Study highlights correlation between climate change & impact on kids, pregnant women

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Kolkata, Jan 18 (IANS) Climate change and other associated factors like dense urbanisation, increasing air pollution levels and limited access to adequate public spaces for children and pregnant women have exacerbated the impact of climate change in Kolkata as well as in 20 other Indian cities, according to findings by International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI)- South Asia and and the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA).

The findings regarding Kolkata were particularly enlightening, revealing unique challenges faced by the city’s young and vulnerable populations, as per the researchers contributing towards those findings.

According to them, the factors highlighted by them from the perspective of Kolkata, focus on the city’s specific needs and pave the way for targeted actions to mitigate climate-related risks for its youngest citizens.

ICLEI- South Asia and NIUA had also recently conducted a workshop at the National Capital of New Delhi, where experts highlighted the focus areas to address the key issues as regards to impact of climate change on children and pregnant women.

According to NIUA Director Dr Debolina Kundu, there is a need for unflinching focus to ensure that every child, especially the 12.7 million urban migrants grappling with severe health conditions, have access to clean, safe, and nurturing environments. She had also stressed on building cities that are not only sustainable but also empathetic to the needs of their youngest.

It is learnt that two extensive studies namely ‘Young Children and Climate’ and ‘Usage of Public Spaces by Young Children, their Caregivers and Pregnant Women’ had been conducted, which too highlighted that vulnerabilities faced by these groups are not just immediate concerns, but have long-term implications on the growth and success potential of children.

As per the findings, even the Early Childcare Development (ECD) sites, which are supposed to be relatively protected, are exposing young children to harmful pollutants and high heat levels,

According to it, three factors namely “community engagement, continuous monitoring and evaluation of action plans, and collaboration at various levels including international, regional, and sub-national” are necessary to address these crucial issues.



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