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Building resilience to heat-related health risks: The example of Ahmedabad, India

Tuesday, 3 February 16:00 -17:00

This webinar focused on heatwaves and their effect on public health, by introducing the pioneering strategy of Ahmedabad to build resilience against such risks. Ahmedabad successfully implemented its pilot Heat Action Plan – the first of its kind in South Asia – and, based on this success, plans to scale out and scale up to other cities across India. Best practices for planning resilience and building public awareness, as well as for adoption of similar measures in other urban contexts were discussed during this webinar. 

Ms. Bedoshruti Sadhukhan from ICLEI South Asia  gave a brief introduction to the topic of heat-related health risks in India and set the foundations for the discussion that followed. 

Ms. Anjali Jaiswal from the NRDC provided an overview of the project and highlighted the importance of having a robust scientific foundation and broad coalition of partners for enhancing the projects' outreach capacity. She also shared initial outcomes of the plan's evaluation and discussed initial attempts in scaling out and scaling up the project to other cities across India. Download her presentation.

Dr. Tejas Shah from the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation described the planning process and strategies/measures for preparing local communities for extreme heat. He presented the importance of inter-agency cooperation and communication, focused on the role of the Health Department in coordinating the city's public health efforts and shared the Municipality's perspective on how to improve the plan. Download his presentation.

This webinar was part of Resilient Cities Webinar Series 2014 and organized in cooperation with the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN).

All webinars all free of charge and feature experts and local government practitioners in the field of urban adaptation and resilience. 

Speakers Biographies


Ms. Anjali Jaiswal is a Senior Attorney and founding Director of NRDC’s India Initiative on climate change and clean energy.  In leading the India Initiative, she collaborates with local partners to advance projects on protecting communities from climate change impacts, as well as on energy efficiency in buildings and appliances, solar and wind energy.

Before founding the India Initiative in 2009, Anjali was a critical member of NRDC’s Litigation Team in San Francisco, leading cases for stronger appliance efficiency standards and wilderness protection. Before moving to San Francisco, Anjali worked on healthy water quality as part of NRDC’s Los Angeles Program. In connection with her work, Anjali was a fellow in the Nehru-Fulbright Indo-American Environmental Leadership Program in 2005, based in New Delhi. Anjali graduated from University of California Hastings College of Law and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Sciences from University of California, Riverside. She also studied at Jawaharlal Nehru University in India and Leiden University in the Netherlands. The Daily Journal selected Anjali as one of California’s top enterprising lawyers in 2013, and Marie Claire Magazine named Anjali as a Rising Woman Leader in 2010.

Dr. Tejas Shah is the Deputy Health Officer (South Zone) for the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) in the city of Ahmedabad, state of Gujarat, India. Dr. Shah also serves as the Nodal Officer for the Ahmedabad Heat Action Plan – a comprehensive early warning system that safeguards vulnerable communities in the city against the health effects of extreme heat weather events and climate change. Dr. Shah has represented the Ahmedabad Climate and Heat Action Group, consisting of expert non-governmental and academic groups including the Indian Institute of Public Health and the Natural Resources Defense Council, at various international forums including ICLEI's Resilient Cities Congress in Bonn. Dr. Shah has further co-authored research papers on the evidence-based case for policy action in the city of Ahmedabad.