The 4th Annual Gobeshona Global Conference Session “Bridging Science and Policy: AP-PLAT’s practices on Locally-led Adaptation for Climate Resilient Asia-Pacific”

Date 7 February 2024
Venue Online (Zoom)
Language English
Session title Bridging Science and Policy: AP-PLAT’s practices on Locally-led Adaptation for Climate Resilient Asia-Pacific
Organizers Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)

Locally-led adaptation strategies play a pivotal role in building resilience and fostering sustainable development in the face of climate change. This session will focus on AP-PLAT’s practices in locally-led adaptation (LLA), one of the priority areas of the AP-PLAT Framework for Action, highlighting how to develop individual and institutional capacity to promote LLA in the Asia-Pacific region. The invited speakers presented projects undertaken under AP-PLAT, including the E-learning on LLA developed by the Asian Institute of Technology Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific, as well as the joint LLA project initiated by IGES and the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN).

Mr Osamu Mizuno, Programme Director of IGES, welcomed participants to the seminar focused on AP-PLAT's initiatives for locally-led adaptation in the Asia-Pacific. Established in 2019, AP-PLAT, under the Ministry of Environment Japan, aims to facilitate informed decision-making and effective adaptation measures across the region. Mr Mizuno highlighted IGES's pivotal role in advancing AP-PLAT's objectives, including the recent development of the AP-PLAT Framework for Action. He introduced the seminar's agenda, which places a strong emphasis on practices aimed at enhancing LLA efforts, all in alignment with AP-PLAT's overarching mission.

Dr Binaya Raj Sivakoti, Senior Researcher, Adaptation and Water Area, IGES, presented “Progress on APN-IGES Locally Led Adaptation Project in Fiji, Nepal and Vietnam”, shed light on a collaborative effort alongside Dr Linda Anne Stevenson, Programme Director at APN Secretariat, aiming to drive locally led adaptation (LLA) initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region. Dr. Sivakoti underscored the pressing need to empower communities to understand and address climate risks and vulnerabilities at the grassroots level. With a dual focus on supporting local capacity building and integrating indigenous knowledge systems, the initiative seeks to establish adaptation innovation hubs in Vietnam, Fiji, and Nepal. Central to this approach is the recognition of local leadership and existing resources as foundational elements. By leveraging case studies, the project aims to develop guidelines and tools for local adaptation planning across sectors like agriculture, disaster management, health, and water resources. Moreover, Dr. Sivakoti highlighted the initiative's potential to inform partners on scaling up efforts and accessing international adaptation finance. An illustrative case study from Vietnam demonstrated how climate-resilient livelihoods can be fostered through community-led initiatives. Through such collaborative endeavours, the project not only aims to enhance local resilience but also contributes to broader efforts in tackling the impacts of climate change on vulnerable communities across the Asia-Pacific region.

Dr Ramesh Soysa, Head of Climate Change Cluster, Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT RRC.AP), presented “AIT RRC.AP’s Contributions to Regional and Local Climate Resilience in Asia and the Pacific”. Dr. Soysa highlighted RRC.AP's multifaceted approach, which encompasses capacity building, knowledge sharing, and technical assistance in critical areas such as accessing climate finance, adaptation planning, and disaster risk reduction, all aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Key to their efforts are science-based solutions tailored for disaster risk reduction and climate resilience, exemplified by capacity-building activities using AP-PLAT’s science tools such as the FloodS and ClimoCast developed by AP-PLAT partners, which empower local communities to undertake LLA initiatives effectively. Furthermore, Dr. Soysa emphasized the significance of RRC.AP's mentoring sessions for GCF Concept Note development, facilitating greater access to climate finance for adaptation projects. In a forward-looking approach, AIT RRC.AP has introduced two new e-learning courses on AP-PLAT: “Integrating gender and indigenous factors into locally-led adaptation” and “Using the FloodS -flood forecasting tool for adaptation planning at the city level.” These courses are poised to equip stakeholders with the knowledge and skills needed to craft effective adaptation strategies tailored to local contexts. Dr. Soysa's presentation underscores AIT RRC.AP's commitment to fostering climate resilience through innovative solutions and inclusive capacity-building efforts, paving the way for a more resilient and sustainable future in Asia-Pacific.

During an interactive discussion, attendees raised questions regarding the role of local governments and the challenges faced by communities in utilizing adaptation tools. Dr. Sivakoti emphasized the importance of fostering collaboration with local governments, highlighting ongoing efforts to keep them informed and engaged in project activities. He emphasized the need for building trust and conveying the risks and benefits of adaptation approaches, facilitating better acceptance among local stakeholders.

Dr. Soysa advocated for a shift towards empowering local actors, advocating for a bottom-up approach where communities have greater autonomy and resources to tackle climate change challenges. He underscored the significance of robust partnerships with city governments, particularly at regional levels, to drive effective climate resilience initiatives. Addressing challenges in tool utilization, Dr. Soysa stressed the significance of capacity development for LLA, emphasizing the need for strengthening bottom-up approaches at provincial and city levels. Dr. Sivakoti highlighted the importance of leveraging local knowledge and observations on climate change impacts, emphasizing the gradual development of decision-making capacities at the local level as an integral part of future development strategies.

The event concluded with speakers reiterating the importance of tapping into local knowledge and embracing bottom-up approaches to foster resilient communities. The discussion underscored the critical role of collaboration between stakeholders and the need for empowering communities in the face of climate change.

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(Posted : 26/Mar/2024)