The “Development and Climate Days at COP 17” event was held at the Southern Sun North Beach Hotel in Durban, South Africa, from Saturday 3 to Sunday 4 December 2011. The event took place in parallel with the seventeenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and seventh Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol.
Development and Climate Days has been a feature of the UNFCCC negotiations since 2002, providing an opportunity for participants to share information on key development and climate change issues. In Durban, several hundred participants attended the two-day event, including representatives of governments, international organizations, academia, research institutes, business and non-governmental organizations. The event was organized by the International Institute for Environment and Development in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
The event featured more than 40 speakers and panel discussions, with contributions from participants. It focused on “effective climate change adaptation planning” in response to the decision taken in 2010 under the Cancún Adaptation Framework to invite all countries, and especially least developed countries, to develop National Adaptation Plans. Sessions focused on: the value of vulnerability assessments; monitoring, evaluating and prioritizing adaptation options; research effectiveness in contributing to adaptation, drawing from experiences in Africa; evidence from impact and vulnerability assessments in China, and their implications for adaptation planning; information needs and use in different approaches to adaptation planning; realities and politics of adaptive decision-making; and adaptive decision-making in cities.
The event also included a film competition on the theme of resilience to climate change, supported by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network, featuring short films from around the world.
This report summarizes the presentations and discussions held over the two days.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND DEVELOPMENT ISSUES
Until recently, climate change was viewed largely as an environmental concern of little relevance to development policy makers or practitioners. Likewise, development considerations were given less attention than technological and natural science approaches focusing on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Nevertheless, unsustainable development is the underlying cause of climate change, and development pathways will determine the degree to which social systems are vulnerable to climate change.
Climate change has direct impacts on development with regard to climate-sensitive activities such as agriculture and indirect consequences on social issues such as poverty and education. Furthermore, climate change is likely to exacerbate inequalities due to the uneven distribution of damage, since poor communities tend to live on marginal lands and in areas prone to extreme weather events. Alternative development pathways will influence the capacity of communities and countries to adapt to climate change and will also determine future greenhouse gas emissions. As such, development policy and practice must address climate change issues.
Development and Climate Days began as “Adaptation Day” in 2002 to discuss some of these emerging issues. The “Development Day” component was added in 2004 to bring in development practitioners who would not normally attend UNFCCC negotiations but who had relevant information to share, and whose work might be influenced by the climate change community. In 2007, the event was renamed “Development and Climate Days” to reflect that adaptation had become increasingly mainstreamed into the development agenda and that good adaptation presupposes development. The renaming of the event also sought to reflect the fact that climate change and development are linked both through adaptation and mitigation.
The most recent Development and Climate Days prior to Durban was held in parallel with COP 16 in Cancún, Mexico. That event focused on: low-carbon, resilient development; adaptation, including community-based institutions, planning, assessment and financing; climate change communications; the Fairtrade movement and climate change; and climate change and migration.
REPORT OF DEVELOPMENT AND CLIMATE DAYS AT COP 17
“Development and Climate Days at COP 17” opened on Saturday, 3 December. Jessica Ayers, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), opened the first day by welcoming participants and outlining the themes and organization of the event. Saleemul Huq, IIED, explained the history and evolution of Development and Climate Days (D&C Days).
THE VALUE OF VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENTS
Session Chair Ian Burton, IIED, opened this session on Saturday morning by asking participants to contemplate his proposal for a legally non-binding resolution declaring that vulnerability assessment is an essential tool to guide the development of adaptation policy. Fawad Khan, Institute for Social and Environmental Transition, critiqued current practice in vulnerability assessments, saying they are often used to justify interventions already underway under existing development assistance. He suggested there are several kinds of vulnerability, including material, institutional and attitudinal. He said, for example, that a poor person may not necessarily feel as vulnerable to climate impacts as a person or institution that has substantial investments in-place. He argued for a measure of vulnerability that: focuses on “why one is vulnerable, rather than who is vulnerable”; provides a diagnosis rather than simply describes vulnerability; and looks at actions and actors.
Anne Hamill, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), presented on the use of vulnerability assessments in the Climate Risk Management Technical Assistance Support Project in seven countries in Latin America and Africa. She said that, while the process of carrying out the assessment is valuable, for instance in validating existing research and getting people to talk to each other, vulnerability assessments tend to: be unpopular; be messy, because the more you understand the more frustrating it gets; and need more time and money than is usually accounted for. She highlighted the need to take into account trade-offs and sustainability issues.
Lindsey Jones, Overseas Development Institute, presented on experiences based on the Africa Climate Change Resilience Alliance. He said it is hard to separate actions taken in response to climate change from those taken in response to other development pressures; most responses to climate change and development pressures are reactive and focus on the short-term; development projects are mainly focused on the provision of assets such as technology; and few interventions adequately consider the social, cultural and political context. He emphasized the need to support local capacity, support innovations, and promote forward-looking decision-making.
Responding to observations from audience members, Hamill stressed that those undertaking vulnerability assessments need to be very clear from the start about the intended end-use and who the end-users are. She said analysis needs to examine what barriers exist to coping with climate change, or conversely, what is working well in helping to cope. All panel members agreed that more adaptation work needs to address weather, as opposed to climate, issues, with Khan suggesting that the focus should be looking at who survives extreme weather events and why.
Other issues raised by participants included: concerns about existing “vulnerability indices”; whether and how to use vulnerability assessment to generate a dialogue to address the real underlying issues in climate change adaptation; and the static nature of many vulnerability assessments, not addressing how vulnerability itself changes over time.
MONITORING, EVALUATING AND PRIORITIZING ADAPTATION OPTIONS
Simon Anderson, IIED, chaired the Saturday morning session on Monitoring, Evaluating and Prioritizing Adaptation Options. He said it is important to assess the effectiveness of climate adaptation to ensure: the effectiveness of adaptation investments; development goals are on track; costs and benefits are distributed fairly; and climate resilience is enhanced.
Heather McGray, World Resources Institute, described monitoring and evaluation (M&E) as a process of asking questions, gathering data, tracking activities, and reviewing results; all within their specific context. She said M&E activities could be an important tool for learning, managing, and promoting accountability. Among the emerging lessons and principles from the current state of play, she listed: the importance of participation; simplicity; making M&E useful for adapting well; understanding the context; and iterative and shared learning.
Tine Rossing, CARE, and Jessica Ayers, IIED, presented on the Monitoring, Evaluation, Reflection and Learning (MERL) tool. Rossing said the participatory M&E tool is mainly for the use of local stakeholders to help them: articulate their own needs; measure changes to ensure effectiveness; continue adapting beyond the scope of a specific project or activity; and facilitate a continuous learning process.
Ayers said MERL aims to measure changes in adaptive capacity; track changes in the drivers of vulnerability; and track process and practice. She said a key feature of the tool is that it takes risks into account upfront, and tracks them to enable quicker responses.
Muyeye Chambwera, IIED, discussed limits to traditional economic assessments of adaptation. He stressed adaptation planning should: consider inputs needed at the local, regional and national levels; analyze the distribution of costs and benefits among players at each level; and account for some stakeholders that may not be represented but should be factored into assessments.
J. Timmons Roberts and Ashley Moran, AidData/Climate Change and African Political Stability Program, discussed new tracking and targeting tools using geocoded data on climate finance, aid projects and activities linked to maps concerning conflicts and climate vulnerability. Moran explained the goal is to track and assess whether climate aid actually addresses specific climate risks, and the particular types of vulnerability in a given area.
Nick Brooks, consultant, discussed development and components of a Tracking Adapting and Measuring Development framework to measure adaptation success regarding: capacity to understand and respond to climate risks; vulnerability of populations and key systems; development outcomes; and links between policy, institutions and vulnerability “on the ground.” He said indicators to be included would be identified and normalized over the next six months, after which four to five countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean would be identified in which to operationalize the framework.
RESEARCH EFFECTIVENESS IN CONTRIBUTING TO ADAPTATION: EXPERIENCES FROM CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION IN AFRICA
On Saturday morning session Chair Fatima Denton, Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (CCAA) Programme, explained the goals and focuses of CCAA. She said CCAA emphasizes enhancing African participation in research processes concerning adaptation in Africa, bringing together imminent climate researchers with people working on the ground on the issue in Africa.
Houssine El Mzouri, National Agroeconomic Research Institute, Morocco, discussed research on the drivers of climate risk in African agriculture. He said the research showed that there are inherent adaptation mechanisms already in Africa that can be facilitated or limited by factors such as institutional arrangements and interactions, or access to finance and innovations. He stressed that a better understanding of local climate change trends and impacts and the ways that local communities adapt can better inform action by the region’s policymakers.
Joy Obando, Kenyatta University, addressed the links between action research and policy, based on experiences from CCAA. She said adaptation-relevant policy is broad and complex in process and scale, and practitioners should engage with policy-making processes to ensure sustainability in process and projects. She noted adaptation policy at the national level is still in transition in many countries, providing an opportunity to make sure the right policies are adopted from the start.
Paul Mapfumo, University of Zimbabwe, spoke on the need for, and pathways to, transformational change based on lessons from CCAA. He said a “business unusual” approach is needed to deal with climate change impacts. For transformational change, he said, it is important to focus on the process as well as the outcomes, and recognize that processes could be transformational in themselves. He also emphasized the importance of: the inclusion of, and benefits for, change agents; broader involvement and empowerment of stakeholders; and greater focus on long-term sustainability.
In subsequent discussions, Denton asked audience members involved in the CCAA Programme what they felt CCAA brought to the adaptation debate that is distinctive. The responses included that the project: has many spinoffs which are useful but difficult to categorize and describe, yet need to be borne in mind; highlights the need for continuity over time between projects by focusing more on long-term programmes for capacity-building in Africa; highlights synthesizing at the diverse research regional level, where useful lessons can be drawn; brings together diverse experts and stakeholders and creates a platform for ongoing exchange, which should better include policymakers; and highlights the role of farmer perceptions about climate-associated land changes, versus what measurements reveal.
Participants also discussed the need to: ensure the network keeps functioning after current funding ends; feed information from CCAA into policymaking at the local, national and global levels; and prompt transformational change through CCAA.
Denton closed the session by saying that CCAA is about ensuring that Africa is capable of dealing with adaptation and showing evidence of African capabilities, resourcefulness and resilience.
ADAPTING TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN CHINA: EVIDENCE FROM IMPACT AND VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENTS, AND IMPLICATIONS FOR ADAPTATION PLANNING
The Saturday afternoon session on “Adapting to Climate Change in China: Evidence from Impact and Vulnerability Assessments, and Implications for Adaptation Planning” was chaired by Rebecca Nadin, team leader of the Adapting to Climate Change in China Programme (ACCC).
Emanuele Cuccillato, ACCC, described China as a climate adaptation ‘hotspot,’ and said the recent 12th five-year plan is the first to include a section on adaptation. He said ACCC is the largest adaptation policy research project in China, focusing on five main sectors – agriculture, water, grasslands, health and disaster risk reduction.
Among the adaptation challenges in China, he listed: lack of regional climate models; limited access to climate data; knowledge gaps for sector-specific impacts; and the lack of a coherent framework for climate change vulnerability and risk assessment. He said the ACCC has made several contributions, including: the development of a first set of multiple regional climate models; a common language and shared glossary; a wide partnership; training workshops for researchers and policymakers; and links with global and regional adaptation networks.
Reflecting on the lessons from the ACCC, he said: bringing together a large partnership with different disciplines is challenging and time-consuming; participatory tools work better if they are home-grown; data and information sharing pose challenges; the policy and research worlds travel at different speeds; and active result sharing and learning are important.
Richard Jones from the UK Met Office – Hadley Centre described a process through which a subset of five models was selected to capture the magnitude and the full range of characteristics of climate change in China under the ACCC. He said significant investment is needed to install and apply the downscaling infrastructure, and to disseminate the downscaled data. Listing potential opportunities, he said the lessons learnt as part of the ACCC have global relevance.
Xu Yinlong, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, first discussed the modeling and general projection for climate change impacts in China, then outlined work under the ACCC to model potential climate change impacts in three areas: agriculture, grassland livestock, and water resources. He reported that the models projected yield changes for rice, wheat and maize, and high sensitivity for grasslands and water resources, and that risk assessments are now underway to consider socioeconomic conditions in the three areas.
Pan Jia Hua, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, discussed the policy implications of “climate capacity” assessments of grasslands in Inner Mongolia and agriculture in Ningxia. He reported the assessments found that increasing population and urbanization trends will worsen climate capacity in both, and that adaptation measures must address key socioeconomic drivers. He said cost-benefit analysis should be used for climate migration decision-making, and that, since climate capacity differs between different sub-regions, these differences could be used for transferring, enhancing and restoring the capacity. He called for considering adaptation funding at the regional, national and international levels.
Fenglian Du, Inner Mongolia University, presented on assessing the vulnerability of the grassland livestock industry to drought in Inner Mongolia, under the ACCC. She said that as the largest grassland in China, and being dependent on the livestock sector, Inner Mongolia is very vulnerable to climate change. Among the measures suggested by the assessment, she listed policy evaluation from the perspective of adaptation; income diversification; and improved access to water resources to help build adaptive capacity.
In response to a question concerning successful examples of private sector involvement in adaptation in China, Yinlong said that adaptation efforts, which were in the early stages, were mainly carried out by the government. Another participant asked whether the social and hard sciences were being successfully integrated as part of the ACCC. Cuccillato said integration has been a long and slow process, and still poses a challenge. To promote trust and understanding, he said, a common language, including a glossary of key terms, was developed under the ACCC.
PANEL DISCUSSION: SHARING AND COOPERATION BETWEEN AFRICA AND CHINA
Simon Anderson, IIED, chaired this session on Saturday afternoon. He asked panel members to describe the most important thing they had learned from the CCAA and ACCC sessions. Denton said she had been struck by the similarities between the two. She suggested potential areas of Africa-China cooperation, including agricultural adaptation, safety nets that make farms more resilient to climate shocks, community-level irrigation and water conservation, “climate smart” crops and adapting institutions to deal with climate change.
Xu Yinlong said a key lesson from the ACCC is that there is no single response to adaptation. He felt it would be useful to know how adaptation assessments are integrated and synthesized at the regional level under the CCAA, and the lessons from adaptation in African agriculture. He opined it would be useful to establish a network for ongoing China-Africa exchange on adaptation issues.
Du Fenglian stressed: adaptation research increases awareness among all parties of climate impacts, risk assessments should worry less about influencing government policy than changing practice; and communication since what the government wants is not always what the people want and policy should account for that.
Youba Sokona, African Climate Policy Centre, welcomed discussion of South-South cooperation, and urged less focus on vulnerability than on building capacity and utilizing the capacity that already exists, because “people and donors do not want to buy desperation, they want to buy hope.” He stressed the critical role of investing in the generation and management of the basic information needed for adaptation planning. He said China could help Africa in defining low-carbon energy and transport systems, and in sharing experiences on the economics of adaptation, such as for crops. Finally he urged that the interaction be created in a manner that it would be long- not short-term.
Yinlong said although the 2007 China National Programme on Climate Change emphasized the importance of both adaptation and mitigation, there are fewer adaptation activities at the community level, compared to mitigation activities. He felt this was because mitigation activities are relatively easier to identify and implement and emphasized focusing on adaptation technologies.
Panelists discussed the importance of institutions, including the renewal of existing institutions, and common platforms to bring together people with varied perceptions and interests.
One participant called for a research focus on providing local communities with the technical and other resources they need to deal with climate change impacts. Another asked how sharing of traditional knowledge between communities in China and Africa could be enhanced. A panelist commented that, although traditional knowledge is of tremendous value, there are instances when traditional practices need to adjust in response to new scientific findings.
Another participant said that whereas adaptation appears to be driven by a community approach in Africa, in China it is driven by a more national-level, science-driven approach, suggesting this presented an ideal combination for learning from each other, and proposing a more formalized process for cross-fertilization of ideas between the CCAA and ACCC projects. Panelists and participants greeted this idea enthusiastically as an opportunity for South-South cooperation.
The session closed with Denton calling for better scaling-up of good practices in Africa, and a genuine leapfrogging particularly in the context of energy.
INFORMATION NEEDS AND USE IN DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO ADAPTATION
This Sunday morning session was chaired by Saleemul Huq, IIED. Hannah Reid, IIED, described a study by the Ecosystems and Livelihoods Adaptation Network (ELAN) which found that there is a good degree of evidence supporting the use of ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA), but identified information gaps that she hoped would be the basis for future research, such as comparisons with alternative adaptation strategies, discussion of thresholds, boundaries and tipping points, more attention to costs, and more information on whether EbA is being supported by local/national/international policies. Regarding next steps, she suggested addressing the research gaps, the need for strategic monitoring, and the need to “get going,” since much adaptation is learning by doing.
Farah Kabir, Action Aid Bangladesh, outlined the types of information needed for community-based adaptation (CBA), which parties need access to it, and why they need it. She suggested five considerations for effective generation, dissemination and use of CBA information: the need for location-specific information on potential climate change impacts; that information should be provided to concerned stakeholders; that information on adaptation options should incorporate and build upon existing coping strategies, and consider better processes and practices; identify who needs what kind of information to highlight areas of shared interest and facilitate cross-sector benefits; and that information producers should be ready to work with and learn from local communities in order to formulate useful adaptation actions that have a chance of being adopted and owned by people on the ground.
Ruth Mitei, CARE, presented a gender perspective on informing CBA. She described the work of the Adaptation Learning Programme for Africa, implemented in four countries, and the CBA Adaptation Framework in promoting a gender approach, particularly in the field of community livelihoods and disaster risk reduction. She said the Framework is a tool to ensure that gender-based information and analysis is gathered and taken into account in adaptation planning.
Dyborn Chibonga, National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi, spoke on Fairtrade and adaptation. He pointed to the importance of the agriculture sector in developing countries, and its vulnerability to climate change. He said, however, the lack of enabling policies at the national and global level has left famers feeling like “a deer caught in a car’s headlights.” He stressed that accurate and accessible information – for instance, on policy provisions and their impact on access to markets and financing provisions – will enable small-scale farmers to adapt to some extent.
In subsequent discussions, one participant urged practitioners to understand and take into account the local market context when proposing measures. Kabir agreed that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) tend to shy away from market research. Chibonga pointed to Fairtrade as an alternative. Another participant called for scaling-up good practice from what is learned at the local level. Reid also emphasized scaling-up and opined that, in order to do so, practitioners have to work with governments at multiple levels. Another participant raised the issue of how to channel the energy of students wishing to participate and contribute to CBA efforts. Reid urged ELAN to consider how best to utilize students and one participant said managing student participation is difficult, and suggested that perhaps many of the organizations in the room should discuss developing a common approach.
Noting that small-scale farmers suffer from “information insecurity,” one participant asked what could be done to ensure that they get the information they need. Chibonga responded that Fairtrade actually provides substantial information all along the chain, from small-scale farmers to end-users. Another participant asked about the next steps once all the information is collected. Mitei urged considering how best to package the information to make it useful for communities, as well as considering the channels used to deliver it. Kabir suggested the next step is to bring communities and policymakers together more often, which is why many NGOs urge communities to attend meetings of the Conference of the Parties (COPs) and speak for themselves. She also suggested putting learning about adaptation on the policy agenda, and working on gender legislation, particularly women’s right to own land. Reid said the need is to increase the evidence base for taking action, identifying and filling gaps and sharing lessons. She also stressed that the next step is to act, since much work in adaptation must be learning by doing, rather than academic studies. Huq suggested that the next step is to consider setting up sustainable information systems, since information is not static and there is limited utility in one-off information flows.
REALITIES AND POLITICS OF ADAPTIVE DECISION-MAKING
In this Sunday afternoon session, Session Chair Ced Hesse, IIED, introduced an indicative decision-making cycle for adaptation, saying that in reality, the cycle is heavily influenced by power relations between actors. He said the session would focus on how adaptation planning can serve as a vehicle to ensure that the more vulnerable and marginalized have a greater say, in the context of three core issues: overarching institutional frameworks, policies and laws; the financial architecture; and political will.
He then invited panelists to address the extent to which the existing institutional framework addresses power relations and the needs of the marginalized.
Achala Chandani, IIED, said research carried out in southern Africa by IIED shows that, whereas most of the countries do have existing polices and legislations relating to climate change, a lack of overarching and joined-up policy frameworks could lead to a fragmented approach to implementation.
Nanki Kaur, IIED, described the experience of Nepal in producing the country’s National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA), which responds to local needs. She listed four policies in place or underway in Nepal to ensure local participation and access, including: strong draft text by the constitutional committee for a rights-based approach to adaptation; a commitment to ensuring that 80% of climate funds will be channeled to the local level; priority given to participation and empowerment in the national climate change policy formulated in 2011; and plans for “Local Adaptation Plans of Action.”
Golam Rabbani, Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS), outlined the institutional frameworks for adaptation planning in Bangladesh, including high-level committees, technical committees, and climate change units within government ministries. Session Chair Hesse asked how all this played out at the local level, and what opportunities were available for inputs from stakeholders. Rabbani responded that, during the development of the NAPA, not only ministries and government institutions were involved in providing input, but also international NGOs and local organizations.
David Ebong, Commonwealth Parliamentary Forum for African Parliamentarians, discussed his experience with the parliamentary committee on climate change in Uganda. He said the committee helped forge a strong link with local populations, which did not exist before the committee was formed. He explained that, since parliamentarians often do not have a scientific background, they need the help of a multi-stakeholder approach, but cautioned this is a relatively new phenomenon in Africa. He said that laws exist to allow non-state actors entry points into the policy process, but often those actors have limited understanding of such entry points. He urged more involvement of parliamentarians, and better access to information for citizens.
Participants offered a wide variety of responses to a question put by Hesse to the audience about how best to make the institutions in place work properly to implement adaptation planning and policy, some highlighting specific experiences in China, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Swaziland and Uganda, others stressing more meaningful participation from both local governments and local civil society, and one opining that it will take considerable time for local civil society in most developing countries to build capacity to participate effectively in adaptation planning and policy.
Jane Mashonganyika, a small-scale farmer from Zimbabwe, described an adaptation project carried out in collaboration with the University of Zimbabwe, which included advice on different planting techniques and timing in response to climate change, and resulted in improved yields.
Hesse then invited panelists to address the role of the financial architecture in ensuring local access and participation.
Kaur said national-level adaptation planning is often in response to a mandate from the international process, and is largely project-based. This makes it difficult for national governments to prioritize local concerns, she said. She noted that developing countries were trying to address this issue in the COP 17 negotiations. Chandani agreed that the issue of “direct access” to climate finance is an important one for developing countries, particularly Least Developed Countries (LDCs), at COP 17. Rabbani described the two national funds set up in Bangladesh to promote greater national ownership of adaptation planning and implementation processes.
Hesse asked how funds could be channeled from the national to local level. A participant responded that in some countries, such as Nepal and Kenya, parliamentarians are using discretionary funds to address climate-related issues. Another participant said these decisions to use discretionary funds were likely to be politicized – communities in Kenya sometimes found it difficult to influence their use. Chandani said political will is often lacking because of insufficient information and understanding. Kaur mentioned the importance of involving the right ministries and institutions at the national level, as Nepal aims to do – including cooperatives, self-help groups, and line ministries. Ebong emphasized the need to: intensify awareness; prompt action by leaders; support local initiatives and civil society; take on board lessons from aid effectiveness efforts; and conduct “policy audits” to ensure better policy implementation, and as a feedback mechanism to hold policy makers accountable.
ADAPTIVE DECISION-MAKING IN CITIES
Session Chair Cristina Rumbaitis del Rio, Rockefeller Foundation, opened this Sunday afternoon session by providing a brief overview of the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN), a seven-year initiative investing in ten cities in India, Indonesia, Viet Nam and Thailand, that seeks to build the capacities of these cities in work on the intersection of three issues: climate change; the changing urban environment; and vulnerable populations and poverty. Marcus Moench, ACCCRN, said the Network was started because most work on climate vulnerability has focused on rural sectors, while urban vulnerability is very high in some areas. He said ACCCRN focuses on shared learning, bringing together local and global sources of knowledge, tries to link concepts, processes and action and provide a common framework for all, and focuses on critical urban systems such as energy, transport and water.
David Dodman, IIED, discussed the use and limits of climate science in urban adaptation planning. He said a limited evidence base exists for urban adaptation planning. He said surveys show most urban adaptation officials clearly recognize the need and value of using science as a knowledgebase, and are also keenly aware of the challenges, such as the social and political nature of knowledge acquisition, the costs of generating local projections, and the inherent uncertainty in projections. He explained that officials manage uncertainties by conducting ongoing research that is regularly updated, establishing working relationships with the science community, ensuring “built in” flexibility by combining infrastructural and behavioral responses and assessing what works.
Nusulaty Muchemwa, Carol Bwalya and Margaret Lombe from the Zambia Homeless People’s Federation made a joint presentation on how communities engage in identifying vulnerability and building resilience. They described the difficult conditions with regard to housing, flood, sanitation, health and safety risks, and water and food insecurity faced by poor households in Kitwe, Zambia, which are all exacerbated by climate change. Muchemwa said a recent IIED project, which brought together communities and the Kitwe City Council, would soon produce a report and an action plan to address these issues.
Debra Roberts, eThekwini Municipality, presented on the experience of Durban in adaptive decision-making at the city-scale. She said the Durban Municipal Climate Protection Programme, initiated in 2004, was developed in a phased manner, given the lack of precedents. She described the challenges of bringing stakeholders on board in the face of uncertainty; generating relevant data; identifying appropriate solutions while keeping abreast of recent scientific findings; and the need for flexibility. She said successes include a pioneering sectoral approach that eventually led to better integration; capacity building for ‘climate smart’ development; innovative elements such as the “Tree-Preneur” cycle to promote community reforestation; and partnerships with national and global institutions. She further described current initiatives as including the Durban Community and Ecosystem Based Adaptation (CEBA) initiative, aimed at creating green jobs for poor and unemployed communities.
In response to a question from the audience, Roberts said Durban has taken a number of steps to improve its natural infrastructure, including economic studies to show policymakers the value of protecting it, de-zoning land to protect it, tax tools, establishing areas of common management, and a land acquisition budget. Responding to a question on whether urban adaptation planners the impact of climate change in rural areas, Rumbaitis del Rio replied that, since cities are not self-contained and require inputs from rural zones, planners must look at the whole system.
HIGH-LEVEL PANEL ON “DRAWING LESSONS FOR NATIONAL ADAPTATION PLANNING”
Saleemul Huq, IIED, chaired this high-level panel session on Sunday afternoon and first asked panelists to address how the issues discussed during D&C Days feeds into the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process. He remarked that while the event has been rich in shared learning among practitioners, little had been said about how it related to the COP.
Pa Ousman Jarju, Chair, LDC Group, noted that adaptation has not been given the focus it deserves within the UNFCCC process, but since Bali the COP has tried to at least give it focus equal to mitigation. He outlined the work of the Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) Least Developed Countries Trust Fund (LDCF), and noted the bureaucracy and slowness involved in GEF procedures. He expressed hope that the adaptation framework agreed at Cancún would help. He said that in order to adequately address medium- and long-term questions in National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), comprehensive information on vulnerabilities is needed. He expressed hope that the terms and guidelines for NAPs would build on the experience gained with NAPAs, and help build local capacities so LDCs do not have to rely so much on outside consultants. He stressed the importance of community participation in the formulation and implementation of NAPs.
Batu Uprety, Environment Ministry, Nepal, described recent developments in his country, including the creation of the Climate Change Council chaired by the Prime Minister, adoption of a NAPA, and a new Climate Policy that emphasizes a low-carbon development path. He noted the recent approval for Local Adaptation Plans of Action (LAPAs), which posits that 80% of climate finance Nepal receives must go to the local level, with the Ministry of Local Development channeling funds. He said Nepal is also developing a knowledge management hub to collect and disseminate adaptation information.
Qamar Uz Zaman, Advisor to the Government of Pakistan, described the human and economic losses due to recent extreme events in Pakistan, including floods in 2010 and 2011, extreme drought conditions in some parts, and tropical cyclones. Although it was difficult to link the events to climate change, he said trends over the last 15-20 years suggest a clear correlation. In response, Zaman said, the government of Pakistan has formulated a National Climate Change Policy, and a NAP that is in the final stages of preparation. He emphasized the need for funding, technical resources and South-South cooperation to implement the plan.
Marie-Christine Tremblay, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), outlined OECD guidance on integrating climate change in development cooperation, and a new OECD initiative to provide data on adaptation-related aid. She emphasized monitoring and evaluation to track the effectiveness of financial flows, and the need for a better understanding of the role of the private sector.
Masayuki Karasawa, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), said that in a move towards better integration, vulnerability assessments are now required for all projects funded by JICA. He described the challenges of mainstreaming national adaptation plans, including monitoring and evaluation activities, into national development strategies.
Atiq Rahman, BCAS, described Bangladesh’s efforts to address adaptation – including the formulation of a Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan, and allocation of resources from the national budget to implement the Plan. He emphasized addressing knowledge challenges in the context of adaptation, and said the message to negotiators at COP 17 is that adaptation action must begin immediately, and funding made available.
In ensuing discussion, one participant inquired what was the experience with stakeholder coordination on climate change in Pakistan and Uz Zaman responded that Pakistan’s Climate Change Policy was developed after extensive consultation at the provincial levels, involving all stakeholders, including local governments and civil society. He suggested that the NAP would follow the same approach.
Another participant noted that the private sector had a limited role in formulating and implementing in the 46 NAPAs he had examined, and asked if this would change with the NAPs. Karasawa said a challenge in getting the private sector involved is in showing, from a business point of view, the benefit of investing in the climate. Rahman suggested that the business community would get involved when there is a monetary advantage.
Following a question on how best to ensure the effectiveness of climate aid and finance, Tremblay said this is not a new issue, and expressed the hope that the climate process will utilize the lessons learned in the decades of work on development aid effectiveness. She said transparency was key and cautioned that new instruments, such as the Green Climate Fund, have to work to ensure that they work well with existing channels.
On whether geoengineering was an option, Rahman asserted there is too much uncertainty about the science and possible impacts to undertake geoengineering in the foreseeable future. Another participant asked if Millennium Development Goal assessments should be linked to assessments of climate-related effects as a means of mainstreaming climate change into the development planning process, and if so, how best to go about it and Ousman said he thought the idea had merits.
In his closing remarks, Chair Huq said a decision on NAPAs is expected to emerge from Durban, so countries need to start thinking about implementation. He urged learning and sharing, as Nepal did when developing its NAPA. Noting that the NAPA experience took eight years, he cautioned against long delays between plans and their implementation, since adaptation is a learning-by-doing experience. He called on the climate process to provide all the LDCs with US$10 million apiece for adaptation planning and implementation at the same time.
The Development and Climate Days proceedings closed at 6:36 pm. In the film viewing that followed, “Ripples: Climate Change and Disaster Management in Bangladesh,” a film by Soren Vestergaard Neilsen, was awarded the prize.
16th Meeting of the Adaptation Fund Board: The Adaptation Fund Board is the operating entity of the Adaptation Fund and it will be holding its 16th meeting to consider matters relating to the operation of the Fund. The Committees of the Board will be holding their seventh meeting in conjunction with this meeting of the Board. dates: 12-14 December 2011 location: Durban, South Africa contact: Adaptation Fund Secretariat fax: +1 202 522 3240 e-mail:[email protected] www: http://www.adaptation-fund.org
12th Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum: The Governing Council of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) decided in February 2011 to hold the 12th special session of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GCSS 12/GMEF) from 20-22 February 2012. During the meeting, UNEP will launch the GEO-5 Summary for Policy Makers, on 20 February. dates: 20-22 February 2012 location: Nairobi, Kenya contact: Secretary, Governing Bodies, UNEP phone: +254-20 7623431 fax: +254-20 7623929 e-mail: [email protected] www: http://www.unep.org/resources/gov/#
CIF PPCR Pilot Countries Meeting: The Climate Investment Funds (CIF) Pilot Program on Climate Resilience (PPCR) will hold a meeting to review progress and tasks ahead in implementing PPCR. The pilot programmes and projects implemented under the PPCR are country-led, build on NAPAs and other relevant country studies and strategies, and include countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and the South Pacific. dates: 13-15 March 2012 location: TBC www: http://www.climateinvestmentfunds.org/cif/
Sixth International Conference on Community Based Adaptation: The overall theme of the Sixth International Conference on Community Based Adaptation (CBA) in 2012 will be “Communicating community-based adaptation.” dates: 19-22 April 2011 location: Hanoi, Viet Nam contact: Corinne Schoch phone: +44 (0)20 3463 7399 fax: +44 (0)20 3514 9055 e-mail:[email protected] www: http://www.iied.org/climate-change/key-issues/community-based-adaptation/community-adaptation-climate-change-conference
Climate Adaptation Futures: Second International Climate Change Adaptation Conference 2012: co-hosted and convened by the University of Arizona (US) and the Programme of Research on Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation (PROVIA) of UNEP, this conference will focus on adaptation to climate variability and change. The conference intends to bring together researchers, policy makers, and practitioners from developed and developing countries to share insights into the challenges and opportunities that adaptation presents. dates: 29-31 May 2012 location: Tucson (Arizona), US contact: University of Arizona Institute of the Environment phone: +1-520-626-4345 e-mail: [email protected] www: http://www.adaptation.arizona.edu/adaptation2012
UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD): The UNCSD (or Rio+20) will mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Conference on Environment and Development, which convened in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. dates: 20-22 June 2012 location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil contact: UNCSD Secretariat email:[email protected] www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 35th Session: The 35th session of the IPCC will consider pending issues arising from the consideration of the IAC Review of the IPCC processes and procedures, namely those on: governance and management, and communications strategy. dates: to be determined location: Croatia contact: IPCC Secretariat phone: +41-22-730-8208 fax: +41-22-730-8025 email:[email protected] www: http://www.ipcc.ch/
UNFCCC COP 18: The 18th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the eighth Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 8), among other associated meetings, are scheduled to take place in Doha, Qatar. dates: 26 November - 7 December 2012 location: Doha, Qatar contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 e-mail: [email protected] www: http://www.unfccc.int