“We need to strengthen the resilience of our people, our environment, our infrastructure and our economies against the intensifying impacts of climate change.” – Fiji’s High-Level Climate Champion, Minister Inia Seruiratu, 2nd Global Adaptation Network Forum in Abu Dhabi
The 2nd Global Adaptation Network Forum aimed to focus on key challenges for climate change adaptation and provide an opportunity for decision makers, policy experts and practitioners to share knowledge and experience on how to address these challenges. Importantly, the forum also aimed to contribute to the recently launched Talanoa Dialogue – a participatory and transparent dialogue convened under the Conference of the Parties (COP) that fosters the sharing of ideas, skills and experience through storytelling. This facilitative dialogue takes stock of progress towards long-term goals set out in the Paris Agreement, as well as consider the efforts of Parties in relation to action and support in the pre-2020 period. The outline of the dialogue process, as well as other relevant documents can be found in the Presidency’s corner of the Talanoa Dialogue Portal (https://talanoadialogue.com/presidencies-corner).
The Forum, organized jointly by UN Environment’s Global Adaptation Network and Zayed University in Abu Dhabi and held in Abu Dhabi on the 20-21 March 2018, provided key inputs to the questions that the Talanoa dialogue is addressing:
- Where are we?
- Where do we want to go?
- How do we get there?
Four main themes underpinned the Forum, namely: i. From the Gulf to the World – focused on specific adaptation challenges facing Gulf states and the solutions and technologies needed, including how to ensure access to clean freshwater; ii. Adaptation metrics for assessing risk and progress – a theme driven by the need of the private sector to understand and be able to quantify physical climate risk in order to improve resilience; iii. Adaptation Learning – this theme engaged with platforms needed for the development, sharing and application of climate knowledge; and iv. Reaching the most vulnerable – focused on the risks faced by the most vulnerable communities and the actions required to respond effectively.
In addition to these main themes, a further cross-cutting theme on the role of non-state actors, including the private sector, in adaptation was included.
The Forum also included a regional Technical Examination Meeting on Adaptation (TEM-A) as part of the Technical Examination Process on Adaptation (TEP-A) under the UNFCCC Adaptation Committee. The TEM-A had a specific focus on adaptation actions that reach the most vulnerable.
Fiji’s High-Level Climate Champion, Minister Inia Seruiratu, reiterated the need for urgent action in strengthening the resilience of people, our environment, our infrastructure and our economies against the intensifying impacts of climate change at the opening of the Forum.
Outputs from the conference are forthcoming. For more information: https://www.unenvironment.org/events/conference/second-global-adaptation-network-forum
By Dania Petrik