Tackling climate change and its impacts on health through municipal public health and wellbeing planning (guidance for local government, 2020)

The purpose of this guidance is to assist councils in meeting these legislative obligations. This guidance builds on the department’s original guidance on municipal public health and wellbeing planning3 by providing information on how climate change can be incorporated in each stage of planning. It also recognises that planning is not a linear process and that councils have strategic engagement processes that will inform the development of MPHWPs. In summary:
^aEURc Pre-planning includes placing the need to tackle climate change and its impacts on health and wellbeing on the agenda at all levels within council.
^aEURc Municipal scanning includes identifying evidence of the current or potential impacts of climate change on health and wellbeing and presenting this in the profile of health and wellbeing challenges facing the municipality. This guidance provides examples of potential changes in hazards and hazardous events associated with a changing climate and the health effects that may result from these changes. It also provides examples of exposure and vulnerability indicators to assist with framing the particular challenges in the municipality and to inform potential priority areas of focus.
^aEURc Engagement with the community, stakeholders and within council includes identifying what is important to the community, what is already happening and where there is a need or opportunities) for further action. It can also reveal perceptions, experiences and activities that could further inform the way in which climate change is presented within the health and wellbeing profile.
^aEURc The planning decisions and implementation stages involve addressing the areas where the municipal scan and engagement indicate a need for change. Many climate change adaptation and mitigation actions overlap, so it is beneficial to consider climate change actions in an integrated way that considers the multiple co-benefits that can be delivered. This guidance provides examples of strategies across a number of theme areas that could be taken by councils to tackle climate change and its impacts on health and wellbeing, as well as a number of case studies of strategies that have been implemented by Victorian councils. The theme areas include: – leadership, governance and council assets – communication, engagement and capacity building – emergency management – environmental health services, surveillance and monitoring – built and natural environments – healthy and sustainable food systems – improving mental health and wellbeing and preventing family violence.
^aEURc Evaluation is concerned with demonstrating accountability for investing resources in health and wellbeing action and with learning more about what does and does not work. This guidance includes example indicators, targets and measures that could be used to track progress against actions to tackle climate change and its impacts on health and highlight improvements that can be made to increase their effectiveness.
This guidance seeks to encourage and embed action to tackle climate change and its impacts on health in municipal public health and wellbeing planning. It recognises the important role that councils can play in reducing the risks that climate change poses to the health and wellbeing of all Victorians and improving public health outcomes.



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Health Protection Branch, Department of Health and Human Services, Victoria: 2020