Vol. 99 No. 2
SUMMARY OF THE DEVELOPMENT AND ADAPTATION DAYS EVENT
The “Development and Adaptation Days at COP-11” event took place in the Guy Favreau Complex, Montreal, Canada, from 3-4 December 2005. Hosted by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), and the RING Alliance of Policy Research Organizations, this event was held alongside the eleventh Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the first Meeting of the Parties to its Kyoto Protocol.
Recognizing the links between climate change, development and poverty, and the need to support vulnerable countries in preventing negative impacts and adapting to climate change, the event featured more than 40 speakers, as well as extended discussions and question-and-answer sessions. Over 250 participants attended the two-day meeting, including representatives of governments, international organizations, academia, research institutes, business, and non-governmental organizations.
On Saturday, 3 December, designated “Development Day,” sessions were held on linkages between climate change and development, health, and disaster management, before the day ended with a high-level panel discussion. “Adaptation Day,” on Sunday, 4 December, included sessions on the science of adaptation, community-based adaptation, and experience with national adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs), and ended with another high-level panel discussion.
The event provided an opportunity for in-depth discussions on adaptation and development, bringing together the climate change and development communities and providing a catalyst for further networking and progress on this subject. It shed light on the science behind adaptation techniques and provided clear examples of how communities around the world, particularly in developing countries, are adapting to the impacts of climate change and incorporating such impacts within development, health and disaster management strategies.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION AND DEVELOPMENT ISSUES
Climate change is considered one of the most serious threats to sustainable development, with expected adverse impacts on the environment, human health, food security, economic activity, natural resources and physical infrastructure. Global climate varies naturally, but scientists agree that rising concentrations of anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere are leading to changes in the climate. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the effects of climate change have already been observed, and scientific findings indicate that prompt action is necessary.
While mitigation has traditionally been the pivotal issue for many climate change experts, adaptation to the effects of climate change is now acknowledged as an important aspect of responding effectively and equitably to the problem. In recent years, it has become a key focus of the scientific and policy-making communities and is now a major area of discussion in the multilateral climate change process. The UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol contain a number of references to adaptation, including UNFCCC Articles 4.1 (e) (cooperation in preparing for adaptation), and 4.4 (developed country party assistance to vulnerable developing countries in meeting adaptation costs). Initiatives taken include agreement at the UNFCCC’s seventh Conference of the Parties (COP-7) in 2001 on the establishment of three funds under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) that are relevant to adaptation in developing countries, namely a special climate change fund, a least developed countries (LDCs) fund, and an adaptation fund. Other initiatives include ongoing work on NAPAs for LDCs, and the agreement at COP-10 in 2004 to develop a structured five-year programme of work on the scientific, technical and socioeconomic aspects of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. Parties initiated deliberations on a programme of work on this issue during an in-session workshop at the twenty-second meeting of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Assessment (SBSTA-22) in May 2005 and have continued this work during several informal workshops since that time and at COP-11.
At the same time, emphasis on the linkages between climate change and development issues is growing. While some developing countries are already large emitters and are making efforts to de-link economic growth from the emission of carbon, others are being hampered in their chances for development by their vulnerability to climate change. During 2005, the link between development and climate change was addressed at the G-8 Summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, which recognized the high priority of climate change adaptation and the importance of working with developing countries “on building capacity to help them improve their resilience and integrate adaptation goals into sustainable development strategies.” The 2005 World Summit, held at UN headquarters in New York, from 14-16 September, stressed the need to act with “resolve and urgency” to address the many challenges faced in tackling climate change, promoting clean energy, meeting energy needs and achieving sustainable development. It supported the need to assist developing countries to improve their resilience and integrate adaptation goals into their sustainable development strategies.
REPORT OF THE EVENT
The Development and Adaptation Days event opened on Saturday morning, 3 December. Saleemul Huq, IIED, welcomed participants, noting that this was the fourth event of its kind, with previous meetings held in New Delhi, Milan and Buenos Aires during UNFCCC COPs. He highlighted increasing awareness of the importance of adaptation by the scientific, development and government communities and noted the opportunities for fruitful interchanges during this event.
John Drexhage, IISD, also highlighted the increased awareness among developed and developing countries of the links between climate change, energy and adaptation, and the need for technical and scientific experts to share their knowledge on adaptation strategies to further engage the negotiating communities in these endeavors.
Development Day, Saturday, 3 December, included sessions on linking climate change with development, health, and disaster management. It concluded with a high-level panel discussion.
SESSION ONE - LINKING DEVELOPMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE: Richard Klein, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and Farhana Yamin, Institute of Development Studies, chaired the session on linking development and climate change.
Presentations: Joel Smith, Stratus Consulting Inc., reported on the development of a USAID project to develop guidance on methods to incorporate climate change into development planning at the project level. He explained that a pilot project in Polokwane, South Africa, incorporates climate change variables in long-term water supply planning, and also made reference to a project in La Ceiba, Honduras, which addresses potential climate change impacts, such as increased flooding, sea-level rise and hurricane intensity, within development planning.
Andrew Simms, New Economics Foundation, commented on experiences with energy micro-generation projects, contrasting the potential for renewable sources of energy to meet global demand and the approaching gap between fossil fuel demand and supply in the near future. He highlighted the benefits of renewable energy for developing countries that are most vulnerable to oil price spikes, and noted the difference between heavy subsidies for the fossil fuel industry and the modest resources channeled to adaptation.
Anne Hammill, IISD, presented a development portfolio screening framework that seeks to identify linkages with climate change and to incorporate adaptation when necessary. She highlighted that rarely does adaptation appear in development projects, and that screening concentrates on identifying linkages, building on existing experiences, incorporating adaptation perspectives into projects and operationalizing these linkages to embed them into the regular operations of development agencies.
Pierre Mukheibir, University of Cape Town, gave a presentation on local adaptation strategies for water resource management in South Africa, sharing his experience in building climate change resilience by selecting short-term responses to climate variability that may also have positive long-term sustainable impacts. He concluded that national-level responses are best placed for addressing supply-side issues, given necessary capital expenditures and implementation capacities, while local-level responses are better for tackling demand-side issues.
Julio Garcia, Peru’s National Environmental Council (CONAM), illustrated a case study on climate change adaptation in Peru’s development framework, which involves viewing climate change as an obstacle to sustainable development and prioritizing vulnerability reduction. He emphasized: awareness raising among local communities in critically drought-prone areas; the use of vulnerability assessments to catalyse legislative developments and budget allocations for adaptation; and a two-track approach for immediate and future responses.
Discussion: In the ensuing discussion, one participant inquired about the role of water markets, with Mukheibir stressing their unsuitability in poor areas. Smith cautioned against the impacts of water pricing on the access of the poor to water and land resources and on biodiversity protection. Answering a question about development agencies’ reluctance to invest in climate change adaptation projects, Smith proposed focusing on longer-term consequences and the marginal adjustment of existing projects. Simms recommended that adaptation-related funding should be targeted at building local capacity. Discussion also centered on: the merits of screening tools as opposed to in-depth analysis; the need to learn by doing and to share lessons learnt on adaptation; and necessary links between mitigation and adaptation. One participant drew attention to the need to reform the global economy, and another to integrating science on natural hazards in adaptation policy.
Speakers’ Contact Information:
SESSION TWO - HEALTH AND CLIMATE CHANGE: Bettina Menne, World Health Organization, chaired the session on health and climate change. She explained that “health” incorporates psychological, social and physical wellbeing, and that the health effects of climate change include increases in the occurrence rates of some diseases and health-related impacts deriving from the increased frequency and intensity of extreme climatic events.
Presentations: Rais Akhtar, University of Kashmir, discussed the impact of climate change on health and adaptation strategies in the mountainous areas of Kashmir. He explained that the regional impacts of climate change include: the disappearance of the local rainy season, known as “Tsonth”; the early melting of snow due to increased temperatures; droughts during summer and associated effects on agriculture; and a rise in water-borne diseases with some decline in respiratory diseases.
Charmaine Heslop-Thomas, University of West Indies, presented the results of a study on vulnerability to dengue fever in Jamaica. She explained that increases in rainfall may lead to an increase in dengue fever infection rates. She concluded that addressing this vulnerability must involve responding to Jamaica’s water problems and incorporating dengue fever prevention within public sector strategies for sustainable development.
On the use of disease surveillance systems for facilitating adaptation to climate-related health risks, Kristie Ebi, Exponent, highlighted the necessary features of surveillance, including: effective public health infrastructure; accuracy and timeliness; the matching of spatial and temporal scales of health and environmental data; and appropriate legal and ethical frameworks. She emphasized that effective interventions must be embedded in an understanding of human factors and also address local situations, noting that candidate diseases for early warning surveillance systems include cholera, malaria, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis and influenza.
Stephen Connor, International Research Institute for Climate and Society, noted that many of the Millennium Development Goals and national development targets are sensitive to climate variability. He emphasized the need to: establish a firm evidence base for linking development goals with climate variability; anticipate impacts; monitor key variables and indicators; adapt planning preparedness according to changes in risk; and build responsive capacity. Using Botswana as an example, Connor showed how seasonal climate forecasting, environmental monitoring and case surveillance may be useful for malaria early warning systems, providing sound opportunities for planning and preparedness.
Ana Rosa Moreno, US-Mexico Foundation for Science, illustrated how weather and climate forecasts can assist in localizing, better preparing for, and reducing disease epidemics. Referring to malaria transmission and heat wave-related health problems as examples, she stressed the importance of early warning systems for informing decision-makers and the health care community and improving epidemic prevention and disaster management. She also recommended involving meteorological agencies in relevant decision-making processes.
Discussion: Chair Menne commented on the need to build the capacity of health institutions to respond effectively to emergencies identified by early warning systems. Participants commented on the need to complement early warning systems with response measures, and Ebi and Moreno explained the challenges faced by health authorities in developing countries that have more urgent priorities. Connor highlighted that early warning systems predicted the Niger famine catastrophe, while institutions did not provide a timely response. A participant commented on several projects in LDCs for improving relationships between climate change experts and health communities, and another explained the work of the World Meteorological Organization on climate and health, and its focus on avian flu and SARS.
Speakers’ Contact Information:
SESSION THREE - DISASTER MANAGEMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE: Madeleen Helmer, Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre, co-chaired the session on disaster management and climate change, noting growing interest in climate change in light of extreme weather events, such as droughts and storms. Co-Chair Sarah La Trobe, Tearfund, explained that her organization had drawn on the experience of its partner organizations in encouraging governments to mainstream climate-related risks into their development activities.
Presentations: Pablo Suarez, Boston University, highlighted the difficulties of convincing communities at risk about the need to invest in long-term adaptation planning, when immediate needs are not being met. He outlined opportunities for using climate information both to explain increased climate variability at the community level, and to strengthen activities that address immediate concerns, such as food security, water and health.
In discussing a recent study on adaptation initiatives at the local level, Ana Rojas, Both ENDS, said that adaptation can be understood as a way of strengthening the resilience of communities to climate change. She outlined opportunities for increasing resilience through community-based activities, such as river basin management and water conservation strategies, and changes to agricultural practices. She also emphasized the need to link scientific understanding with traditional knowledge and community-based experiences.
Rana Izci, Marmara University, explained that increasing Istanbul’s adaptive capacity would enhance Turkey’s overall resilience to climate change in light of the city’s commercial and touristic significance, and she discussed the importance of incorporating climate change-related concerns into the city’s disaster management strategies.
Tarik-ul-Islam, UNDP, highlighted the impacts of climate change on disaster management, poverty reduction and food security in Bangladesh. He explained that Bangladesh’s national comprehensive disaster management programme integrates climate change-related concerns, and has led to the creation of a climate change unit for the management of long-term climate change risks as an integral part of national development planning.
Drawing a parallel with adaptation, John Harding, UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Inter-Agency Secretariat, highlighted the challenge of integrating disaster reduction into development strategies at the national level. He encouraged: using information about the impacts of natural disasters on development; initiating national cross-sectoral platforms for dialogue between different ministries; and using joint programming within the UN to mainstream disaster reduction at the international level.
Ian Burton, University of Toronto, introduced the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative aimed at increasing insurance availability beyond the area of natural disasters, as a market-based mechanism for spreading climate change-related risks and for encouraging adaptation through different premiums. Noting the limited discussions on adaptation in the post-2012 negotiations, he proposed catalyzing attention on adaptation by urging states to negotiate an adaptation protocol, and encouraged interested scholars and organizations to join in developing such a proposal.
Discussion: Participants discussed how to increase the relative priority given to adaptation within disaster risk reduction communities, and how to learn from past experiences in countries that are already experiencing severe weather phenomena. Several participants said there are already substantive studies on building communities’ adaptive capacities, but resources, dissemination of information and the will to change established behaviors are lacking.
Speakers’ Contact Information:
SESSION FOUR - HIGH-LEVEL PANEL DISCUSSION: Camilla Toulmin, IISD, chaired the high-level panel discussion.
Presentations: George Mkondiwa, Secretary for Lands, Malawi, illustrated the recent dramatic impact of climate change on food security with the consequent large-scale import of emergency food relief, exacerbating his country’s already poor economy. He stressed the need for immediate implementation of countrywide adaptation strategies and the development of irrigation and early warning systems.
Youba Sokona, Sahara and Sahel Observatory, emphasized the link between adaptation and development from a developing country perspective. Cautioning against a fragmented approach to development, he called for integrating adaptation into development policies, rather than taking a project-by-project approach.
Richard Hosier, GEF, reflected on recent projects addressing climate change and their links with adaptation and development, and queried whether approved Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects have a substantive impact on development. He also questioned whether unexpected events will override climate projections and modeling based on past patterns, highlighting the unlimited challenges placed on development by climate change.
Bo Lim, UNDP, proposed referring to adaptation “leveraging” rather than “mainstreaming,” as adaptation is mainly a resource issue. She proposed focusing on partnerships to deliver more effectively a combined development and adaptation package. She also emphasized improving communication with the development community, and said flexibility will be needed to address uncertainty in future climate shocks.
Jon Padgham, USAID, proposed: focusing on climate variability, disaster risk reduction and droughts; better Earth observation; greater consideration of socioeconomic aspects; and the promotion of cross-agency linkages and collaborative research.
A.K. Ofoso-Ahenkorah, Energy Commission, Ghana, suggested that Africa seems to have been left behind with regard to CDM and other development activities for mitigating climate change. Discussing an energy efficiency project in Ghana that is now in the CDM pipeline, he suggested other African countries could learn from this experience.
Discussion: In the ensuing discussion, participants raised questions about: integrating knowledge from the disaster management sector into the five-year programme of work on adaptation being considered at COP-11; the need to focus on livelihoods rather than development when considering adaptation; how to move away from the short-term focus of many NAPAs; and the importance of harnessing community-based knowledge on adaptation rather than delivering adaptation assistance. Panelists and participants also discussed how to integrate local expertise into the adaptation activities of donor organizations, and youth involvement in adaptation initiatives.
Regarding a question on how to motivate the developed world to assist developing countries with adaptation, Hosier noted that motivations include humanitarian concerns and a sense of moral obligation, as well as a desire to encourage trade.
The discussion also focused on: global and local perceptions of climate change and adaptation, centralized versus decentralized adaptation processes, linking the climate change agenda to the upcoming World Trade Organization Ministerial Meeting, and comparing lessons learnt in gender mainstreaming. One participant noted that industrialized countries are investing in their own adaptation processes rather than in developing countries.
Speakers’ Contact Information:
Richard Hosier <[email protected]>
On Sunday, 4 December, Saleemul Huq, IIED, opened the Adaptation Day, which included sessions on adaptation science, community-based adaptation, experience with NAPAs, and a high-level panel discussion. He noted that adaptation is part of the agenda of the UNFCCC COP and its subsidiary bodies, and expressed hope that the event’s discussions assist fieldwork and contribute to informing negotiations.
SESSION ONE – ADAPTATION SCIENCE: The session on adaptation science was co-chaired by Neil Leary, System for Analysis, Research and Training (START), and Tony Nyong, University of Jos, Nigeria. Co-Chair Leary said the session aimed to discuss adaptation activities on the ground, and stressed that research and assessment are essential components of adaptation.
Presentations: Monica Wehbe, Rio Cuarto National University, Argentina, described the unequal impacts of macro-economic reforms and agricultural policies on the vulnerability of small-scale farmers in Argentina, including the reduction of economic margins for coping with adverse climate events and the cultivation of marginal lands that have high exposure to climate variability. She recommended continuous monitoring of the relationship between macro-level policy, environmental change and people’s capacity to manage climate risk.
Balgis Osman Elasha, Sudan Higher Council for Environment and Natural Resources, presented an analysis on local and national policies for successful climate-related responses in drought-prone areas of Sudan, aimed at linking local coping mechanisms to development strategies. She stressed the need for: two-way communication between decision-makers and local communities; increased knowledge by community members of rights and duties regarding natural resources; and consideration of traditional knowledge in adaptation policies.
Presenting a study on adaptation strategies in the Philippines, Rodel Lasco, International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), explained that cross-sectoral analyses of adaptation strategies enable managers to identify synergies ahead of time, while noting that costs are a major limiting factor for adaptation synergies. He said future research must consider the quantification of tradeoffs and how to implement “best bet” adaptation strategies.
Evans Kituyi, University of Nairobi, emphasized the need for guidelines for informing the formatting of adaptation programmes and identifying appropriate partners within innovative networks. He said factors that could inform institutional design include: research on local issues; involving local groups in design and implementation; regular dialogue among researchers and decision-makers; and incorporating ideas from national, regional and international policy processes.
Emilio Sempris, Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean, discussed the mainstreaming of Earth Observing System products in decision-making in Mesoamerica through implementing the Regional Visualization and Monitoring System (SERVIR), which utilizes NASA technologies and data to process information on water and energy balance, climate change, weather, natural disasters, and biodiversity, among others things.
Discussion: Participants discussed: the need for service delivery institutions working on adaptation issues and projects; moving beyond policies for improving adaptive capacity; involving development agencies in adaptation activities; and measuring the success of adaptation activities in terms of improving vulnerability and adaptive capacity.
Speakers’ Contact Information:
SESSION TWO – COMMUNITY-BASED ADAPTATION: Saleemul Huq, IIED, chaired the session on community-based adaptation.
Presentations: Barry Smit and Kik Shappa, University of Guelph, Canada, reported on assessing climate change vulnerabilities in the Arctic through studying variables important to local communities for sustaining their livelihoods. Smit highlighted that climate change must be studied in the context of other stressors, and that adaptation opportunities and capacity vary according to community circumstances.
Lisa Schipper, International Water Management Institute, presented a study on the impacts of water irrigation on poverty and the environment in Ethiopia, which considers issues such as whether irrigation may allow better adaptation to climate change or enhance food security. She noted challenges to achieve these goals including insecure land holdings and dependency on food aid, and highlighted the importance of conveying adaptation knowledge to water and agriculture experts.
Jeroen Aerts, Free University, the Netherlands, gave a presentation on a community-based sand dams project in Kenya. He explained that the project uses sand dams, a locally-developed water storing technology, to store water in sand thus preventing evaporation and allowing a predictable water supply for small rural communities. He said the project has already shown positive results regarding socioeconomic indicators (income, reduction in walking distance to water sources, nutrition, and crop production), and is currently being improved to make it climate-proof and to improve communities’ long-term adaptive capacity.
Daniel Davou Dabi, University of Jos, Nigeria, discussed the incorporation of community-based adaptation strategies into rural development policies. He reported on a project that identified traditional and innovative community-based adaptation strategies in Nigeria, and highlighted the need to integrate traditional knowledge in development policies and to involve indigenous communities in policy implementation.
Angie Dazé, CARE Canada, illustrated experiences in community-based adaptation activities in Bangladesh, ranging from a participatory vulnerability assessment to the identification of indigenous adaptation practices, and the communication of these practices to communities in different geographical areas. She stressed that involved communities experienced a reduced reliance on drastic coping strategies, such as migration, and were empowered in accessing services and participating in local organizations, emphasizing an integrated approach to adaptation.
Aliou Faye, IUCN Mali, gave a presentation on a tool currently under development called “community-based risk screening tool - adaptation and livelihoods” (CRISTAL), explaining that it helps to: systematically understand the links between livelihood and climate; assess the impacts of a project on local adaptive capacity; and make project adjustments to improve resilience.
Discussion: Participants discussed: the socioeconomic impacts of food aid; loss of traditional cultures through adaptation activities; gender insights from community-based adaptation activities; designing interventions that scale up social learning; and integrating community-based activities into government policies.
Speakers’ Contact Information:
Barry Smit <[email protected]>
SESSION THREE - EXPERIENCE WITH NAPAS: Bubu Pateh Jallow, Department of State for Fisheries and Water, the Gambia, and Tom Downing, Stockholm Environment Institute, co-chaired the session, with Co-Chair Jallow noting that NAPAs are allowing LDCs to communicate their more immediate needs.
Lobzang Dorji, Department of Forest, Thimphu, Bhutan, reported on the participatory, interdisciplinary process that Bhutan has undertaken to develop its NAPA. He urged participants to consider the need for urgent action, rather than further research, and to take pragmatic approaches by for working with communities to address adaptation problems in a timely manner. He noted, for example, the tendency of isolated communities to blame the gods for changes in their environment and the need to work with such communities to improve their adaptive capacity and strategies.
Co-Chair Jallow presented a framework for costing adaptation activities that applies economic models to evaluate different projects. Using this methodology, he presented conclusions on the timing and convenience of using irrigation and fertilization to promote agriculture in the Gambia.
William Dougherty, Stockholm Environment Institute, presented “NAPAssess,” a tool supporting decision-making in NAPA processes by providing a step-by-step reference for stakeholder engagement, project prioritization, and project portfolio development, making NAPA processes as transparent and participatory as possible. He described NAPAssess analysis modules on: vulnerability and adaptation needs; stakeholders; potential adaptation initiatives; social, economic, ecological and physical evaluation criteria; and prioritization of initiatives.
Mozaharul Alam, Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, shared lessons learnt in stakeholder consultations over Bangladesh’s NAPA. He underscored the challenges of differentiating climate change-related problems from other environmental and development issues during consultations, and the limited suggestions coming from local communities for improving existing adaptation strategies.
Peniamina Leavai, Ministry of Natural Resources, Samoa, shared experiences from developing Samoa’s NAPA. He outlined the priorities identified, including: securing community water resources; community forest fire prevention projects; the development of climate health cooperation and climate early warning programmes; agricultural and food security sustainability projects; zoning and strategic management planning; conservation activities; coastal infrastructure management; and sustainable tourism adaptation. He noted that ongoing technical issues include inadequate data and institutional capacity.
Discussion: Participants made comments regarding: the importance of acknowledging that industrialized country development has contributed to climate change; gender issues in adaptation strategies; linking disaster management and climate adaptation in NAPAs; and opportunities for “South-South” and “South-North” knowledge transfers through the development of NAPAs.
Speakers’ Contact Information:
SESSION FOUR – HIGH-LEVEL PANEL DISCUSSION: David Runnalls, IISD, chaired the high-level panel discussion.
Presentations: Andrew Simms, New Economics Foundation, noted that climate change negotiations have become apolitical, with negotiators focusing on minutiae rather than the bigger picture. He encouraged participants to reignite the moral outrage over climate change that was evident throughout the 1990s.
Ian Noble, World Bank, emphasized the need to approach adaptation activities as part of the development process rather than as climate change projects. He noted the importance of capacity maintenance, and of clarifying the definition and measurement of adaptation. Noble also encouraged consideration of an adaptation protocol.
Boni Biagini, GEF, noted that all development sectors are impacted by climate change and that approaches to adaptation assessment should be harmonized. Noting disagreement over the costs of adaptation arising from diverging definitions of this concept, she proposed a moderate approach, and emphasized the need for all players to work within a “climate of trust.”
Mohan Munasinghe, Vice-Chair of the International Panel on Climate Change, called for attracting the attention of decision-makers, particularly ministers of finance and planning, to adaptation and for moving from adaptation theory to action. He suggested linking up with the disaster reduction community and learning from the 2005 tsunami in South-East Asia, which, although not climate change-related, evidenced developing countries’ vulnerability and the importance of coral reefs and mangroves as natural barriers.
Mohammad Reazuddin, Bangladesh Ministry of Environment and Forestry and Chair of LDC Experts’ Group, emphasized that climate change is a development problem and LDCs are the most affected, noting that water, agriculture, forests and biodiversity are critical areas highlighted in NAPAs. He urged new political commitments to climate change mitigation and to a mandatory fund for adaptation.
Noting participants’ agreement that adaptation is about development, Youba Sokona, Sahara and Sahel Observatory, expressed concern that short-term adaptation tools and action plans will not enhance resilience or contribute to development. He recommended a focus on activities that increase resilience rather than on funding adaptation per se.
Andy Atkins, Tearfund, noted that the Development and Adaptations Days event identified a daunting scale of problems and the existence of relevant good practice, and urged participants to start a global movement for an alternative future and inject a real sense of urgency into COP-11 negotiations.
Discussion: Responding to a question on how to institutionalize adaptation, Simms said that international and national economic institutions must consider a carbon-constrained future in all policy-planning processes, and Biagini noted the additional importance of bottom-up processes. One participant urged others to “look at the big picture” and to take an integrated look at adaptation, including the economic causes of poverty, not just the causes of climate change. Hannah Reid, IISD, highlighted the importance of conveying experiences from field projects into negotiations to show that solutions are already being implemented on the ground. Atkins emphasized the need to unify discourse between environment and development communities to influence decision-making at the highest levels, and Munasinghe cautioned against one-size-fits-all solutions that may create additional problems. Panelists also questioned whether adaptation should be defined by recipient countries, or whether universal definitions are necessary, including the negotiation of an adaptation protocol, with others emphasizing the importance of building trust and effectively addressing the root causes of the problem, rather than focusing on small-scale palliative solutions.
Speakers’ Contact Information:
Andrew Simms <[email protected]>
In closing the event, David Runnalls, IISD, noted that participation in the event has grown in parallel with practice in the field of adaptation and development, and encouraged participants to focus on gaining a substantive response from negotiators now that adaptation is on the climate change agenda.
SEVENTEENTH MEETING OF THE PARTIES TO THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL: MOP-17 is scheduled to take place in Dakar, Senegal, from 12-16 December 2005, together with the seventh Conference of the Parties to the Vienna Convention. For more information, contact: Martha Leyva, Ozone Secretariat; tel: +254-2-62-3850; fax: +254-2-62-3601; e-mail:; Internet:
SECOND AUSTRALIA–NEW ZEALAND CLIMATE CHANGE AND BUSINESS CONFERENCE: This conference will take place in Adelaide, Australia, from 20-21 February 2006, and will explore business opportunities and risks associated with climate change. For more information, contact: Jo Hume, conference organizer; tel: +61-2-9974-2938; e-mail:; Internet:
2006 CARBON MARKET INSIGHTS EVENT: This event will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 28 February-2 March 2006, and will focus on various aspects of the carbon market. For more information, contact: Henriette Drolsum, Point Carbon; tel: +47-22-422224; fax: +47-22-422225; e-mail:; Internet:
TWENTY-FIFTH SESSION OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE: This meeting is tentatively planned for 19-21 April or 25-27 April 2006, in a location yet to be determined. For more information, contact: Rudie Bourgeois, IPCC Secretariat; tel: +41-22-730-8208/84; fax: +41-22-730-8025/13; e-mail: [email protected]; Internet: http://www.ipcc.ch/calendar2006.htm
CONFERENCE ON CLIMATE CHANGE TECHNOLOGY: ENGINEERING CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS IN THE 21ST CENTURY: This conference will take place in Ottawa, Canada, from 9-12 May 2006, and aims to provide opportunities for engineers and others to network and exchange views on climate change technology. For more information, contact: John Grefford, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Organizing Committee Chair; tel: +1-613-839-1108; fax: +1-613-839-1406; e-mail:; Internet:
TWENTY-FOURTH SESSIONS OF THE SUBSIDIARY BODIES OF THE UN FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE: This meeting will be held from 15-26 May 2006, in Bonn, Germany. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: [email protected]; Internet: http://www.unfccc.int
EIGHTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON GREENHOUSE GAS CONTROL TECHNOLOGIES: The GHGT-8 conference will be held in Trondheim, Norway, from 19-23 June 2006, providing a forum to discuss the latest advances in greenhouse gas control technologies. For more information, contact: Mari Sæterbakk, GHGT-8 Secretariat; tel: +47-73-595-265; fax: +47-73-595-150; e-mail:; Internet:
SECOND INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON COMMUNITY-BASED ADAPTATION: This workshop will be held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in January 2007, and is being organized by the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies and IISD. For more information, contact: Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies; tel: +880-2-885-1237; fax: +880-2-885-1986; e-mail: [email protected]; Internet: http://www.bcas.net