The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held a Technical Workshop on Advancing the Integration of Approaches to Adaptation Planning from 12-14 October 2009, in Bangkok, Thailand. The workshop, which is under the Nairobi Work Programme on Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change (NWP), was mandated by the UNFCCC’s Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA). It brought together nearly 70 participants, representing governments, and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, to discuss integrating and expanding adaptation planning at national, subnational and local levels, and to exchange views on lessons learned, good practices, gaps, needs, barriers and constraints to adaptation.
The workshop aimed to advance the subthemes contained in decision 2/CP.11, including in subparagraph b(ii) “Collecting, analyzing and disseminating information on past and current practical adaptation actions and measures, including adaptation projects, short- and long-term adaptation strategies, and local and indigenous knowledge,” and b(iv) “Facilitating communication and cooperation among and between parties and relevant organizations, business, civil society, decision makers and other stakeholders.”
|A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE NAIROBI WORK PROGRAMME
Adaptation is a cross-cutting theme under the UNFCCC. After the release of the Third Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UNFCCC’s ninth Conference of the Parties (COP 9) in 2003 requested SBSTA to begin work on scientific, technical and socioeconomic aspects of impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change (decision 10/CP.9). The following year, parties reached a milestone at COP 10 with decision 1/CP.10, known as the Buenos Aires Programme of Work on Adaptation and Response Measures. COP 10 set up two complementary tracks for adaptation: the development of a structured five-year programme of work on the scientific, technical and socioeconomic aspects of impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change under SBSTA, which was adopted at COP 11 in 2005 (decision 2/CP.11); and the improvement of information and methodologies, implementation of concrete adaptation activities, technology transfer and capacity building under the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI).
In November 2006, COP 12 renamed the SBSTA five-year work programme the “Nairobi Work Programme on Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change.” The work programme aims to assist countries, in particular developing countries (including least developed countries and small island developing states), to improve their understanding and assessment of impacts, vulnerability and adaptation. It also aims to assist countries in making informed decisions on practical adaptation actions and measures to respond to climate change on a sound scientific, technical and socioeconomic basis, taking into account current and future climate change and variability. To achieve these goals, the NWP has nine areas of work, namely: methods and tools; data and observations; climate modeling, scenarios and downscaling; climate-related risks and extreme events; socioeconomic information; adaptation planning and practices research; technologies for adaptation; and economic diversification. The expected outcomes of the NWP are:
- enhanced capacity at international, regional, national, sectoral and local levels to identify and understand impacts, vulnerability and adaptation responses, and to select and implement practical, effective and high-priority adaptation actions;
- improved information and advice to the COP and its subsidiary bodies on the scientific, technical and socioeconomic aspects of impacts, vulnerability and adaptation;
- enhanced development, dissemination and use of knowledge from practical activities;
- enhanced cooperation among all actors, aimed at enhancing their ability to manage climate risks; and
- enhanced integration of climate change adaptation into sustainable development efforts.
WORKSHOPS UNDER THE NWP: Many workshops and meetings have taken place under the NWP since its inception, including: a workshop on climate-related risks and extreme events from 18-20 June 2007, in Cairo, Egypt; a workshop on adaptation planning and practices from 10-12 September 2007, in Rome, Italy; expert group meetings on methods and tools, and on data and observations, from 4-7 March 2008, in Mexico City; and an expert group meeting on socioeconomic information from 10-12 March 2008, in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
More recently, the UNFCCC Technical Workshop on Integrating Practices, Tools and Systems for Climate Risk Assessment and Management and Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies into National Policies and Programmes was held in Havana, Cuba, from 10-12 March 2009. The workshop generated a number of recommendations focused on climate-related hazards, as well as sectoral and national level planning. Knowledge deployment, multi-stakeholder dialogues at the national level, monitoring and reporting, integration into national development policies, resources to build capacity and regional cooperation emerged as important themes for integrating climate risk assessment and management and disaster risk reduction strategies into national policies.
The UNFCCC Workshop on Increasing Economic Resilience to Climate Change and Reducing Reliance on Vulnerable Economic Sectors through Economic Diversification was held from 28-30 April 2009, in Cairo, Egypt. The workshop generated recommendations on increasing economic resilience and decreasing reliance on vulnerable economic sectors at the community and national levels. Capacity building, coherent legislative frameworks across sectors, enabling environments to harness knowledge, involvement of stakeholders, technology transfer and regional workshops were highlighted as important issues.
OUTCOMES OF THE NWP AT SBSTA 29 AND SBSTA 30: At SBSTA 29, which was held alongside COP 14 in December 2008, NWP discussions focused on identifying recommendations to be forwarded to the SBI, and considering the need for a group of experts and its possible role. In its conclusions, the SBSTA, inter alia: invited parties to expand the roster of experts to ensure that all areas of expertise relevant to the NWP are represented; and provided the SBI, for its possible consideration, with information and advice emerging from the implementation of the first phase of the NWP, as contained in an annex to the decision text. The annex covers relevant information and advice to the SBI relating to the nine areas of work under the NWP.
At SBSTA 30, held in June 2009, parties noted that the NWP is well into its second phase and highlighting positive inputs by partner organizations. In its conclusions, the SBSTA noted the contributions of parties and partner organizations in the implementation of the NWP and recognized the need to enhance its catalytic role and increase outreach to relevant stakeholders at all levels.
SESSION 1: OPENING AND INTRODUCTION TO THE WORKSHOP
The workshop opened on Monday, 12 October 2009, with an introduction by SBSTA Chair Helen Plume (New Zealand), who welcomed participants. She highlighted that the workshop is being held under the NWP work area on adaptation planning and practices, and that the aim is to discuss integration of approaches to adaptation planning and identify how to enable implementation of good practices. Roberto Acosta, UNFCCC Secretariat, invited participants to discuss, inter alia: how the NWP can support the agreed Copenhagen outcome; how the outputs of the workshop and the NWP can be disseminated to relevant stakeholders at the national and local levels; and content and organization of the mandated technical workshop on regional centers and networks. Xianfu Lu, UNFCCC Secretariat, provided a background to the NWP, its functions, objectives and expected outputs, underscoring that its primary objective is to assist all parties, particularly developing country parties, to improve their understanding and assessment of climate change impacts and vulnerability, in order to enhance their ability to make relevant decisions. She emphasized broad and active participation as central to achieving the NWP’s objectives.
SESSION 2: SETTING THE SCENE
During this morning session, participants heard presentations and discussed theories on the integration of approaches to adaptation planning, as well as practical considerations related to integration.
INTEGRATION OF APPROACHES TO ADAPTATION PLANNING: Heather McGray, World Resources Institute (WRI), noted that the question of integration is not straightforward and can refer to: integration of development and adaptation needs through a planning process into climate-resilient development; or integration of different planning approaches with each other to, inter alia, avoid overlap, identify gaps and enable synergies. McGray underscored that it may be useful to think about countries as having a system for adaptation, not unlike an ecosystem, and then address the overarching objectives of the system and what roles each player within the system fills. She identified two questions for further discussion: what prevents effective integration of adaptation planning; and where are the opportunities for better integration?
Golam Rabbani, Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, identified practical issues related to advancing integration of approaches to adaptation planning, noting that it presents an opportunity to deal effectively with the sustainable development challenges posed by climate change. He emphasized political, technical, institutional and financial challenges to the integration of adaptation planning. Rabbani said that national adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs), allocation of funds and creation of national high-level committees serve as entry points for integration at the national level. He also stressed the importance of enabling environments, including public awareness, institutional arrangements for mainstreaming adaptation, engagement of stakeholders and development of good practices.
During the ensuing discussion, Argentina asked if a system existed for the flow of resources to communities in Bangladesh, noting the country’s impressive budget allocation for adaptation. India raised the issue of “readiness cost,” and asked about additional costs imposed on business and governments to increase resilience. McGray noted a number of approaches to costing adaptation activities.
Sudan asked about the role of NAPAs in Bangladesh in enhancing the process of integrating adaptation into planning, noting challenges particularly with international integration, where a full understanding of sustainable development is still lacking. Rabbani explained how Bangladesh developed its NAPA, highlighting six sectoral groups, multi-stakeholder involvement and the establishment of a climate change institution within the government. However, he stressed the need for improved coordination among key ministries. McGray noted the benefits of ecosystem approaches to planning, but said integration would inevitably be needed. Greentrack stressed the importance of considering a cross-sectoral approach to adaptation as part of an overall sustainable development strategy.
Participants also raised issues related to: the possibility of having a single system for adaptation; uncertainties and time dimensions when dealing with integration approaches; and consideration of the costs and benefits of adaptation in parallel.
APPROACHES TO AND EXPERIENCES IN ADAPTATION PLANNING AT NATIONAL, SUBNATIONAL, COMMUNITY AND LOCAL LEVELS: Festus Luboyera, UNFCCC Secretariat, presented a synthesis of the submissions from parties and organizations on approaches to and experiences in adaptation planning and action at national, subnational, community and local levels (FCCC/SBSTA/2009/MISC.4). He outlined specific elements from the submissions on: integration across levels, sectors, livelihoods and hazards, as well as integration in general; lessons learned and good practices; gaps and needs; and issues for further consideration. On lessons learned, Luboyera highlighted: increasing and improving the effectiveness of cooperation between levels and sectors; scaling up pilot studies and expanding community-based adaptation; and identifying the most effective entry points for integrating adaptation. On issues for further consideration, he identified, inter alia, the need to create and adopt legal frameworks for the systematic consideration of climate change in national level planning processes.
SESSION 3: INTEGRATION OF ADAPTATION PLANNING ACROSS LEVELS
In the afternoon, Sandra Lorena Santamaria Rojas, Colombia, presented on the integration of adaptation across different administrative levels in Colombia, focusing on their Integrated National Adaptation Plan, which includes pilot projects on increasing availability of climate variability information, adaptation actions in high-mountain ecosystems and coastal areas, and responding to climate-driven changes in the incidence of vector-borne diseases. She emphasized that these projects aim to integrate environmental issues into national planning processes, attain the Millennium Development Goals and increase local capacity to adapt to climate change. In terms of lessons learned, Rojas highlighted, inter alia: the need to integrate long- and short-term objectives to increase political attractiveness; decentralization; enhancing early warning systems and vulnerability risk assessments to identify short-, medium- and long-term priorities; and community involvement.
Christopher West, UK, described nested adaptation in the UK and integration across administrative levels, the evolution of adaptation in the UK and the role of the UK Climate Impacts Programme. He described: top-down approaches related to the downward flow of adaptive capacity, such as scientific knowledge, integration and resources; and bottom-up approaches related to delivering adaptation action, such as assurance, “best” practices, and local experiences and diversity of approaches. He pointed to a number of challenges, including managing risk and not transferring risk to other environments or future generations, and said that “efficiency may be the enemy of resilience.”
During the ensuing debate, participants discussed issues related to, inter alia: progress made towards measuring adaptation and identifying what constitutes a “best” practice; process-based rather than results-based measurements; government coverage of risk versus private insurance; advancing legislation to bring in private sector insurance providers; and sustainability of adaptation. In response to a question by Practical Action, who pointed to growing grassroots movements towards a low-carbon future, West noted that adaptation is often ignored by the general public and local community groups, and that often mitigation and adaptation actions are not linked. He said mitigation was a simpler concept, while noting difficulties with delivering it effectively, but emphasized that adaptation, while more difficult to understand, was easier to address once the concept is grasped.
Shardul Agrawala, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), discussed integration of adaptation across different administrative levels. He identified adaptation entry points at the national, sectoral, local and project levels, highlighting areas where climate change risks need to be considered and adaptation can be integrated. Agrawala described the OECD’s proposed “climate lens,” which involves determining the extent to which: specific policies, plans or projects could be vulnerable to climate risks; these climate risks have already been taken into consideration; and policies, plans or projects could lead to increased vulnerability or maladaptation. He also underlined the importance of adaptation cost estimates, particularly at the national level. In the ensuing discussion, participants discussed how to collect information on adaptation costs and the importance of ecosystem-based adaptation to ensure coherence across different sectors.
Rachel Berger, Practical Action, presented on linking adaptation planning and implementation from community to national levels, highlighting that community-based adaptation is based on, inter alia: increased understanding of the climatic changes that people perceive; building on local knowledge; reducing vulnerability; strengthening resilience to shocks; and building adaptive capacity. She noted the need for a bottom-up approach, replicating what works and mainstreaming good practices and relevant knowledge. Berger identified the need to improve: incorporation of ecosystem management into adaptation planning; understanding of the interdependencies between economic, social and ecological systems; conflict resolution; and use of bottom-up approaches.
During the discussions, the World Bank highlighted the need to distinguish between “ecosystem resilience,” “ecosystem-based adaptation” and “ecosystem approaches.” In response to a query, Berger emphasized that it is necessary to mesh levels by scaling up what works at the local level, while recognizing that at higher levels, some issues will have to be fed back down in order to achieve sustainability.
SESSION 4: INTEGRATION OF ADAPTATION PLANNING ACROSS ECONOMIC SECTORS
On Monday afternoon, Armi Susandi, Indonesia, discussed integration of adaptation planning across economic sectors in Indonesia. He discussed a programme on mainstreaming climate in small island development in Lombok, which resulted in the establishment of a taskforce under gubernatorial decree with clear goals, role divisions, members, a working mechanism, and activities and facilities. Regarding a vulnerability assessment of climate change in Jakarta, he emphasized vulnerability, particularly to floods, and said many people come from outside Jakarta and, therefore, lack the traditional knowledge to adapt. He noted quick recovery from floods, but pointed to low stakeholder coordination, community awareness and water quality. He highlighted challenges, including: uncertainty in climate change prediction; low priority given to adaptation in national and local government planning; gaps between international negotiations and national and local policies; and ensuring local adaptation actions.
Participants discussed issues related to: the challenges of low probability, high impact events for planning and decision making; recovery from floods versus recovery from socioeconomic losses; and the Jakarta case study.
Jacqui Yeates, New Zealand, presented an overview of current strategies and practices for, as well as lessons learned in, integrating climate change adaptation across sectors in New Zealand. She underlined the system of cross-government coordination, under which relevant government departments carry out adaptation-related activities. These departments meet regularly, coordinated by the lead agency – the Ministry of Environment – to discuss relevant issues in order to, inter alia, avoid duplication of work. She also said that the Resource Management Act, as well as the central government’s climate change website, are useful tools for integration. Regarding lessons learned, Yeates highlighted: coordination across government departments; the need to work with the willing; involving the user community in developing guidance; the role of legislation and regulation; and “uncertainty” as a challenge.
Following the presentation, participants discussed: the practical application of adaptation integration in the transport, health and tourism sectors; the role of cross-government coordination; and how to deal with “uncertainty.” Responding to a question by Saint Lucia about working with insurers, Yeates said the Ministry of Environment, inter alia, provides them with information regarding potential climate events and risks that could require insurance.
Ajith Silva, Sri Lanka, highlighted the National Action Plan for Haritha Lanka Programme, which promotes adaptation through simple lifestyles, efficient use of resources, low resource footprints, enhanced conservation of natural capital, and good governance for adaptation planning. He noted that one successful strategy for adaptation is returning to traditional methods modified to suit changing conditions. He also underscored use of hazard mapping, identification of vulnerable areas and national transition to a green economy.
Carlos Fuller, Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, discussed the Caribbean perspective and gave an overview of current initiatives to determine: the extent of risk; vulnerability of and impacts on natural and socioeconomic systems; costs of mitigating impacts; and building regional capacity. He also discussed methodologies for defining risk and mainstreaming adaptation, such as downscaling, outlined modeling results to date, and identified steps to adaptation, including: use of regional climate models and development of regional climate scenarios; cost-benefit analysis of adaptation options and the cost of inaction; and mainstreaming adaptation into national development planning. He highlighted a case study of agriculture in Guyana, and discussed impacts of climate change on the agriculture sector and challenges to specific subsectors, including livestock systems, fisheries and forestry. He noted lack of sufficient institutional capacity, said current policies and laws do not address climate change issues directly, and made recommendations related to, inter alia: enhancing technical and institutional capacity; policies and legislation; research and development; and awareness raising and communication. Responding to a question related to planning in the Guyana case, Fuller noted training of agriculture professionals and regional scientists on use of models.
Louis Bockel, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), discussed experiences of integrating adaptation planning at the national and community levels in the agriculture sector. On planning approaches and tools, he described: a toolkit for planning local adaptation with farmers, which involves assessing current and future climate vulnerability and risks, promoting institutional adaptive capacity, identifying options and designing location-specific strategies; and productive socio-environmental safety nets, based on municipality involvement and watershed climate resilience building. He also highlighted challenges, including ways of: scaling up integration of adaptation into food security strategies; exploiting the synergy between adaptation and mitigation; and reaching farmers to work on climate change adaptation.
In the ensuing dialogue, discussions focused on the cost of adaptation programmes and the risk of maladaptation. Responding to questions, Bockel underlined that locally-manageable tools are usually better and easier to use than more complex ones.
SESSION 5: INTEGRATION OF ADAPTATION PLANNING ACROSS HAZARD TYPES
On Tuesday morning, 13 October, Klaus Radunsky, Austria, described adaptation planning in his country, highlighting an action plan on climate change for the Alps, flood risk management, addressing needs at the subnational scale and adaptation planning within the European Union. He noted that these projects enhance adaptive capacity and reduce vulnerability through use of traditional intergovernmental coordination and new participatory processes. Radunsky emphasized that planning efforts should: be informed by science; create networks linking subnational, national, regional and international levels; take stepwise iterative approaches; and have the capability to manage complex processes to address impacts in an integrated manner.
In ensuing discussions, participants addressed how to involve the public sector, integration with regional and international policy processes, and challenges faced in getting all stakeholders to the table to work together. In response to questions, Radunsky noted that the added value of cooperation, legislation that creates frameworks for inclusion of stakeholders and the economic losses created by damage, all increase the likelihood of stakeholder cooperation.
Vladimir Guevara, Cuba, outlined Cuba’s experiences in adapting to weather and climate hazards. Regarding integration strategies, he highlighted preparing for both current and future hazards, including through: capacity building, disaster preparedness, early warning systems, climate prediction, and hazard vulnerability and risk studies, for short-term hazards; and capacity building, disaster preparedness, research projects on sea level rise, submission of national communications and the development of national adaptation strategies, for long-term hazards. He described Cuba’s hazard vulnerability and risk process, under which a national expert group was created to prepare, review and approve guidelines for specific hazards. He said for each hazard, the expert group produces: one report for each municipality; one report per province; hazard, vulnerability and risk maps; and recommendations for disaster reduction plans, considering the disaster reduction cycle. On lessons learned and good practices, Guevara highlighted knowledge dissemination, capacity building and training, as well as approaches, systems, measures and options covering different administrative levels, sectors and hazards.
In the subsequent discussion, participants highlighted private sector engagement and the role of regional centers of excellence.
Julio Garcia, UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), emphasized that climate change is a new problem, but disasters are not. He provided an overview of the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction, which concluded that disaster risk is intensively concentrated, unevenly distributed and increasing rapidly and is driven by deficient urban and local governance. Noting disaster risk reduction (DRR) is part of adaptation, he said linking DRR and climate change adaptation offers a win-win opportunity as, inter alia, they both aim to enhance sustainability and resilience, and DRR can promote early adaptation. He discussed how to promote links and the need to integrate both into development plans, stressing the importance of a culture of prevention to reduce risk. Participants discussed quantifying total losses for a specific hazard when it reaches a particular area and disaggregating information, the difficulty of selling DRR politically, and insurance and risk transfer mechanisms as complementary in addressing DRR.
Gernot Laganda, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), discussed UNDP’s experience in supporting integration of adaptation planning, highlighting that most of its work relates to capacity development, and takes place at three levels: enabling activities, project preparation, and project implementation and analysis. He outlined lessons learned mainly from the second level, including: countries’ desire to move away from studies and reports to concrete action; the potential for complexity in adaptation planning, the need for pragmatism and focus on concrete implementation; integrating adaptation into ongoing planning processes through a range of entry points; and that other sectors and practice areas also provide opportunities for adaptation planning in addition to discrete adaptation projects.
In the ensuing dialogue, participants discussed the role of the UN system in mobilizing support for adaptation, ways of communicating risks to relevant stakeholders and the sharing of climate change information among government departments.
SESSION 6: BREAKOUT GROUPS
On Tuesday morning and afternoon, three parallel breakout groups discussed integration of approaches to adaptation planning across levels, economic sectors, and by hazard type, respectively.
GROUP A: INTEGRATION OF APPROACHES TO ADAPTATION PLANNING ACROSS LEVELS: This breakout group, co-facilitated by Nana Künkel (Germany), and William Kojo Agyemang-Bonsu (Ghana), began with an inventory of current integrative practices, addressing the what, where, who and how of such practices.
Participants raised issues related to:
- the benefits of preparing NAPAs, including awareness raising and capacity building;
- lack of political weight of environment ministries, where many climate change focal points are located;
- regional strategies on climate change in South and Central America;
- engagement of the planning and finance ministries in the Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan in Bangladesh;
- local level involvement of non-governmental organizations (NGOs);
- difficulties in integrating scientific knowledge at the local level;
- applying national policy in vulnerable communities and selecting options preferable to the communities themselves, in the South Pacific;
- development of a central planning tool to look at integration of climate change across sectors in Ghana;
- a local government climate roadmap developed by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and efforts to integrate local governments into the post-2012 global climate regime;
- regional NGO networks, notably in East Africa, which enable replicating work, information exchange and raising awareness of civil society; and
- linkages between sustainable development and employment generation in rural India, through the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.
Regarding an analysis of current practices, participants focused on enabling factors, as well as technical, financial, political and institutional barriers.
On enabling factors, a number of participants stressed that civil society plays an important integrating role. The degree of decentralization and the ability of local governments to take action were stressed, as was an ICLEI publication on climate change integration. Uganda discussed climate change impacts on food security.
Other enabling factors identified included:
- information and stakeholder consultation;
- community participation in early warning systems;
- adaptation undertaken by NGOs at the community level;
- political will;
- decentralization and empowerment at the local level;
- engagement with the private sector; and
- receptiveness of governments to external advice.
Regarding barriers, ICLEI urged opening up the NAPA process to all developing countries and advocated that national governments take local governments into consideration. New Zealand stressed the importance of working in partnership with the right people. The UK said that government employees often only remain in their posts for a short time and highlighted the importance of maintaining institutional memory. He also stressed the intersection between sectoral and geographic interests. The Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) said that political factors can help, but can also interfere, with the prioritization process. Greentrack noted lack of integration among levels in the US, as well as lack of consideration of and planning for adaptation, noting most of the attention is given to mitigation.
Other barriers identified by participants related to lack of: capacity by research institutions to disseminate information; capacity building; centralized information collection of alternatives and options; a legally-binding agreement on adaptation; and financial resources.
In coming up with priorities and recommendations, the group identified and broke into subgroups to address three issues: providing appropriate information, policy environment, and capacity building.
The group on information reported that types of information could include case studies, system information and tools, which would be required from global to local levels, and suggested national level climate change offices could, in part, undertake the task of providing appropriate information. They highlighted that information could be disseminated through: the internet; human networks and stakeholder engagement; and the media.
The group on policy environment noted the cross-cutting nature of the issue and identified the following recommendations: executive briefings to political leaders on climate information and adaptation-related issues, as well as on social and economic consequences of climate change impacts; and legal and institutional frameworks.
The group on capacity building identified the need to better understand climate change issues and share knowledge at various levels. They said that where national capacity is lacking, external support from regional centers should be drawn upon. They recommended communication of experiences and needs to local governments by civil society, empowerment training run by NGOs, training of trainers at the government level, and stakeholder participation in the planning process.
GROUP B: INTEGRATION OF APPROACHES TO ADAPTATION PLANNING ACROSS ECONOMIC SECTORS: This session was co-facilitated by Dawn Pierre-Nathoniel (Saint Lucia), and Thomas Kolly (Switzerland). Pierre-Nathoniel outlined three areas for discussion: stocktaking of current practices; analysis of current practices; and identification of priority areas and challenges, with recommendations to address them. She invited participants to discuss and analyze current integrative practices in, inter alia, the agriculture, health, energy, water, transport, tourism, construction and coastal zone sectors, and to make recommendations.
Regarding the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors, the FAO described their national programmes for food security. Austria highlighted the use of hail insurance in some regions in his country. China outlined: the establishment of a group to deal with climate change mitigation and adaptation; and national climate change strategies. Bangladesh discussed development of drought- and saline-tolerant crop varieties. South Africa described the use of extension officers to train subsistence farmers on proper farming practices and water resource management. Regarding the health sector, the World Health Organization (WHO) described networks of collaborating centers, early warning systems, and capacity building workshops on climate change and health at national and subnational levels. Sri Lanka underlined near-total eradication of malaria in his country, while noting ongoing problems with dengue fever. Discussing the energy and water sectors, Egypt highlighted the use of institutions to enhance international and regional cooperation, and Nepal described changes to water resource management to address problems of water availability. Saint Lucia described a water conservation project based on rainwater harvesting, and sewage treatment and recycling. Regarding the tourism sector, Nepal highlighted the promotion of ecotourism and Egypt emphasized the importance of a strong monitoring system. Discussing the transport sector, Austria outlined measures to protect transport infrastructure from storm disturbances.
On challenges, participants highlighted: the risk of maladaptation and the negative health outcomes that could result from decisions taken in other sectors; lack of awareness; problems with local implementation; lack of technologies for long-term climate prediction; and policy and political barriers such as the short-term nature of most planning processes. Discussing the sectors generally, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) noted the need for better forecasting and better climate services, particularly for developing countries, and described the Global Framework for Climate Services, which is due to be implemented soon.
Participants identified priorities and recommendations, including: increased awareness raising; climate change capacity building and training; tools for adaptation in various sectors; and enhanced experience-sharing. Sri Lanka highlighted integrated town planning and Austria noted the need to disseminate information to the relevant people. Egypt underlined strong institutional monitoring capacity. The FAO recommended providing “no-regret” options, such as DRR, to politicians as a way of addressing the problem of uncertainty. China underlined the need for more institutional capacity, particularly in terms of increasing the number of staff working directly on climate change-related issues in ministries. Poland identified the need for enabling legislation to facilitate consideration of climate change issues in the housing sector.
GROUP C: INTEGRATION OF APPROACHES TO ADAPTATION PLANNING ACROSS HAZARD TYPES: This breakout group was co-facilitated by Andrew Ure (Australia) and Amjad Abdulla (Maldives). The group proceeded by identifying different types of hazards, discussing benefits of integrating adaptation across hazards, examining case studies of integration, identifying gaps in or barriers to integration, and producing recommendations on how to integrate across hazards. Hazards identified included, inter alia: tropical cyclones, floods, droughts, heat waves, landslides, glacier lake outburst floods, hail storms, forest fires, sea level rise, and saline intrusion into freshwater aquifers. The group highlighted the differences between primary and secondary hazards and extreme events versus slow-onset or long-term hazards.
Participants identified the benefits of integration across hazards, including:
- strengthening response planning;
- providing a central point of contact and communication for disaster response;
- sharing tools and methodologies across types of disaster responses;
- avoiding gaps and maladaptation; and
- enabling prioritization of institutional, technical and financial resources for integration across hazards.
In discussing integration across hazards, participants highlighted successful experiences in the Caribbean, Argentina, Bangladesh, the UK and the Maldives.
Participants noted, however, that lack of information can lead to maladaptation and inhibit coordination with local communities, highlighting that participatory processes are frequently discussed but often do not happen when needed most. They also underscored that adaptation occurs on longer time scales than the political cycle, causing a mismatch between needs and political will. Participants then discussed the impact of local perceptions of disasters, such as religious and cultural views on adaptation. Other issues highlighted included: learning from the disaster management community; the importance of information on vulnerability; the need for a functional system in the short-term and a long-term system for addressing underlying causes of vulnerability; coordination across institutions; and the importance of sharing lessons learned across levels.
Participants then discussed recommendations for integrating approaches to adaptation across hazards. Five recommendations emerged from the group:
- recognizing the value of stakeholder participation at all levels in planning processes;
- making the best use of existing institutional knowledge and resources in adaptation planning;
- encouraging information exchange at all levels for the integration of planning across hazard types;
- recognizing that legal instruments can incentivize integration, with participants noting that climate change projections should be integrated into ongoing initiatives to update and strengthen existing regulations or standards, such as building codes; and
- encouraging capacity building for hazard mapping to facilitate adaptation planning, specifically at the community and national levels.
SESSION 7: REPORTING BACK FROM BREAKOUT GROUPS
On Wednesday morning, 14 October, the breakout groups reported back to the workshop plenary on their discussions and recommendations.
GROUP A: Christopher West (UK) reported on the breakout group on the integration of approaches to adaptation planning across levels. Discussing specific practices and how they promote integration, he used NAPAs as an example, noting that they: bring together donors and different parts of a country’s government; enhance integration with other national goals; are country owned; and build capacity throughout government. He noted other practices, including: regional climate centers, which enable information sharing and emergence of best practices; the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in rural India, which promotes adaptation; and those related to disaster reduction, which overlap with and complement adaptation.
He said the group identified more enabling factors than barriers, characterizing enabling factors as stages in the adaptation process, pointing to, inter alia, national legislation and capacity to downscale climate models. He said the barriers identified were not insurmountable and that the group had suggested ways to overcome barriers. He noted that adaptation is not always labeled as such.
West said the group identified three priority areas and formulated a number of recommendations, including:
- providing appropriate information;
- enhancing the policy environment, through briefings to policy makers on climate and adaptation issues, and a suitable legal/institutional framework; and
- building capacity to: understand climate and adaptation issues at national and subnational levels; share knowledge at the local level, with assistance from NGOs; and participate in local planning processes, with the help of NGOs.
During the discussion, ICLEI emphasized the local government climate roadmap as one of the practices the group had identified. Responding to a query about the international level and negotiations under the UNFCCC, West clarified that the group did not discuss the international level in much detail.
GROUP B: Co-Facilitator Pierre-Nathoniel presented the report of discussions in the breakout group on integration of approaches to adaptation planning across economic sectors. She outlined discussion on: identified sectors; current practices across the sectors; barriers, challenges and gaps; enabling factors, good practices and lessons learned; and recommendations. On recommendations, she identified the need for: capacity building and training; research and assessment; development of guidelines and tools; enhanced technology transfer; information dissemination; funding support, including through the Kyoto Protocol Adaptation Fund; and programme-based approaches to adaptation integration. Pierre-Nathoniel also gave some closing thoughts drawing on the group’s discussion, urging caution regarding maladaptation, identifying innovative ways to bridge gaps, and demonstrating willingness to implement adaptation integration through the outcomes of ongoing negotiations under the climate regime. She underlined recognition in the group that although there are some examples of the cross-sectoral integration of adaptation approaches, the standard approach to adaptation is still predominantly sectoral.
Following this presentation, participants highlighted the importance of private sector engagement, including through public-private partnerships, risk insurance, enabling frameworks, including policy and regulatory frameworks, and combining bottom-up and top-down approaches to adaptation.
GROUP C: Rapporteur Kemi Seesink, Wetlands International, noted that in the group on integrating adaptation approaches across hazards, participants had discussed: the importance of information on local situations and data for addressing impacts; making best use of tools and methods; the usefulness of multi-stakeholder and multi-country dialogues, such as those on transboundary watercourses; and integrating climate change into environmental impact assessments (EIAs). She then highlighted hazards identified by the group, benefits of integrating adaptation approaches across hazards, and recommendations.
The OECD noted the challenges of using EIAs as a vehicle for integrating adaptation, as EIAs address project impacts on the environment and what is required for the purposes of adaptation is assessing the environmental impacts on the project. Seesink underscored that discussions had reflected this complexity, and Trinidad and Tobago emphasized that their EIA process includes the impacts of the project on the environment and, vice versa, stressing the necessity of incorporating risk assessment of climate change impacts into project planning. Ghana noted the use of strategic environmental assessments in mainstreaming climate change adaptation into programmes, policies and plans, in addition to specific projects.
The FAO asked what additional action is required to supplement existing DRR institutional arrangements in order to facilitate adaptation. ISDR noted that addressing disaster prevention is a critical addition to DRR in order to shift away from a reactive system. Austria emphasized that governance is critical, as is disseminating information on risk to local communities.
SESSION 8: PERSPECTIVES FOR ADAPTATION PLANNING
On Wednesday morning, Chair Plume discussed the benefits of taking a gender-sensitive approach to climate change and adaptation, noting that women, particularly poor women, are disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change. She stressed that when adaptation is planned and practiced, women should not only be involved in decision making, but that everyone should be made aware of the links. She stressed that women are adaptation planners and implementers, as well as important and effective agents of change, particularly at the community level, where they are often the “cement” of the communities. Plume discussed sharing knowledge through women, and said women should be made aware of suitable solutions and be recipients of capacity building. She stressed that gender consciousness is about equity, noting that when both men and women are educated, adaptation strategies can be more effective.
Mozaharul Alam, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), discussed the ecosystem approach to adaptation integration, stressing that it only represents one approach to integration and may not be suitable in every situation. He outlined the climate components of different ecosystems that are most susceptible to climate change impacts, including: temperature in mountain ecosystems, leading to glacier melting and retreat; sea level rise, cyclones and storms in the marine and estuarine ecosystems, which cause water, health and housing issues, as well as coral bleaching and fisheries decline; rainfall intensity and distribution in freshwater ecosystems, affecting water and agriculture sectors, as well as livelihoods; and temperature and rainfall in dryland ecosystems, affecting agriculture, health and domestic water use. He highlighted that the ecosystem approach enables consideration of different climate elements in different situations, areas and sectors, and that its focus is on the well-being of ecological and human systems. On the way forward, Alam identified: moving beyond conceptual discussions to pilot-scale implementation and learning-by-doing; regional cooperation; generating and sharing knowledge and information; and developing tools and methods to implement the ecosystem approach.
Espen Ronneberg, SPREP, presented perspectives on adaptation planning in the Pacific region in relation to stakeholder engagement, highlighting SPREP’s experiences of engaging communities in the development of adaptation projects. He noted that the process was interactive, and engaged national officials and communities, including local leaders, women’s groups and youth. Ronneberg said that communities agreed on priorities and exchanged information with national officials and project planners on their needs and vulnerabilities, and that national governments then brought in policy views to address bottom-up concerns and interests. Regarding lessons learned, Ronneberg emphasized that: planning processes improve public awareness and preparedness; climate change risk information should be accessible to the average citizen; drama and art are useful tools to disseminate climate change information and engage youth; and raising community awareness enables them to take action for themselves and to take part more effectively in larger and more comprehensive adaptation projects. He identified that strong national level commitment to participatory processes, avoiding parachute projects, and community engagement are necessary to ensure project sustainability.
Fred Onduri Machulu (Uganda) and Chair of the Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG), presented on NAPAs, and links between climate change adaptation and national planning, explaining that NAPAs provide a process for least developed countries (LDCs) to identify priority activities that respond to their urgent and immediate adaptation needs. He noted that NAPAs offer LDCs the opportunity to create national, country-owned plans. Regarding the current status of NAPAs, he said that 43 LDCs have prepared NAPAs, but lamented that only US$176 million is available in the LDC Fund, compared to the US$1.7 billion needed. He said the LEG provides an advisory role in the NAPA process, including through production of annotated guidelines for NAPA preparation and collaboration with implementing agencies.
He then discussed strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of NAPAs. Regarding strengths, he noted, inter alia, the participatory and consultative approach of NAPAs. He said weaknesses include: lack of a timeline for NAPA preparation and implementation phases; and absence of a mechanism for monitoring implementing agencies and penalties for non-compliance. He identified opportunities as: stakeholder appreciation of NAPAs; creation of the LDC Fund for financing NAPA activities; and bilateral and national interest in funding activities outside the LDC Fund. He pointed to evidence of NAPA integration into national development plans, such as the multi-sectoral composition of NAPA teams, and said NAPAs have captured the voices and needs at the grassroots level. He said challenges include limited resources and complex access procedures, limited adaptation and climate change awareness, inadequate capacities within the LDCs and implementing agencies, lack of timelines for stakeholders, and lack of monitoring and reporting mechanisms between the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the implementing agencies.
In the ensuing discussion, participants commented on: the distinction between climate change impacts and underlying vulnerability factors or causes; the importance of multi-sectoral NAPA teams; country-drivenness in the NAPA process; the need to revise and update NAPAs and the projects identified in them; the gap between the funds available and the funds required for NAPA implementation; possible expansion of the NAPA process to other developing countries; and the importance of dialogue and communication between the GEF, implementing agencies and countries during the NAPA preparation process.
SESSION 9: UPDATES FROM PARTIES AND PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS
On Wednesday afternoon, Chair Plume invited parties and partner organizations to present updates on their activities under the NWP.
ICLEI, noting that they have worked on adaptation since 2002, highlighted a new pledge to host an annual conference on adaptation in cities immediately prior to the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body meetings. The first will be a three-day event, called Resilient Cities 2010, to be held in May 2010 in Bonn, Germany, bringing together experts and practitioners to share knowledge and experiences on vulnerability and risk assessments, municipal strategies and policies and case studies of local adaptation practices. The outcomes of these forums will be transmitted to the UNFCCC to facilitate inclusion of the issues faced by municipalities in implementing the Convention.
WHO highlighted that since their action pledge, the World Health Assembly had signed a resolution on climate and health. The associated action plan has facilitated increasing advocacy capacity; raising awareness; engaging the health sector in coordination with other UN agencies and national and international networks; generating scientific evidence and monitoring the health impacts of climate change; and strengthening health systems to address the health impacts of climate change through training, early warning, vulnerability and risk assessments, as well as actual projects. She noted that the results of these efforts will be posted on the NWP website.
WMO reported on the key outcome of the World Climate Conference 3, which agreed to develop and implement the Global Framework for Climate Services, the aim of which is to enable better management of the risks of climate variability and change through development and incorporation of science-based climate information and prediction into planning, policy and practice. The WMO: stressed key components to be strengthened, including provision of free and unrestricted exchange of, and access to, climate data, climate service information systems and capacity building; and highlighted that the Framework will provide an effective interface between providers and users, in addition to building and strengthening existing initiatives on observation, monitoring, research, modeling and prediction.
UNEP introduced the Asia Pacific Global Climate Change Adaptation Network, launched on 3 October 2009, which aims to help vulnerable countries in the region enhance their adaptive capacity by mobilizing knowledge and technology. Other objectives include: helping build the climate resilience of human and ecological systems; improving availability and accessibility of knowledge; enhancing and disseminating information on adaptation; providing targeted knowledge support to governments, planners and practitioners; enhancing capacity of developing country institutions working on adaptation; and improving coordination across regions. She also discussed activities including: identifying gaps and needs in current knowledge and in critical sectors; improving planning through assessment and development of tools and methods for good adaptation practices; enhancing scientific capacity development for vulnerability assessments; and training of trainers.
The OECD outlined ongoing activities, such as supporting the integration of adaptation into development cooperation and conducting economic and policy analyses, including on adaptation. He highlighted the OECD Policy Guidance on Integrating Climate Change Adaptation into Development Cooperation, which provides a template for adaptation integration and ongoing work to develop manuals to implement the Guidance.
Resources for the Future described their Global Adaptation Atlas, a web-based tool that is being developed to map areas impacted by climate change and areas where adaptation activities are taking place.
FAO described activities to assist countries to identify potential mitigation and adaptation actions, particularly those applicable to particular situations, and mainstream and include adaptation measures into food security programmes. He also discussed work on developing guidelines for adapting crop systems and methods to climate change.
The ISDR highlighted the second session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction meeting held in June, and also discussed support provided to DRR experts in some developing countries to participate in ongoing climate change negotiations.
Wetlands International highlighted that their action pledge is being implemented through their wetlands and livelihoods project. She said pilot projects, particularly in Africa, demonstrate linking adaptation to planning and processes. She also noted that they hope to incorporate some of the key needs identified during this workshop into the capacity-building modules being developed to launch sometime next year.
WRI underscored that the upcoming World Resources Report will focus on adaptation and that the framework she introduced on the first day is almost ready to be piloted in countries and could be used in baseline capacity assessments.
In a brief discussion, FAO noted that they will be developing a new tool to appraise the adaptation potential of projects. In response to a question from Austria, Resources for the Future clarified that their adaptation database will be launched at COP 15 in Copenhagen in December.
SESSION 10: KEY MESSAGES AND CONCLUSION OF THE WORKSHOP
During the afternoon, the breakout group facilitators provided reflections and key messages from the workshop. Nana Künkel stressed conceptual and scientific work in the area of integration and urged examining links in order to make activities more “climate proof.” She also identified interest in legislative approaches to adaptation, which could address dealing with uncertainty. William Kojo Agyemang-Bonsu identified three key messages: climate change adaptation is location-specific, as are requirements for integration; adaptation is incomplete until the necessary financial resources are in place; and good practices include involvement of the local people.
Dawn Pierre-Nathoniel stressed the necessity of integration and mainstreaming of adaptation, cautioned against maladaptation, and advocated making appropriate linkages and looking for opportunities for integration across sectors. She also said the power of awareness must not be underestimated. Thomas Kolly stressed that development is crucial and expressed hope that some of these discussions would spill over into the negotiations. He said all stakeholders and sectors should be included in the process, and that, while conditions vary by country, there are lessons to be learned. He was pleased the workshop included both negotiators and practitioners.
Amjad Abdulla underlined the importance of engaging all sectors and all levels in adaptation activities. He stressed that: adaptation is an ongoing activity; there is no single design or activity that would be suitable in every situation; and adaptation is an additional burden on developing countries.
Chair Plume highlighted that successful integration of approaches to adaptation planning should aim to enhance synergy, coherence and consistency of processes and objectives. She underlined the need for establishing partnerships to support integration, and noted that challenges to integration are political, technical, financial and institutional, including lack of awareness, capacity and sufficient resources. Chair Plume also identified opportunities such as the use of existing DRR practices and institutions, as well as NAPAs and national communications. On priority areas, she noted information sharing, development of tools and guidelines for integration, identification of appropriate entry points, legislative and policy frameworks and stakeholder consultation. She concluded by underlining that integration is an essential aspect of the adaptation discourse and that its aim is to enhance adaptive capacity, reduce vulnerability and enable climate-resilient development.
The Secretariat will produce a report of the workshop, which will be available on the Secretariat’s website. The Secretariat invited participants to a side event on the NWP to be held at the resumed negotiating session in Barcelona, Spain, on 3 November 2009, where partner organizations will present their activities under the NWP. Chair Plume closed the workshop at 3:07 pm.
13TH WORLD FORESTRY CONGRESS: This meeting will take place from 18-23 October 2009 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The meeting will focus on “Forests in development: a vital balance.” A day will be devoted to “Forests and climate change: to Copenhagen and beyond.” For more information, contact: Leopold Martes, Secretary-General of World Forestry Congress; tel: +54-11-4349-2104; e-mail: [email protected]; internet: http://www.cfm2009.org
HIGH-LEVEL CONFERENCE ON CLIMATE CHANGE: TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT AND TRANSFER: This conference will take place from 22-23 October 2009 in New Delhi, India. It is organized jointly by the Government of India and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The conference aims to help formulate a roadmap for technology in the context of climate change mitigation and adaptation to support the UNFCCC process. For more information, contact: Mr. R. R. Rashmi, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forests; tel: +91-11-24362281; fax: +91-11-24360768; e-mail: [email protected]; internet: http://www.newdelhicctechconference.com/
IPCC-31: The thirty-first session of the IPCC will take place from 26-29 October 2009 in Bali, Indonesia. At the meeting, the IPCC will approve the Working Groups’ outlines for the Fifth Assessment Report. For more information, contact: IPCC Secretariat; tel: +41-22-730-8208; fax: +41-22-730-8025; e-mail: [email protected]; internet: http://www.ipcc.ch
RESUMED AWG-LCA 7 AND AWG-KP 9: The resumed seventh session of the AWG-LCA and the resumed ninth session of the AWG-KP are scheduled to take place from 2-6 November 2009 in Barcelona, Spain. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: [email protected]; internet: http://unfccc.int/
TWENTY-FIRST MEETING OF THE PARTIES TO THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL (MOP-21): MOP-21 is scheduled to be held from 4-8 November 2009 in Port Ghalib, Egypt. Parties will, inter alia, consider proposed amendments to the Protocol to regulate and phase-down HFCs with a high global warming potential, and to promte the destruction of banks of ozone-depleting substances. For more information, contact: Ozone Secretariat; tel: +254-20-762-3851; fax: +254-20-762-4691; e-mail: [email protected]; internet: http://ozone.unep.org/
GEF COUNCIL MEETING: This meeting will take place from 10-13 November 2009, in Washington, DC, US. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council Meeting will develop, adopt and evaluate GEF programmes. For more information, contact: GEF Secretariat; tel: +1-202-473-0508; fax: +1-202-522-3240/3245; e-mail: [email protected]; internet: http://www.thegef.org/
CONFERENCE ON AVIATION AND ALTERNATIVE FUELS: This conference is organized by ICAO and will take place from 16-18 November 2009 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The conference will showcase the state of the art in aviation alternative fuels and potential implementation. For more information, contact: ICAO Air Transport Bureau: tel: +1-514- 954-8219, ext. 6321; e-mail: [email protected]; internet: http://www.icao.int/CAAF2009/
SEVENTH WORLD FORUM OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: This conference will take place from 19-20 November 2009 in Paris, France. The theme is “The new world order: after Kyoto and before Copenhagen.” For more information, contact: Passages-ADAPes; tel: +33-01-43-25-23-57; fax: +33- 01-43-25-63-65/62-59; e-mail: [email protected]; internet: http://www.fmdd.fr/english_version.html
SECOND WORKSHOP ON ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN HOUSING: This workshop will take place from 23-25 November 2009 in Vienna, Austria. Results of the workshop and the related measures presented will feed into and contribute to the development of the Action Plan for Energy Efficient Housing, to be developed under the UN Economic Commission for Europe. For more information, contact: Paola Deda, Secretary to the Committee on Housing and Land Management, UNECE; tel: +41-22-917-2553, fax: +41-22-917-0107, e-mail: [email protected]; internet: http://www.energy-housing.net
UNFCCC COP 15 AND KYOTO PROTOCOL COP/MOP 5: The fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and fifth Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol are scheduled to take place from 7-18 December 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark. These meetings will coincide with the 31st meetings of the UNFCCC’s Subsidiary Bodies. Under the “roadmap” agreed at COP 13 in Bali in December 2007, COP 15 and COP/MOP 5 are expected to finalize an agreement on enhancing international climate change cooperation, including in the post-2012 period when the first commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol expires. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: [email protected]; internet: http://unfccc.int/