The Israeli Climate Change Information Center: health-related adaptation to climate change in Israel – a case study

Location

The Israeli Climate Change Information Center (ICCIC) is a national virtual knowledge hub.

Reason for initiation

The Ministry of Environmental Protection established ICCIC in accordance with a government decision on adaptation to climate change. Its mission is to assemble existing knowledge and research regarding adaptation, identify research gaps, define risks in various sectors (health, water, biodiversity, building and planning, geostrategy and economy) and suggest policy recommendations.

Strategies in place or planned

ICCIC established working committees for the different sectors. The health team reviewed the existing literature on the impacts of climate change on health and outlined the main risks in Israel. It then identified policy recommendations for the health sector and beyond, focusing on:

  • improving monitoring and surveillance of morbidity and mortality
  • enhancing the preparedness of the health system for emergencies
  • raising awareness among the general public
  • environmental management.

Outcomes and next steps

ICCIC produced three reports on existing knowledge and knowledge gaps, policy recommendations and adaptation in local authorities. Members of the health team continue to conduct research, most recently on the emergence of vector-borne diseases in the Mediterranean basin and their implications for preparedness and adaptation. Vectors know no political borders, and in an ecologically and politically sensitive region such as the Mediterranean collaboration between countries can be a challenge. The Ministry of Environmental Protection suggested a framework for such collaboration, and plans to continue national and regional efforts to adapt to the changing climate.

Organization(s) involved 

  • Ministry of Environmental Protection
  • Samuel Neaman Institute for National Policy Research
  • Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
  • Tel Aviv University
  • University of Haifa