17 July 2018
Conference Seeks to Integrate Climate Change Adaptation with SDGs, Sendai Framework
UN Photo/JC McIlwaine
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The conference addressed a range of adaptation-related issues, including integrating climate change adaptation with the SDGs and the Sendai Framework for DRR.

The EU Joint Programming Initiative convened a workshop on international cooperation in climate services for Africa.

Future conferences will likely focus on consolidation of knowledge to formulate better initiatives, and on innovative ideas and solutions such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and circular economy.

27 June 2018: The fifth edition of the Adaptation Futures conference, a biennial worldwide gathering on climate change adaptation, convened under the theme, ‘Dialogues for Solutions.’ Meeting in Africa for the first time, the conference focused on a range of adaptation-related issues, including: the role of community- and network-led initiatives in Africa; the role of international financing institutions in bridging the adaptation-development gap; and linking adaptation action to sustainable development, investment, planning and disaster risk reduction (DRR).

The conference took place from 18-21 June, in Cape Town, South Africa, and was hosted by the Global Programme of Research on Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation (PROVIA), the African Climate & Development Initiative (ACDI) and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), in partnership with the Adaptation Fund, the South African Department of Environmental Affairs, the International Development Research Centre of Canada, the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) and others.

The conference discussed issues related to adaptation finance, including:

  • microfinance for climate adaptation;
  • finance for agricultural resilience;
  • learning from forecast-based financing case studies;
  • lessons from the Adaptation Fund and Green Climate Fund (GCF) regarding scaling up country-owned adaptation measures;
  • the role of multilateral development banks (MDBs) in supporting adaptation in Africa;
  • small grants funds in financing gender- and grassroots-responsive climate actions; and
  • integrating climate risks into infrastructure financing.

During a session on the role of the private sector, participants addressed the need to: build a stronger business case for adaptation solutions; and mobilize private sector investment in ecosystem-based adaptation by, for example, developing metrics that help translate environmental and societal adaptation benefits into adaptive performance indicators to monitor progress and success.

The Medellin Collaboration on Urban Resilience supports local, regional and national governments in achieving the SDGs, New Urban Agenda, Paris Agreement and Sendai Framework for DRR.

An event on applications of Earth observation data discussed case studies on agriculture, cities, financial institutions, insurance and health, highlighting the need to combine Earth observation and socioeconomic data.

A plenary session focused on resourcing adaptation, the need to develop adequate services for sectors with an increased demand for climate information, and climate service needs of the financial and legal sector. The EU Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) convened a workshop on international cooperation in climate services for Africa, while other sessions focused on: translating climate information into action for smallholder farmers; participatory climate services; and leveraging science to enhance citizen leadership in urban adaptation and risk management.

Regarding adaptation in coastal and urban areas, the conference addressed, among others: adaptive coastal planning and the sharing of techniques, tools and experiences; lessons from coastal communities’ adaptation pathways; institutional challenges and governance strategies related to urban adaptation and coastal protection; building water resilience in cities; and the ‘Medellin Collaboration for Urban Resilience,’ which aims to strengthen the resilience of cities and human settlements by supporting local, regional and national governments in achieving the SDGs, the New Urban Agenda (NUA), the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Sendai Framework for DRR.

On integration and planning, the meeting addressed: enhancing the co-production and application of science-based evidence into adaptation planning in least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS); linking the national adaptation plan (NAP) process and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to accelerate enhanced adaptation action; integrating climate change adaptation with the SDGs and the Sendai Framework for DRR; the climate-water-energy-land-food nexus; and mainstreaming climate adaptation into water infrastructure planning, development, operation and financing.

The conference also discussed progress made regarding messages emanating from Adaptation Futures 2016, including that: the adaptation community should remain dynamic, learn from other communities and develop synergies; innovation is essential for adaptation; stakeholder collaboration with respect, trust and equity is essential; and business can contribute to adaptation solutions.

Participants underscored: that future conferences should consolidate knowledge to formulate better initiatives, and focus on innovative ideas and solutions such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and circular economy; and the need for partnerships between researchers, innovators and administrators that combine experiences and skillsets. [Adaptation Futures 2018 Website] [General Session Programme] [Special Session Programme] [Reflections Note from Acclimatise] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Adaptation Futures 2016]

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