Climate change and climate variability are already affecting Mozambique. Since the 1950s, the country has experienced an increase in the occurrence of extreme weather events, including droughts, floods, hurricanes, and cyclones. From 1960 to 2006, temperatures have increased by 0.6 ºC and mean annual rainfall has decreased by an average of 2.5 mm per decade. Since the 1960s, rainy seasons have commenced later, and dry spells have lasted longer.
These observed changes in climate are expected to continue into the future. Climate projections predict that mean annual temperatures in Mozambique are likely to rise by 1.0-2.8 ºC by the 2060s and between 1.4-4.6 ºC by the end of the 21st century. Precipitation is anticipated to increase in most parts of the country, particularly during the rainy season. Droughts and floods are predicted to become more frequent, and cyclones more intense.
Changes in temperature and precipitation patterns, and the increase in frequency and intensity of extreme climatic events have already had a severe impact on health in Mozambique. These impacts have been both direct and indirect. Extreme weather events result in injury, disease and the direct loss of human life. They also cause the loss and destruction of crops, livestock, ecosystems, and economic and social infrastructure—all key determinants of human health.
Vector-borne diseases, diarrhoeal diseases and malnutrition are all influenced by seasonal, inter-annual climate variability. Malaria is of a particular concern for Mozambique. Warmer temperatures and a rise in heavy rainfall events will increase mosquito breeding, which can increase the spread of malaria. Diarrhoea and cholera also show a strong relationship to climate variability, which is likely to be exacerbated by climate change.
On 12 June 1992, Mozambique signs the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which recognises the adverse impacts of climate change on human health and welfare.
On 18 January 2005, Mozambique ratifies the Kyoto Protocol, which commits 128 participating countries to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by over 5% below 1990 levels by 2008-2012.
Mozambique signs the Libreville Declaration on Health and Environment. The declaration aims to secure political commitment for catalysing the policy, institutional and investment changes required to reduce environmental threats to health.
Mozambique approves its National Strategy for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation 2013-2015 (MICOA). The strategy outlines the health risks posed by climate change and underscores the importance of early warning systems and capacity building for the prevention and control of vector-borne diseases.
The Environmental Health Department of the Ministry of Health starts developing its first preparedness, response, and recovery protocols for extreme climate events.
On 22 April 2016, Mozambique signs the Paris Agreement. In addition to setting ambitious targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the Agreement pushes countries to develop adaptation plans that will protect human health from the impacts of climate change.
The National Institute of Health publishes the results of the first evaluation of climate change impacts on malaria and diarrhoeal disease.
Mozambique’s Climate and Health Observatory is established with the aim of generating and promoting scientific evidence to inform climate-resilient health policies and plans.
In order to build internal capacity and foster cross-sectoral collaboration, the first Climate Change and Health Workshop is held at the Ministry of Health.
A Memorandum of Understanding is established between the National Institute of Health (INS) and the National Institute of Meteorology (INAM) that will enable INS to routinely receive monitoring reports on the impact of climate change on health.
The National Observatory of Health holds the first high-level public debate to raise awareness among key actors and society at large of the risks that climate change poses to human health and to advocate for for multi-sectoral responses.
The WHO, with support from the Government of Flanders, launches a four-year project (2018-2021) that will support the Ministry of Health to improve its capacity to coordinate and lead efforts on health adaptation to climate change.