Impacts of climate change on vector borne diseases in the mediterranean basin — implications for preparedness and adaptation policy

Maya Negev, Shlomit Paz, Alexandra Clermont, Noemie Groag Pri-Or, Uri Shalom, Tamar Yeger, Manfred S. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Mediterranean region is vulnerable to climatic changes. A warming trend exists in the basin with changes in rainfall patterns. It is expected that vector-borne diseases (VBD) in the region will be influenced by climate change since weather conditions influence their emergence. For some diseases (i.e., West Nile virus) the linkage between emergence andclimate change was recently proved; for others (such as dengue) the risk for local transmission is real. Consequently, adaptation and preparation for changing patterns of VBD distribution is crucial in the Mediterranean basin. We analyzed six representative Mediterranean countries and found that they have started to prepare for this threat, but the preparation levels among them differ, and policy mechanisms are limited and basic. Furthermore, cross-border cooperation is not stable and depends on international frameworks. The Mediterranean countries should improve their adaptation plans, and develop more cross-sectoral, multidisciplinary and participatory approaches. In addition, based on experience from existing local networks in advancing national legislation and trans-border cooperation, we outline recommendations for a regional cooperation framework. We suggest that a stable and neutral framework is required, and that it should address the characteristics and needs of African, Asian and European countries around the Mediterranean in order to ensure participation. Such a regional framework is essential to reduce the risk of VBD transmission, since the vectors of infectious diseases know no political borders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6745-6770
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Keywords

  • Adaptation policy
  • Climate change
  • Mediterranean
  • Vector-borne diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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