Stakeholders of IGES-led workshop position climate change adaptation as an “urgent, cross-cutting issue”

Manila, Philippines: The third installation of the Climate Change Impact Assessment and Adaptation Planning in the Asia-Pacific Region workshop series has been successfully held in Discovery Suites, Ortigas, Pasig City on January 31- February 1, 2018.

Organized by the Institute of Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) with support from Ministry of the Environment of Japan (MOEJ) and in cooperation with the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Mitsubishi Research Institute (MRI), and ICLEI Southeast Asia Secretariat gathered at least 50 representatives from national government, ministries, and civil society organizations.

The workshop series takes on discussions related to adaptation planning and climate change impact assessment. This year’s theme is Advancing Practices in Climate Change Adaptation at National, Local, and Sectoral Levels.

Giving premium to discuss social realities in CCA from different parts of the Asia Pacific, the event gathered notable stakeholders from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Japan, Philippines, Samoa, Vanuatu, among others.

Representative of MOEJ, Koji Kumamaru, reiterated that the goal of these workshops is to build capacity, facilitate peer to peer learning, and help countries mainstream CCA into their local development planning.

“We are experiencing massive amounts of rain and heat and we have to make sure that we have the capacity to adapt to these situations. We must act now, “Kumamaru stated.

Putting focus on vertical integration

Everyone at the marquee that day agreed that vertical integration is a function of successful CCA strategies. As such, it is imperative for national and local governments to establish harmonious systems of cooperation, collaboration, and cost-benefit sharing.

Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines shared experiences with the National Adaptation Process (NAP). Countries reported that they working to make sure that indicators, goals, and strategies outlined in their NAP are also reflected in development plans at both national and local levels.

Key challenges for this matter include finding financing, structuring a robust monitoring and evaluation system (MnE), and capacity building.

Participants share insights and experience on mainstreaming CCA into local and community levels.

Discussions also centered on selection mechanisms used to identify priority areas for CCA. In the case of Indonesia, Mr. Putra Dwitama, Head of Secretariat, National Action Plans/ Climate Resilience Secretariat (RAN API), Ministry of National Planning and Development (BAPPENAS), reported that a series of focus group discussions at various sectoral levels was held to streamline priority areas for CCA.

Good practices at the local level

“Approach to CCA should be a combination of both top down and bottom up approach, “ Dr. Monthip Sriratana Tabucanon, Director, Climate Change Research Strategy Center, National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT), opened her presentation with this reminder.

Dr. Tabucanon shared how they developed their CCA plan while putting premium on stakeholder engagement. She noted that no matter how good the plan is, if the stakeholders do not see its relevance and impact to them, the plan will surely fail. She also noted the importance of maximizing public-private-partnership opportunities citing their database center which was built through the help of both public and private entities.

Monitoring and evaluation

Measuring resilience at different levels let us know what have been done so far and what still needs to be done. At the second day of the workshop, MRI took the lead to facilitate discussions on MnE.

Regarding the criteria on effectiveness, the participants noted that there should be another set at the project level and another at the outcome level. Projects should be measured according to its objectives, outcomes, output, activities, and others. The outcome of such projects, on the other hand, should depend on its impact at the natural, social, financial, and human elements of a society. It should also be gender inclusive.

Finance as a challenge is a recurring theme during the workshop. Solutions to address these include building capacity to develop feasible, more business-friendly proposals, enabling access to national and international financing schemes, and soliciting the assistance of the private sector.

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