May 26, 2016

From Natural Capital to Human Health: Emerging Opportunities in Climate Resilience

This panel will examine private opportunities arising from increasing water stress, including the relationship of hydric stress to natural capital, and well as private responses to climate risks in the medical sector. For example, climate variability is often about water – too much of it, or too little of it -- in the wrong place and at the wrong time. While 70% of the surface of the planet is water, only 3% of the world’s water is fresh and many sources are under hydric stress, drying up or becoming too polluted for human use.

Climate risks worsen the inefficiencies in the use of water in agriculture, a sector that consumes more of this resource than any other. Related ecosystems, or “natural capital,” such as forests vital to watersheds, wetlands and other natural assets are disappearing rapidly. Climate change is also a growing public health issue, exacerbating vector borne diseases, such as Zika and stressing vulnerable populations and medical delivery systems.

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