Mainstreaming Adaptation to Climate Change Within Governance Systems in South Asia: An Analytical Framework and Examples From Practice

This paper focuses on the governance challenge of adapting to the impacts of climate change. Adaptation requires a shift in how governments ‘do’ development: they now need to consider the impacts of climate change when making investment, planning and policy decisions. This idea of ‘mainstreaming’ adaptation to climate change within development is well established, but the governance dimension of this mainstreaming process is often side-lined in practice. In contexts where governance is already a challenge, the capacity to effectively adapt to climate change is particularly limited. Governments across the worldare experimenting with different approaches to tackling climate change, supported by technical consultants, donors and civil society, but often with a piecemeal approach to addressing the governance dimensions.

The Action on Climate Today (ACT) programme, a UK Aid-funded programme, is focused on climate-proofing growth in five South Asian countries at the national and subnational levels, and is designed to transform systems of planning and delivery for adaptation to climate change. This paper is based on lessons from the experience of ACT on strengthening governance systems to deliver adaptation.

 

Model Code of Practice: Principles of Climate Change Adaptation for Engineers

The WFEO Model Code of Practice on Principles of Climate Change Adaptation for Engineers was adopted at the December 2015 General Assembly.

The Model Code of Practice has been prepared as a complement to the WFEO Model Code of Ethics for Engineers and the Model Code of Practice for Sustainable Development and Environmental Stewardship.

The Model Code of Practice is provided as guidance to engineers to consider the implications of climate change in their professional practice and that they create a clear record of the outcomes of those considerations. It consists of nice principles that constitute the scope of professional practice for engineers to initiate climate change adaptation actions, particularly for civil infrastructure and buildings.

The principles are summarized into three categories:

  1. Professional Judgment
  2. Integrating Climate Information
  3. Practice Guidance

 

 

RegionsAdapt 2017 Report: Regions Accelerating Climate Change and Adaptation

When RegionsAdapt was launched in December 2015, at COP21, its founding members shared a general feeling that bolder action was needed to shed light on the contributions of regional governments to climate change adaptation. Hence, the creation of this initiative aimed at balancing mitigation and adaptation within the scope of actions undertaken by regional governments on the international stage, as well as stressing the importance of these actors within the global adaptation agenda.

This document is comprised of two main sections. The first one outlines the essential information collected through CDP's states and regions platform in the context of RegionsAdapt́s most recent reporting process. The second section of the present report encompasses an assessment review of the initiative ́s first two years and briefly portrays its envisaged future.

Building Resilience Through Family Planning and Adaptation Finance

A growing evidence base links women’s met needs for family planning with reduced human vulnerability to climate change and enhanced resilience in the face of climate change impacts. Yet to date, population and family planning have been largely left out of adaptation proposals and projects. This report highlights a number of multilateral funds that provide climate finance and identifies challenges and opportunities for the FP/RH community in justifying their proposed development interventions as adaptation interventions.

Upscaling Nature-Based Solutions for Climate Change Adaptation

There is a growing recognition of the benefits of nature-based solutions (NBS), a term that refers to projects and actions where natural ecosystems and their services are used in a sustainable and effective way in order to help tackle environmental and social challenges. Under the right circumstances, these solutions can provide alternatives that, compared with traditional infrastructure and engineering projects, are both cost-effective and capable of providing multiple benefits, while at the same time delivering conservation objectives. NBS can help society better adapt to climate change by, for example, addressing the risks of adverse impacts from extreme weather events, including droughts and floods, as well as food security issues. One example of NBS is use of the buffering capacity of riparian ecosystems, which act as a time and intensity buffer in the event of floods, but also as a filter for runoff waters. Nevertheless, it is essential to frame NBS within the right conditions; recent developments in ecological science and modelling have just started to provide a better understanding of what a “good operating space”—in other words, one that efficiently delivers these services—looks like for NBS.

Lessons Learned from the Peace Centers for Climate and Social Resilience

In recent decades, as droughts have become more frequent and severe across arid and semi-arid areas of the Horn of Africa, outbreaks of conflict among pastoralist groups have also been on the rise. This report shares lessons learned from a pilot project in three districts of Oromia State, Ethiopia, which focuses on this intersection of climate and conflict.Funded by USAID and implemented by the College of Law of Haramaya University, the Peace Centers for Climate and Social Resilience (PCCSR) project seeks to address community vulnerabilities to climate change and improve communities’ capacity for conflict prevention, mitigation and resolution. Its aim is to mitigate underlying climate and nonclimate drivers that squeeze natural resources and foster conflict. The report, which draws on the USAID Conflict Assessment Framework, analyzes climate and conflict dynamics of the project areas, PCCSR project activities and results, and effects on conflict and climate resilience. It also describes lessons from project implementation and recommendations for the future. Among the key findings are focus group results that suggest conflict in the project areas declined from 2015–2017 and that local peace committees are becoming more effective in helping manage conflict. The preliminary results also suggest that declines in conflict may create conditions that encourage pastoralists to more readily deploy strategies to cope with climate shocks.

International Climate Change Adaptation Framework for Road Infrastructure

Actions undertaken to mitigate the negative effects of climate change on road networks have varied from one country to another. They include legal, regulatory and institutional measures; promoting other transport modes; introducing new, green technologies; undertaking permanent supervision of embankments and slopes to reduce risks of collapse, accidents and interruptions of service, as well as developing new methodologies and analytical tools to identify, assess and mitigate risks and thus reduce the vulnerability of the road infrastructure.

Despite all these efforts, dealing with the effects of climate change is still a new topic and there are no easily accessible references to help transport and road decision-makers to cope with the problem and manage it systematically and efficiently. While some countries have made progress on this subject, others are yet to start their own efforts. In recognizing this situation, the World Road Association has completed this "International Climate Change Adaptation Framework for Road Infrastructure" to help member countries adopt a consistent approach to analyze the effects of climate change on their road networks and thus help them identify, propose and prioritize the most appropriate measures to mitigate risks associated with extreme weather events.

Are cultural heritage and resources threatened by climate change? A systematic literature review

Climate change poses serious threats to the protection and preservation of cultural heritage and resources. Despite a high level of scholarly interest in climate change impacts on natural and socio-economic systems, a comprehensive understanding of the impacts of climate change on cultural heritage and resources across various continents and disciplines is notice- ably absent from the literature. To address this gap, we conducted a systematic literature review methodology to identify and characterize the state of knowledge and how the cultural heritage and resources at risk from climate change are being explored globally. Results from 124 reviewed publications show that scholarly interest in the topic is increasing, employs a wide range of research methods, and represents diverse natural and social science disciplines. Despite such increasing and diverse interest in climate change and cultural heritage and resources, the geographic scope of research is limited (predominantly European focused). Additionally, we identified the need for future studies that not only focuses on efficient, sustainable adaptation planning options but also documents if, and how, the implementation of cultural heritage and resources adaptation or preservation is taking place. This systematic literature review can help direct scholarly research in climate change and cultural heritage and resource area. Ultimately, we hope these new directions can influence policy-making for preservation and adaptation of cultural heritage and cultural resources globally. 

Disasters and National Economic Resilience

This paper provides an analysis of economic resilience at the national level, presenting a broad picture of changes in resilience to climate extremes over a 42 year period. It focuses on 12 countries in the Sahel, East Africa and Asia that are part of the UK Government funded resilience programme BRACED (Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters).

In this paper, authors create a typology of risk for countries that can be used to inform approaches to building resilience. Burkina Faso and Mali, for example, have a ‘mono-risk’ profile as they have experienced relatively few events, whereas Nepal has a ‘multi-risk’ profile and has experienced various disasters over the 42 year period analysed. Meanwhile, droughts have had a disproportionate effect compared with other climate-related hazards, especially in Africa, whereas floods have been very frequent.

This paper looks at how the national economies of different sets of developing countries are affected by disasters and have been able to ‘bounce back’ afterwards. The findings confirm a negative significant effect of disasters on economic growth: a climate event that affects 1% of the population contributes to a reduction in gross domestic product of 0.05% on average. In particular, the negative effects of climate-induced events are highly significant and important in landlocked countries, a category that includes many BRACED countries. More specifically

Knowledge package: Caribbean climate adaptation – The role of government

Climate change is one of the most significant challenges to the Caribbean’s future prosperity. The impacts of climate change on economically important sectors such as tourism, agriculture and fishing threaten Caribbean nations’ ability to achieve their economic and social development goals. By 2050, the costs to the region are expected to reach US$22 bn each year; this represents 10% of regional gross domestic product, based on 2004 figures. Paying for recovery efforts after natural disasters causes significant budgetary pressures and diverts funds from other pressing development issues such as health and education. However, responding to climate challenges is highly complex. Climate change has cross-cutting impacts that span sectors and spatial scales, and involves multiple stakeholders. Delivering effective climate change adaptation is therefore a question of governance.

Bottom-up, community-level approaches are important in meeting the challenges that climate change poses, but in isolation they are insufficient. National governance frameworks must foster community action, but also provide the enabling environment for large investments and transformative change at scale. The challenge that national governments face is to coordinate adaptation interventions at both national and local levels by engaging multiple organisations and individuals.

Targeted primarily at Caribbean policy-makers, this knowledge package draws on the experience of CDKN-funded projects that have taken place in the region over the last decade. It identifies ‘best practice’ lessons on governance, highlights examples from applied case studies in Caribbean countries, and recommends tools and methods that can be applied to make governance frameworks more effective at delivering climate compatible development. It is also a gateway to the reports and tools that have been produced under these CDKN-funded projects.

This knowledge package contains a policy brief, a video and an infographic and can be accessed in full here: https://cdkn.org/2017/02/caribbean-climate-adaptation-the-role-of-govern...

Key messages

  • Policy and governance arrangements at the national level are vital for climate adaptation. Local action is im­portant but is insufficient in isolation.
  • National governments provide stra­tegic oversight and access to climate finance, and have the capacity and authority to drive climate action.
  • Climate change considerations should be integrated into policies and plans across government departments. The CCORAL tool allows decision-makers to do this.
  • Institutional arrangements are vital to help translate government policy into action. Governments can use the ARIA toolkit to assess their institutional adaptive capacity as a first step to strengthening these frameworks.
  • Government institutions are vital in stimulating action at the local level. Networked governance arrangements can help to build movements for cli­mate resilience that translate national priorities into local action and inte­grate local needs into national policy.