01 Dec 2023

Drying, Droughts, Desertification, and Mental Health: Addressing Gaps and Needs For Community Well-Being

  • Date
    03 Dec 2023, 15:30pm
  • Location
    Blue Zone | Land and Drought Resilience Pavilion
  • Organizer

    IOM, UNU CRIS, Aster DM Healthcare (UAE), UNCCD, UNU MERIT, PEDRR, UNFCC, Belgian Delegation, Health Canada

Venue: Blue Zone, Land and Drought Resilience Pavilion | 3 Dec. 15:30-16:30 UAE Time

The profound interplay between climate change and mental health, specifically resulting in drying, droughts, and desertification, necessitates urgent attention. As we delve into the intricate facets of this critical issue, we recognize the substantial toll these environmental transformations exact on the psychological well-being of affected populations. Prolonged droughts and the transition of habitable areas into arid deserts amplify stress, anxiety, and depression, further driven by factors such as resource scarcity, economic hardships, and forced migration. Indigenous communities acutely feel this burden, and those intimately connected to the land, as environmental shifts challenge cultural and spiritual identities. Acknowledging the mental health risks associated with these environmental changes and charting a course toward empowering affected communities is imperative.

This session aims to foster a dialogue elucidating the nexus between climate change and mental health in drying and drought periods. By exploring causative factors and innovative solutions, we aspire to leverage community wisdom, including local and indigenous knowledge, alongside technological advancements. The session will enhance our understanding of the interconnectedness of climate change and mental health by scrutinizing vulnerabilities specific to regions grappling with drying conditions in Asia, Africa, and the Americas, SIDS, and other areas. We aim to identify gaps and necessities in climate services for adaptation and Loss and Damage (L&D) schemes, ensuring mental health remains a focal point of discourse. Acknowledging the interwoven relationship between climate change, mental health, and the ramifications of highlighted crises positions Eco-Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR) as a promising approach and multidimensional response toward managing persistent droughts and the transformation of habitats into arid regions and strengthening the resilience of communities grappling with these environmental shifts and help foster the adaptability and fortitude of affected communities, paving the way for a more resilient and psychologically sound future. 

Please find more information and events on the COP28 page here.  

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