Manila, Philippines, 17 October 2018 – A week after the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its special report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, the 6th Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum kicked off with an inaugural session filled with optimistic and passionate calls to accelerate climate adaptation actions in the Asia and Pacific region.
More than 1,000 climate adaptation practitioners – scientists and representatives from governments and civil society organizations – have gathered at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila to tackle what needs to be done to continue to enable resilience for all, echoing the theme for this year’s forum: “Enabling Resilience for All: Avoiding the Worst Impacts.”
The world order with its entrenched economic system is fossil fuel-dependent and its culture of profit and waste cannot be transformed fast enough. Even as we work together to avoid, we must work to withstand what cannot be avoided. This is the spirit of our gathering today.”
Emmanuel M. De Guzman, Secretary, Climate Change Commission, Philippines.
The effects of climate change will get more severe in time. However, there is resilience in sharing the adversity we face, learning from the experience of others and bringing home with us the lessons learned to make this APAN Forum so important.”
Elbuchel Sadang, Minister of Finance, Republic of Palau
In the changing climate and environment, we need a holistic perspective. A holistic and integrative approach is a must - to strengthen the resilience of our human and social systems, ecological systems, critical infrastructure, and financial system.”
Bambang Susantono, Vice-President for Knowledge Management, ADB
The recent IPCC report not only highlights the possibility and feasibility of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, but also the need for transformative transition in many aspects of socio-economic activities. This forum is taking place at a very special time and at a cusp of transition in climate action.”
Youssef Nassef, Adaptation Director, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
What inspires me is my responsibility to take actions and do what I can to come up with solutions to address the oceans’ problems since my generation and the next generations will be inheriting these problems.”
18-year-old Miel Sequiera-Holm, Chairlady, Heirs to Our Oceans, Palau
It’s important for us to remember not to underestimate the power that we have. It’s not just the leaders, it’s not just the scientists who should work. Every single one of us in the planet – we’re talking about the 1.5°C issue right now. It’s really something that has to be solved by every single person.”
Antoinette Taus, Founder, CORA and UN Advocate for Life Below Water (SDG 14), Philippines
Asia Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum 2018 - Intermission song from Filipina celebrity Antoinette Taus and Thai celebrity Alex Rendell: "One Day"
Let us put children and the vulnerable at the center of climate action and help sectors on climate risk management.”
Seonmi Choi, UNICEF (Session: Understanding the Cascading Risks of Climate Change)
It is not enough to just say adaptation or mitigation; the main yardstick is whether this translates into development. We need to bake climate policies into development policies and make sure that we put money to who needs it the most.”
Red Constantino, iCSC (Session: Understanding the Cascading Risks of Climate Change)
Resilience of natural ecosystems: Several key recommendations arose from the animated discussion from sessions under this stream. Resilience-building at the local level needs to be clearly defined and translated from boarder national-level policy. It should be not only people-centric but people-driven; actions need to be undertaken which are planned closely with local communities. Data availability and evidence on which to base policy-making is an ongoing issue. Climate adaptation needs and potential solutions must draw on solid data, to strengthen policy-making.
Science and traditional knowledge not only can work together, but together they work better to build community resilience.”
Florence Kuali-Iautu, Communication Officer, Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Dept. (Session: The role of science in managing erosion and the impacts of increasing temperature)
Impacts of climate change can be mitigated through proper disaster risk management and climate change adaptation and innovation. So let us not worry about the cost of disaster risk reduction and climate resiliency programs but let us be concerned on protecting and uplifting the lives of our people.”
Mayor Ronaldo Golez, Dumangas City, Iloilo Province, Phillipines (Plenary: Plenary: Local Governments at the Forefront)
Fighting climate change may look like a David and Goliath battle, but if you come from a place where you have been impacted every day, it is hard to find an excuse to give up.”
Joanna Sustento, Eastern Visayas area coordinator, Greenpeace Southeast Asia-Philippines (Session: Innovative Technologies to Enhance Ecosystem Resilience)