With the objective to build on the Climate change momentum and allow for a retrospective evaluation and review of recent developments in adaptation 5th Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation started on 17th October, 2016 in Colombo Sri-Lanka.
The conference began with a “high level panel” discussion on ” why the focus on living under 2 degrees” .The panel discussed the importance of preparing for life under a 2°C world.
Moderator Saleemul Huq started with what he calls his new motto for adaptation; “hope for the best and prepare for the worst”.
Here in Nepal, we know all too well what the worst can look like. We witnessed it after our most recent earthquake on 25th April, 2015. Lisa Schipper, an Adaptation Consultant in Vietnam, added to this with an example shared that Adaptations are not straight forward to understand and sometimes lack of proper understanding of adaptation may lead to maladaptation. Furthermore, she added about the importance of considering social vulnerabilities in adaptation. She added” After earthquake in Nepal, there are so many people living in temporary shelters and we don’t want to see it happen in other countries again”.
H.E. Rachmat Witoelar, from Indonesia followed Ms. Schipper, adding that not only is “Climate change the biggest threat that faces mankind” but also the need to “treat the Paris agreement” as the world’s “biggest milestone”.
After India agreed to ratify the Paris agreement on October 3, it has become even more apparent that the world may finally be ready to address the seismic challenges ahead.
Likewise, RDS Jayathunga, from Sri Lanka, highlighted that the major objectives of the “Paris Agreement” was not only a global acceptance of the need to keep global temperatures well below the 2 degree Celsius mark, but to also facilitate adaptation that will inevitably be needed.
He added that across South Asia, “South to South cooperation is must for developing or building the resilience for vulnerable communities on climate change”.
Satoshi Tanaka, a climate researcher from Japan, also highlighted that the Paris agreement is not simply a meaningless UN decision, but actively helping national and regional governments take action, some for the first time.
During the discussion he noted that “Adaptation is something isolated from sectors like agriculture, finance and development, there is need of mainstreaming adaptation to sectorial policies and we have to address the impact of climate change collectively”.
For this, he also added the considerable need for international collaboration, finance, technology and establishing some practical information system.
Nepal is ranked 4th in the world in terms of climate change vulnerability. Problem of frequent drought, severe floods, landslides and mixed type of effects in agricultural crops have been Experienced in the country because of climate change. Climate change and changes projected to occur are likely to have impacts on many sectors of Nepal for which Adapting to this changing climate is must for Nepal.
Many representatives from government, NGOs and research institutions including Ministry of Population and Environment ( MoPE) are attending the forum on behalf of Nepal. The rest of the week will focus on a variety of climate change adaptation issues which will cover financial, political and social aspects of adapting to changing climatic conditions across Asia-Pacific region.
We can only hope our representatives from Nepal to raise the strong voices of vulnerable with respect to people’s livelihood and ecosystem. Also, set an environment at regional level to better address those issues in collaborative manner.
Originally published at Radio Dhangadhi