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08/06/2018

Fiocruz launches Climate Vulnerability System


Valéria Padrão (Fiocruz Brasília)

A paradigm shift that allows the manager to make decisions based on clear and objective criteria. This is how Sérgio Rabelo, advisor of Vice Presidency of Environment, Healthcare and Promotion (VPAAPS/Fiocruz) referred to the Climate Vulnerability System (SisVuClima), presented at Closing Seminar of Population Vulnerability to Climate Change Indicators Project, held in Brasilia, on March 28. The project, developed since 2014, results from a partnership between the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) and Fiocruz, and was executed in six Brazilian states: Amazonas, Espírito Santo, Mato Grosso do Sul, Maranhão, Paraná and Pernambuco.

The system, one of the results of the project, gather 64 variables that allow in-depth analysis. The variables range from percentage of native vegetation, to susceptibility to natural disasters, index of diseases associated with climate (dengue, malaria, leptospirosis and others), percentage of illiterates, mortality rates, existence of public health services, education, security and civil defense. From these analysis, one can map/identify more vulnerable areas and their needs.

Researcher Ulisses Confalonieri, coordinator of the project at Fiocruz, noted that an interesting tool and a generic methodology have been developed that can be used throughout Brazil, and, at the same time, aggregate data from the municipalities. He exemplified that the municipalities of Amazonas, among the states involved in the project, have the particularity of the riverside population. He noted that the methodology adds parameters and variables that help to measure the capacity of municipalities to deal with climate change. 

Confalonieri recalled that measuring vulnerability exposes weaknesses. However, he pointed out that the exposure of these can lead the structuring of Civil Defense in compliance with the needs and peculiarities of each municipality, for example. It also can guide the adoption of public policies aimed at adapting the population to climate change. For José Miguez, coordinator of the Department of Climate Change Policies of the Ministry of the Environment, the vulnerability map can be used to improve budget spending and increase population resilience to climate change. 

The Secretary for Climate Change and Forests of the Ministry of the Environment, Everton Lucero, said that the developed methodology allows a view of vulnerability and a projection of what is necessary to face. He noted that the result presented has the potential to put Brazil in a forefront position, world leader in building vulnerability assessment models, a theme under study worldwide. He stressed the importance of the result being presented to the international community.

According to the secretary, the theme of climate change should be transversal and permeate all public policies - health, education, transportation, water management, etc. - in order to contribute to sustainable development.

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