Global Climate Change Adaptation Network

Submitted by Sukaina Bharwani | published 25th Mar 2011 | last updated 30th Mar 2011
Please note: content is older than 5 years

At the end of October UNEP convened a consultation meeting in S. Korea with various UN agencies and experts on their proposed Global Climate Change Adaptation Network. An outline of the network is given below, and the full discussion paper can be downloaded [1]. This is a consultative process so we urge any participants in the meeting to add their thoughts and contributions either to the Discussion page (see tab above) or to the comments section of this page. In order to edit you will need to be logged-in; if you have a password already click Log-In on the left, if not you can get one by clicking 'Request Access'

The Network

Responding to the urgent need for action on adaptation, a multifunctional Global Climate Change Adaptation Network ('the Network') is proposed for mobilizing the resources of relevant regional centers and ground networks to enhance key scientific, technical and most importantly institutional capacity for adaptation in a synergic and coherent manner. The Network will help meet the increasing demands for climate change adaptation with the growing supplies of the world’s best knowledge and technology from existing facilities and institutions. As a result, the capacity of developing countries for monitoring climate change and its impacts, assessing vulnerabilities, piloting adaptation interventions and planning longer-term adaptation efforts will be fundamentally enhanced through strengthened information and knowledge bases, policy-setting, planning and adaptation practices.

It is suggested that the Network be built upon existing networks of ground facilities and regional centers. It would support the adaptation activities in these stations and centers, and provide incentives for them to deliver more to meet the increasing needs for adaptation actions at both local community and government levels. It is proposed that the Network have a strong focus on supporting the implementation of the UNFCCC Nairobi Work Programme (NWP) on Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change in its second phase, and other UN-led Climate Change Adaptation initiatives. The Network could support the NWP under each of its 9 areas of work, as well as the integration of these areas. In the inception of the Network, there will also be a need for focusing the Network thematically, for example on the integration of climate change adaptation into national and sectoral planning, ecosystem management, disaster risk reduction and conflict prevention, and their interactive processes. Through its further evolution, the Network can then meet the increasing demands to address the broader linkage between climate change adaptation and development, and help build climate resilient societies.

It is suggested that the Network will have three key components: a network of selected ground facilities (which can be defined as the sites for monitoring climate impacts, understanding vulnerability and demonstrating adaptation, or IVA-sites), a network of regional centers, and an international support group of technical institutions. Each Network component would play its unique role at the appropriate scales and will serve different user groups. At the same time each component will be interlinked and mutually supportive to the other Network components. The components of the Network could be linked through the flow of data, information, knowledge, and technology. A knowledge management system is therefore proposed to facilitate the flow of data, information, knowledge and technology amongst the Network components, supporting regional and global policy forums and delivering services to respective user groups through an interactive website.

 

The structure of the Global Adaptation Network (Source: UNFCCC NWP synthesis publication, 2009.

A set of criteria for the selection of the ground facilities and regional centers should be commonly agreed upon, on the basis of the agreed roles and functions of the facilities and centers. The core set of selection criteria could include, for example, the following:

  • Strong track record in climate change adaptation or in relevant disciplines that can be extended to cover adaptation
  • Competent and productive team
  • Secured financial and other resources for core operations
  • Geographical coverage and balance
  • For ground facilities, it is important to have access to and a strong track record of working with local communities
  • For regional centers, it is important to have access to and a strong track record of working with policy-makers and planners at the national and regional levels

To meet both the urgent and long-term needs, a three-phase development process is proposed, enabling the delivery of services right from the beginning of the Network development. The first phase would be the inception and piloting phase (from now to the end of 2009). The following two phases would then include the expansion of the Network and amendment of the specific functions of its components (Phase 2, 2010-2011), as well as the full operation of the Network (Phase 3, from 2012 onwards). The first phase of the Network development would start to deliver services to address the pressing concerns on adaptation, through piloting the Network in selected regions, building on the track-record and competency of the selected stations and centers. At the same time, an overall Implementation Plan for the three phases will be finalized, and the Network management structure, financing strategy and communication plan will be put in place.

UNEP Discussion paper for the consultation meeting [2]

Regional Networks

Further work in developing the network is ongoing.