Martín de los Andes, province of Neuquén, Argentina, to address challenges and opportunities at the intersection of climate, environment, and health through a transdisciplinary and collaborative approach. 

The Regional Workshop on Climate, Environment, and Health was organized in collaboration with the Government of Neuquen, Argentina, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education (GCCHE), and the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI), with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The IAI Directorate is grateful for hosting the meeting by the Government of San Martín de los Andes, province of Neuquen, Argentina, and its commitment to leading efforts to address cross-cutting issues on the nexus of Climate Environment and Health using a One Health approach. 

More than 100 experts from 20 countries in the Americas convened in San Martin de los Andes to discuss innovative ways to create a framework for engagement and collaboration to build local, national, and regional initiatives and communities of practice in CEH. This workshop resulted from international networking to strengthen the capacity of public sector actors to address and adapt to environmental determinants of health (EDHs). It can have a broad societal framework and measurable societal benefits; their focus can range from vulnerability and resilience to reducing the risks of natural and anthropogenic hazards, to pollution, food/water security and quality, chronic and emergent diseases related to global change, and adaptation and mitigation actions in different socio-economic and environmental sectors to improve wellbeing. 

The in-person CEH workshop is the second phase of a long-term process that started seven months ago with the launching of a Virtual 7-week Mentorship and Training for Transdisciplinary Teams from across the Americas. This virtual course gathered a hundred participants that developed skills in communication and engagement with diverse stakeholders, focusing on the science-policy interface and the genuine participation of communities. The overarching goal is to contribute to developing and implementing more effective public policies that address the most critical national, regional, and global public health priorities.

In Phase 2, teams of researchers from the Americas had the opportunity to refine their pre-proposals for research based on regional priorities. Concurrently, spaces of dialogue and collaboration among governments, funders, and partner institutions, and between institutions and participating researchers, were held throughout the meeting.

Major Activities:


The workshop's main objective was to strengthen the capacities of researchers and decision-makers to address the complex problems linking climate, environment, and human health in the region from a transdisciplinary and intersectoral perspective. Meetings with local authorities from the government of the Argentinean province of Neuquén and other Patagonian provinces, high-level national authorities from the Argentinean government, and international leaders such as the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) focused on ways to develop greater regional collaboration and a coordinated agenda at the climate-environment-health nexus.


Specific Objectives:


The workshop-specific objectives were:  


  • Strengthen the development and implementation of seed projects to ensure that they are aligned with policy priorities and local to regional needs.
  • Strengthen a regional Americas climate, environment, and health (CEH) community of practice with researchers, government officials, and other actors.
  • Strengthen the development and implementation of seed projects to ensure that they are aligned with policy priorities and local to regional needs.
  • Identify collaborative mechanisms for future funding, technical support, and capacity building.
  • Identify joint activities between regional/national organizations. 


Significant Results:


The workshop was attended by nearly 100 experts from 20 countries in the Americas representing academic, governmental, non-governmental, and international institutions. Thirteen transdisciplinary research teams also participated and will receive IAI funding to implement seed projects to generate scientific knowledge to support decision-making in the Americas.


CEH Workshop in Neuquen: 


Session on Regional Climate Sector Priorities


The session gathered representatives from the most important regional and international organizations, such as the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), Centro Internacional para la Investigación del Fenómeno de El Niño (CIIFEN), Centro Regional del Clima para el Sur de América del Sur, (CRC-SAS) and the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH). It focused on the challenges and opportunities for improving collaborative networks at the Climate, Environment, and Health Nexus.  


Session on Regional Health Sector Priorities


The session on Regional Health Sector Priorities convened different worldwide Health agencies such as The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), El Organismo Andino de Salud, Convenio Hipólito Unanue (ORAS CONHU), La Comisión Intergubernamental Salud, Ambiente, y Trabajo del Mercosur (CISAT), The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), and the Health Canada. The session addressed the most relevant challenges that the region is facing today, such as Climate Change and Covid-19 that exacerbates current vulnerabilities and deficiencies of the region. The main priorities and gaps in the Americas have been discussed. (e.g., access to clean and safe water, using carbon for cooking and warming up, poverty, lack of education, etc.). As health is at the heart of sustainable development goals and is a complex problem, collaboration and networking are becoming a priority in the region to face historical and future challenges.  


In-Person Training also included other relevant sessions:

  • Transdisciplinary Game 
  • Climate, environment, and health (CEH) Project team pitches 
  • Closed meeting for funders/partners/governments to discuss upcoming work plans and identify opportunities for regional collaboration/alignment.
  • Research publishing landscape from academic editors
  • Policy dialogue and field experience at the climate, environment, and health nexus in Patagonia
  • Green Climate Fund Readiness Projects for health, Argentina
  • Government representatives address participants about the CEH nexus and the role of science
  • Communication at the science-policy interface. 
  • Health Diplomacy 
  • Climate, Environment, and Health in Action: Field experiences with the Ministry of Health of Neuquen

A - Estimation of the dog population in Barrio El Arenal

B - Management of health risks due to extreme weather events

C - Identifying Plants for Health in the Forest: their biocultural value