Our Common Future Under Climate Change

International Scientific Conference 7-10 JULY 2015 Paris, France

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Thursday 9 July - 14:30-16:00 UNESCO Fontenoy - ROOM VI

3313 - Coordinated Adaptation to Climate Change

Parallel Session

Lead Convener(s): K. Alverson (PO BOX 30552, Nairobi, Kenya)

Convener(s): J. Paavola (University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom), G. Jia (CAS Institute of Atmospheric Physics, START Regional Center for East Asia (TEA), Beijing, China), S. Weiland (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Leipzig, Germany)

14:30

Coordinated adaptation to future climate change, Concept and case studies in China

C. Fu (CAS Institute of Atmospheric Physics and Nanjing University, Beijing | Nanjing, China), G. Jia (Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China), Z. Ma (Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China)

Abstract details
Coordinated adaptation to future climate change, Concept and case studies in China

C. Fu (1) ; G. Jia (2) ; Z. Ma (2)
(1) CAS Institute of Atmospheric Physics and Nanjing University, Beijing | Nanjing, China; (2) Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of atmospheric physics, Beijing, China

Abstract content

Human societies have continuously adjusted themselves to meet the dynamics of climate since ancient time, long before global climate change is considered as threaten issue. Traditional approaches for climate change adaptation are often based on certain sector or administrative unit, and lack of coordination or integration across those boundaries. Such barriers among sectors and administrative units often cause conflict interests and compromised overall effects of those efforts. In some extreme cases, the adaptation strategies developed by one sector or area could even lead negative impacts on other sectors or areas. Therefore, different sectors and subregions are encouraged to work together to develop coordinated and integrated adaptation strategies at regional and global scales, in order to achieve optimal effects for sustainable development. Here we propose and discuss the possible pathways, i.e.,  coordinated adaptation strategies, towards integrated approaches for climate change adaptation across sectorial and administrative boundaries. Such pathways ask policy and planning at the scale of an entire region or subregion and cutting across sectorial boundaries. The proactive and coordinated adaptation planning potentially affects all sectors and all parts of a region. Cross-sectorial and cross subregion policy coordination mechanisms will also be discussed, with several case studies related to regional urban clusters and dryland watershed management in China in response to climate change.

 

14:40

UNEP's global adaptation strategy: from global governance to community based solutions

K. Alverson (PO BOX 30552, Nairobi, Kenya)

Abstract details
UNEP's global adaptation strategy: from global governance to community based solutions

K. Alverson (1)
(1) PO BOX 30552, Climate Change Adaptation, Freshwater and Terrestrial Ecosystems, Nairobi, Kenya

Abstract content

Recognizing the need for integration across scales and sector’s UNEP’s adaptation portfolio includes actions on many different levels of governance (global, regional, national, sub-national, local) alongside coordinated engagement across different sectors of government, economy and society.

The presentation will first introduce UNEP’s global adaptation efforts; including the 2014 United Nations Environmental Assembly Resolution on Ecosystem based Adaptation, the Global Adaptation Network, our global support programs for NAPs and access to climate finance and publications oriented towards informing global climate negotiations such as the Emissions and Adaptation Gap Reports.

The presentation will then highlight UNEP adaptation actions at the regional level including management of transboundary resources in the context of climate change and regional knowledge sharing on adaptation under the “Lima Adaptation Knowledge Initiative” pledge the Nairobi Workprogram of the UNFCCC.

Finally, the presentation will provided an overview of UNEP’s portfolio of national and local projects under implementation, helping communities around the world harness ecosystems to build resilience as part of their adaptation plans and actions.

The presentation will conclude with an overview of UNEP’s program of actions supporting countries in the leadup to the Paris COP.

14:50

EU climate adaptation policy integration between mainstreaming and marginalisation

S. Weiland (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Leipzig, Germany)

Abstract details
EU climate adaptation policy integration between mainstreaming and marginalisation

S. Weiland (1)
(1) Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Leipzig, Germany

Abstract content

Policies on climate change adaptation aim to contribute to a more climate-resilient society. In the European Union, this is pursued by ensuring that adaptation considerations are addressed in all relevant EU policies. It also promotes greater coordination and information-sharing among Member States. Such coordination of climate change adaptation measures require the vertical integration of different levels of governance (European, national, regional, local) as well as horizontal integration between different sectors of the economy and society. This ‘mainstreaming’ will also offer potential for synergies if adaptation policies are successfully coordinated.

Horizontal and vertical policy integration is to be seen as means to achieve policy coherence for climate adaptation. The rationale for such an approach is that cross-cutting priorities can all too often fall into the gaps that exist between narrowly specified sector objectives or lead to inconsistent or conflicting policy objectives within sectors. Integration is particularly vital for climate adaptation as climate change impacts have implications for many sectors and actors. However, adaptation concerns may get side-lined as they can be obstructed by sectoral objectives that are of more immediate concern or that appear to compete with adaptation. So while the rationale to integrate seems straightforward and desirable, implementation at sector levels is rather complex and is a potentially conflict prone process, where conflicts may arise between objectives within a sector or between sectors and broad societal objectives.

This paper explores how action on climate adaptation can be taken forward in complex policy environments such as that of the European Union. It explores the conditions for successful policy integration and coherence, which are considered to be crucially important for progressing with climate adaptation.

15:00

Integrated Trans-boundary Headwater Governance in Hindu Kush Himalaya Under Climate Change: A Coordinated Adaptation Framework for Water, Food and Energy Security in South Asia

P.C. Tiwari (Kumaun University, Nainital, Uttarakhand, India)

Abstract details
Integrated Trans-boundary Headwater Governance in Hindu Kush Himalaya Under Climate Change: A Coordinated Adaptation Framework for Water, Food and Energy Security in South Asia

PC. Tiwari (1)
(1) Kumaun University, Geography, Nainital, Uttarakhand, India

Abstract content

Hindu Kush Himalaya constitutes headwaters of some of the largest trans-boundary basins of planet. The ecosystem services, particularly the freshwater flowing down from the Himalayan headwaters sustain one-fourth global population dependent primarily on subsistence agriculture in Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. Climate change has stressed hydrological regimes of Himalayan headwaters through higher mean annual temperatures, fast melting of glaciers and snow, altered precipitation patterns and increased incidences and intensity of extreme weather events causing substantial decrease in water availability and increasing frequency and severity of hydrological hazards. This may increase proportion of water, food, health and livelihood insecure population in entire South Asia which represents one of the most water stressed, food insecure and energy deficit regions, and inhabited by some of the poorest people of the world with access to less than 5% of planet's freshwater resources. This will have enormous regional implications for fundamental human endeavors ranging from poverty alleviation to environmental sustainability and climate change adaptation, and even to human security and peace in the region. A coordinated regional adaptation framework is therefore highly imperative not only for responding  to long-term impacts of climate change and achieving water, food and energy security, but also for  attaining post 2015 Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) to provide social and economic sustainability to more than 40% global population living in the region. 

The main objective of the study is to evolve a coordinated regional trans-boundary headwater management framework underlining the role and critical significance of Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) ecosystem services in sustaining food, water, and energy security in South Asia  under climate change. In order to attain this the study: (i) appraised the mutual environmental and economic benefits of integrated trans-boundary headwater management; (ii) investigated reasons and rationale for missing regional cooperation among riparian countries; (iii) explored geo-political constraints in initiating effective regional cooperation dialogue; (iv) evolved an  institutional framework for effective trans-boundary headwater governance in Hindu Kush Himalaya through the analysis of secondary data collected from varied sources. Besides, comprehensive study of available literature and media reports, interpretation of people responses obtained through interviews, interaction with political leadership and policy planners across Hindu Kush Himalayan countries formed the basis of this study. Study revealed that despite geographical and cultural contiguity South Asia is one of the geo-political hotspots as it is one of the most disintegrated  regions of the world characterized by political tensions, armed conflict, and extreme political instability and economic imbalances. It was observed that political transition, threats of internal and external security, weak leadership, and long standing conflictual inter-state dynamics are important reasons for missing regional cooperation in trans-boundary water management and for freezing hydro-diplomacy in the region. Further, the results clearly indicated that the issues and challenges in the food, water, and energy sectors are interlinked in several complex ways and cannot be managed effectively without cross-sectoral integration and regional cooperation. The study also identified a range of important potential benefits of regional cooperation in integrated water resources which include: (a) sharing information for developing integrated flood forecasting and early warning system for different basins , (b) storing water in upstream river basins for flood moderation, (c) storing water resources for increasing flow in dry seasons, (d) accumulating water for inland water transport, (e) harnessing water resources to generate hydroelectricity, and (f) managing watersheds to help increase the quality and quantity of water available, irrigation, industries, drinking and sanitation by downstream users. A number of regional and local institutions, particularly International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and South Asia Association for Regional  Cooperation (SAARC) are interested to play effective role in initiating regional water cooperation in South Asia. 

15:10

Coordinated Regional Adaptation to Sea Level Rise -- A Case Study of Land Use and Transportation System

S. Shen (University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, France)

Abstract details
Coordinated Regional Adaptation to Sea Level Rise -- A Case Study of Land Use and Transportation System

S. Shen (1)
(1) University of Hawaii at Manoa, Urban and Regional Planning Department, Honolulu, France

Abstract content

In recent years, many research efforts have been made to study the impact of climate change, especially sea level rise, on transportation system at the local level. While these studies provide many useful insights for the vulnerability of transportation system to sea level rise, few analyzed the impacts of adaptation strategies (i.e. protection, accommodation, planned retreat) on transportation system. Furthermore, the diversity of study contexts, the variety of methods utilized, and the lack of standard evaluation metrics make it difficult to compare the results of different studies. Therefore, the interaction between adaptation strategies, corresponding long term land use change, and transportation system performance are not thoroughly studied. To bridge this research gap, three adaptation scenarios with different network disruption levels and land use schemes are analyzed using Tampa, Florida as a case study. Transportation system vulnerabilities to sea level rise under three scenarios are compared using multiple performance measures. Vehicle hours travelled (VHT) shows to be the most sensitive performance measure to transportation vulnerability change. Without any adaptation strategies, the regional transportation system could have 40% VHT increase under 2ft sea level rise. Protecting up to 108 miles of freeway/bridges could prevent about 18% of VHT increase, while large scale traffic analysis zone internal capacity protection or development retreat have less than 2% contributions. Supposing the average value of travel time savings in Florida is $32 per hour, protecting up to 108 miles of freeway or bridges would generate a saving of more than $30 million per day. If the cost to elevate road is $2 million/mile, it takes about a week for the benefit to recover the cost. Consequently, even with neighborhood flood prevention and planned retreat strategies, protecting coastal freeways and important bridges would be necessary and cost-effective to adapt to sea level rise for the case study area. The results of the case study illustrate that communities outside the inundation zones or lowlying areas are also vulnerable to sea level rise because their activities are supported by critical infrastructures (i.e. transportation in this case study) within the inundation zones. Without long-term coordinated regional land use and transportation planning, adaptation strategies focus only on accommodating or relocating local vulnerable communities might not be effective at the regional level. 

15:20

Making adaptation policy integration work in local government: Lessons from Australia

H. Fuenfgeld (RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), A. Macarthur, (RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)

Abstract details
Making adaptation policy integration work in local government: Lessons from Australia

H. Fuenfgeld (1) ; A. Macarthur, (2)
(1) RMIT University, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; (2) RMIT University, School of global, urban and social studies / centre for urban research, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Abstract content

Considering and planning for the impacts of climate change has entered the mainstream of local government policy level, yet much experimenting is still taking place about how adaptation can meaningfully and effectively be tied in with existing policy agendas and integrated into policy making, across departmental boundaries and organisational hierarchies. Over the past decade, there has been slow recognition that, from an organisational perspective, climate change adaptation needs to be broadly anchored in an organisation; for adaptation to be effective and comprehensive, it cannot be simply be another task of environment departments or sustainability officers. 

While many adaptation policy frameworks point to the need for such systematic and deep integration and recommend high-level actions, not many empirical studies exist that document the strategies that complex organisations pursue to embed adaptation, nor is there much empirical evidence assessing the success of specific strategies. While key barriers to integration are knows, many organisations still struggle to make much progress with embedding adaptation across divisions, departments or operational units. 

This paper presents, for the first time, empirical findings from two research projects concerned with embedding adaptation in the local government sector in Australia. The focus of the analysis is on intra-organisational processes for embedding adaptation across an organisation, although some inter-organisational strategies will also be highlighted. The local governments that participated in these research projects are highly exposed to multiple climatic stressors and their impacts, including sea-level rise, bushfire, flooding and heatwaves. They provide interesting case studies for adaptation policy development and implementation at the local government scale, adding to our understanding of the role of institutions in climate change adaptation.