Manila, Philippines, 19 October 2018 – The final day of the 6th Asia Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum opened with a series of upbeat parallel sessions to share learnings and strengthen capacity for resilience. There is a united drive to ensure that participants take home the insights and knowledge gained from the forum, to accelerate climate change adaptation actions.
Invigorating parallel discussions were complimented by opportunities to network, where participants continued the discussions and established new partnerships and collaborations for enhancing adaptation projects and plans. Subsequent sessions shared strategies and success stories on how to implement better climate change adaptation actions and measures within organizations and countries.
Micro-Insurance should be affordable and pro-poor. Multi-stakeholder collaboration is the key for the macro, meso, and micro risk insurance. There is a need for more support from the government to bring the other players in the industry put the structure in place.”
Jonathan Batangan, PJ Lhuillier Group of Companies, Philippines (Parallel Session on Supporting Vulnerable Communities Through Risk Financing)
Development partners are ‘force multipliers’ of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction and management initiatives.”
Jose Bernado, International Council for Local Environment Initiatives (ICLEI) (Parallel Session: Integrating Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in Development Planning)
Resilience of natural ecosystems: Discussions centered on how ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) and green infrastructure can build resilience within natural ecosystems and ecosystem services. EbA implementation experiences across Asia were shared, and challenges aired. Ecosystem conservation and restoration are substantially undervalued - although they form the core of EbA. Generating sustainable livelihoods are considered vital to successful EbA initiatives. The challenge of adaptation financing was also discussed. Successful proposal development relies on substantial access to solid baseline data. Ongoing research and validation are critical because ecosystems are complex and the local impacts of climate change are hard to predict. The requirement to unlock domestic financing was underscored, as well as the need to mainstream EbA within adaptation planning and policy.
Resilence of island communities: Sessions underscored how adaptation is a daily necessity for small island nations. Policies and plans must be comprehensive, involving relevant institutions, agencies, civil societies, traditional leaders, communities, NGOs and the private sector. Common challenges include; moving from policy to implementation, lack of human resources, inadequate finance, low technical capacity and weak monitoring and evaluation mechanisms. Panelists in the session ‘climate proofing infrastructure investments’ showed how risks are inherent within infrastructure, and are exacerbated by climate change. Enabling development continuity and resilience is predicated on the ability of infrastructure to adapt to climate-related disasters.
Ocean resilience is our business... The pacific is vast, water moves... the only way we can work to make it a resilient Pacific is in a combined effort with all countries and organisations. The vision of our 'blue planet' inspires us to conserve and work together. "
Dr. Gillian Cambers, Programme Manager, Secretariat of the Pacific Community
My island's drowning... White tipped waves crash in my backyard, over my ancestors' graves... By 2050 we are no more, my island has 32 years left... 1.5 degrees is all we've got."
Selina Leem, Youth Representative, Marshall Islands
Every other breath we take is gifted to us by the oceans. The ocean keeps us alive. It's our lifeline for resilience. We are educating ourselves and others so we can find solutions to the problems we are inheriting."
Miel Sequeira-Holm, Palauan Heir, Heirs to Our Oceans, Palau
Improving the climate resiliency of infrastructure requires governments to make it a priority in their development plans. Resilient infrastructure development must ensure safety and cost effectiveness. An ongoing dialogue on infrastructure development between all relevant sectors is vital. Infrastructure must be considered a system that encompasses an asset, knowledge, and institutional capacity. Essential infrastructures are interdependent, and must be considered holistically.
Promoting disaster preparedness and adaptation actions exponentially lessens the impact and reduces hazards to communities. Panelists in a related session on risk transfer and risk sharing shared lessons from the insurance industry. As always, prevention is better than cure. It is also necessary to identify triggers and risks, and assess historical data, to provide appropriate impact-based results and forecasts. Participants suggested the scaling up of micro-insurance in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, to generate a coherent protection mechanism for vulnerable sectors.
An integrated approach is crucial... A truely integrated approach to climate change adaptation brings together finance, science, narratives, partnerships..."
Mozaharul Alam, Regional Coordinator - Climate Change Programme, Asia and the Pacific Office, UN Environment
Nature-based solutions are not a silver bullet. They need to work in conjunction with other types of solutions. Knowledge is key. We cannot solve problems on our own, we need interactive wisdom.”
Xianfu Lu, Senior Climate Change Specialist, ADB
We must urgently address non-economic loss and damage, such as forced displacement, so that 'no-one is left behind' as we push for integrated adaptation solutions. ”
Saleemul Huq, Director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD)
Achieving climate resilience is context-based and community-specific. Governments must empower their people to address risks and vulnerabilities. Adaptation means seeking innovative solutions.”
Rachel Herrera, Commissioner, Climate Change Commission Philippines