soils are crucial to sustaining many ecosystem services. Speaking directly to the links with health, in 1990 about 30 percent of the world population, or 1.5 billion people, were exposed to dengue vectors, one of the most important viral vectorborne diseases sensitive to global warming and climate change. By 2085 it is estimated, based on climate change and population projections, that 50 to 60 percent of the world population, or 5 to 6 billion people, will be at risk for dengue transmission (Hales et al., 2002).
Distribution of the Health Impacts Related to Climate Change
Because the webinar focuses on inequality, Oswald Spring stated, we should examine how health impacts related to climate change are distributed throughout the world. Figure 4-1 provides a visual representation of countries (a) scaled by their total CO2 emissions from 1950 to 2000 in the top graphic and (b) scaled by estimates of per capita mortality from climate change in 2000 in the bottom graphic (Patz et al., 2007; WHO, 2008). One can see that Africa, which has almost no CO2 emissions, is the continent most affected by the health burden of climate change, followed by India. In effect, climate change is threatening to widen the health inequalities the already exist between rich and poor populations, exposing those in regions with the greatest disease burden to additional and disproportionate health risks (WHO, 2008). In order to reduce the burden of disease from climate change within these vulnerable populations, Oswald Spring said, regions need both mitigation and adaptation processes.
During natural disasters, Oswald Spring noted, large populations can be vulnerable to droughts, floods, extreme temperatures, windstorms, wildfires, earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions, and wave surges. From 1974 to 2003, disasters caused an estimated 2 million deaths and affected more than 5 billion people worldwide. Drought was the largest contributor, accounting for 44 percent of the deaths and 36 percent of other impacts (injuries, homelessness, etc.) (Guha-Sapir et al., 2004). Oswald Spring stated that about 1 billion people are now living in arid or semi-arid regions worldwide, which makes them vulnerable to climate change and highly exposed to drought that can threaten their lives.
Role of Gender in Health Impacts Related to Natural Disasters
Oswald Spring pointed out that gender also affects vulnerability to the impact of natural disasters. Gender is not only understood as masculinity and femininity, but also includes an understanding of the roles, norms, values, behavior, social representation, responsibilities, necessities, and expectations in society, as well as sexuality and sexual behavior. Gender factors can create a division of labor, power, and responsibilities and impact