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Bhubaneswar among 3 Indian cities chosen for Heat Stress Action Plan project

Bhubaneswar, January 26, 2018: The International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Government of Canada has chosen Bhubaneswar as one of the three Indian cities for Heat Stress Action Plan project that will study the implications of heat stress and extreme heat on the health and #livelihoods of vulnerable groups.

The other two cities chosen for the project are Delhi and Rajkot. The Integrated Research and Action for Development (IRADe), a leading research institute and think tank based in New Delhi had sent the proposal to #IRDC.

In a letter to the Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (#OSDMA) on Tuesday the IRADe has informed about the approval of the proposal.

Under this project study will be conducted on the implications of heat stress and extreme heat on the health and livelihoods of vulnerable groups especially occupational workers, women and senior citizens living in urban slums – their poverty, dwellings with tin roofs and poor sanitation make them particularly vulnerable.

The project will gather evidence and develop spatially differentiated adaptation plans and support planning and execution in three selected cities: Delhi, Bhubaneswar and Rajkot, chosen as representative of other cities in India.

Heat stress related deaths in India are rising at a rapid pace. With climate change, average temperatures and the frequency and severity of heat waves are predicted to increase.

Heat waves, out of all the effects of climate change, are likely to cause most deaths. People in cities are particularly vulnerable to heat stress.

There is little understanding and quantification of how heat stress affects health, work productivity and livelihoods of the economically and socially marginalized population.

Such understanding requires multi-disciplinary research and is critical for formulating a Heat Stress Action Plan (#HSAP).

HSAP (heat Stress Action Plan) will be a bottom-up adaptation plan based on quantitative and qualitative measures, primary and secondary data, existing adaptation plans and shared learning dialogues (#SLD) with stakeholders.

IRADe will lead the study in partnership with consortium members that include Municipal Corporations of Rajkot, Delhi, Bhubaneswar, Odisha State Disaster Management Agency, Indian Institute of Public Health (Gandhinagar) and Indian Institute of Public Health (Bhubaneswar).

Close collaboration with Urban Local Bodies like the Municipal Corporations, Development Authorities, other institutes, local NGOs and local residents will help in developing HSAPs that are gender sensitive.

The HSAPs will support India's medium-term development planning on adaptive resilience for climate resilient smart cities agenda.

HSAP’s aim to improve people’s resilience to heat stress, reduce cost of adaptation and impacts on the health of women and men, improved capacity of city officials, doctors and health care providers, improve communication systems within city and state departments that may be replicated in other cities, and increase awareness and knowledge among policy-makers.

The research will establish approaches and designs to inform the choices on the pathways required at national and international levels with the risks of heat stress and reach out to policy makers for scaling up the findings.

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