CliMate AdaptatioN for HealThy Rural Areas (MANTRA)

Many measures designed to help sectors adapt to the consequences of climate change focus on the physical living environment. However, the design and quality of our living environment is closely linked to social aspects – and has a direct and indirect influence on the health of people, plants, animals and the environment. With the NWA programme Climate Adaptation and Health, NWO and ZonMw are therefore promoting research into adaptation measures at the interface of the physical, social and health domains. The effects of climate change on the living environment are not the same for all areas of the Netherlands.

So adjustments are urgently needed not only in urban regions, but also in rural areas. In MANTRA, researchers from Maastricht University, Radboud University, Wageningen University & Research, Leiden University, RIVM, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) and Naturalis are joining forces. Together with at least fourteen societal and public organisations, such as the Municipal Health Centres of Groningen and Hart van Brabant, the Wadden Academy, Movisie and Platform31, they are focusing on the specific health risks and opportunities in rural areas, with three different regions receiving specific attention from the consortium: Hogeland, Alblasserwaard and North-East Brabant.

This study integrates rural priorities for climate change with health risks and opportunities for local communities in three rural regions in the Netherlands. We will examine local health consequences of climate change, and discuss potential measures and their societal benefits with the local community in rural labs. This offers potential to create locally supported win-win solutions to climate change, adaptation, health and other issues related to rural development.