National and international adaptation activities

Thread: Frameworks for adaptation

Parallel Session 3.3.4 | 11.00am – 12.30pm | 1st July 2010

Poster Session 3.1 | 7.30am – 8.30am | 1st July 2010


  • Joseph Alcamo, UNEP
  • Yousef Nassef, UNFCC

Abstracts for Speakers:

International Co-operation on Adaptation to global Environmental Change: Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP) and Earth System Analysis» Supporting Adaptation in Least developing Countries: The International geosphere- Biosphere Programme (IgBP) Synthesis, Integration, and Exploration (SIE) Activity» Ecosystem-based Adaptation in the National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs)» How Europe adapts to climate change» Climate change adaptation and associated policy challenges: an international and national perspective» The german Adaptation Strategy: good practices and lessons learnt» Climate Change Adaptation: The Approaches and Issues in India» Benchmarking the level of adaptation planning in Australian organisations» PHOTOS: Session 3.3»

Abstract for Posters:

Climate Change and Coastal Adaptation Challenges in Albania» Adaptation to climate change in the transport sector» Hotspots and consortia joining forces for national and regional adaptation strategies for The Netherlands» What is Successful Adaptation Research? Science policy challenges for an emerging outcomes-focused discipline» Criteria for fair allocation of international adaptation finance» Synthesis of APN Adaptation Activities in the Asia-Pacific Region» Developing ENSO-based irrigation water forecast system in a region with limited hydro-meteorological observations to mitigate the impacts of climate variability: a case study in Lombok, Indonesia»
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M Rice1,3, R Leemans2,3 and A Henderson-Sellers1 1Macquarie University, Australia 2Wageningen University, Netherlands 3Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP)

Sound science in support of adaptation activities is challenging. Human interaction with and adaptation to a changing environment (including mitigation) can take many forms, and can have both positive and negative environmental impacts (bioenergy is a good example). The need, therefore, to understand how individual aspects of and processes in the natural and social domains underpins the answers to questions of adaptation. The basic science research needed to support decisions about adaptation clearly needs a tightly coupled natural-social science support structure. At the same time, scientists, resource managers and policy makers also require a common understanding in order for their interactions to be mutually beneficial.

As a result of the first Global Environmental Change (GEC) open science meeting, the Amsterdam Declaration ( was articulated in 2001, whereby the scientific communities of four trans-national environmental research programmes – an international programme of biodiversity science (DIVERSITAS), the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP), and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) – recognised that the immediate threat of significant climate change and growing concern over the ever-increasing human modification of other aspects of the global environment combine into massively destructive impacts on human well-being. Basic goods and services supplied by the planetary life support system, such as food, water, clean air and an environment conducive to people’s health, are being affected increasingly by global environmental degradation. The Amsterdam Declaration set out the international research programmes’ Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP). The ESSP facilitates the study of the Earth’s environment as an integrated system in order to understand how and why it is changing, and to explore the implications of these changes for global and regional sustainability, including adaptation to climate change.

In this paper we review the increasing demand for trans-national GEC research to contribute towards adaptive solutions as the stresses imposed by human activities on the life-support systems of planet Earth become more pressing. Today, the climate and indeed the GEC research community generally faces an increasing challenge to present research results in more accessible and informative ways to stakeholders, especially to policy makers. This demands that inter- and trans-national research builds into political and economic decisions (i.e. that research improves societal outcomes) with an understanding of the kind of information that decision-makers need.

In response, GEC research, under the auspices of the ESSP, has delivered valuable knowledge products: for example, the ESSP-Global Carbon Project’s annual global carbon budgets ( carbonbudget) and the ESSP-Global Water System Project (GWSP) digital water atlas (

ESSP and its partners help facilitate international co-operation and contribute to science in support of adaptation. This paper presents salient examples from the GEC research community, with particular emphasis on the ESSP bioenergy study led by the Global Carbon Project ( This ESSP bioenergy study is driven by the need to adapt to global environmental change and serves as an important benchmark for Earth system analysis. Time lags between research and policy and the frenetic pace of change also highlight the need to develop new analysis tools to tackle increasingly complex challenges facing humanity and planet Earth. The range of dimensions and scales in GEC research (tends to be systemic and covering the whole globe or large regions or systems) and applications such as adaptation that involves local communities poses a real challenge. Disciplinary research will continue to underpin climate and GEC science in general but addressing GEC problems also requires greater integration across disciplines, nations and all the other different dimensions and scales of the problems. Additionally, improved stakeholder engagement and community-wide understanding are essential to effectively tackle the adaptation challenges of today and tomorrow.

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O P Dube1 1University of Botswana, Botswana

The United Nations recognized, since the 1960s, a group of extremely poor countries that have acute susceptibility to external economic shocks, natural and man-made disasters, and that suffer structural handicaps which require special international attention. These countries, known as the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are currently 49 in number out of which 33 are found in Africa, 15 in Asia and the Pacific and one in Latin America. LDCs suffer multiple stressors emanating from complex inter-linkages between local and global environmental and socio-economic challenges. Climate change will, above all these, add yet another complex layer of challenges to the LDCs. Changes in patterns of vector- borne diseases and other environmental health problems due to changes in temperature, rainfall and relative humidity will combine with food insecurity, water scarcity and other socio-economic problems to present profound challenges enhancing the already precarious state of human well-being in LDCs. Increasing frequency and intensity of climate extremes, such as hurricanes, cyclones, floods, wildfires, drought and windstorms will reverse and constrain whatever progress had been achieved in LDCs making efforts to meet Millennium Development Goals even more remote. LDCs are a global concern given the heightened global interconnectedness i.e. low development in one part of the world is both a result and a source of global vulnerability. Without appropriate intervention the global community is more likely to face heightened problems of e.g. environmental refuges and disease epidemics emanating from these severely disadvantaged areas.

While Parties have proposed a “knowledge-based adaptation,” and a number of LDCs have completed their National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) it is not clear how far these were supported by up to date locally relevant scientific information which will also be required for implementation. Global Environmental Change (GEC) science outputs generated by various international organizations have great potential to contribute towards addressing challenges of LDCs but this information is usually provided on a broad scale, is fragmented and lacks immediate local context for policy applications. LDCs do not have capacity to develop their own context-specific GEC information, nor to assemble and synthesize available findings relevant to their needs. Because of this, major policy-driving assessments such as IPCC reports lack adequate coverage of LDCs; this further constrains LDCs negotiations for greater international support for adaptation to climate change.

This paper reports on the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) Synthesis, Integration and Exploration (SIE) activity to be carried out between 2010 – 2014. One of the IGBP SIE themes is focused on LDCs with special attention on natural hazards such as drought, floods and fires; human health and environment with particular reference to food security and water resources; and on the role of indigenous knowledge systems in adaptation. The LDCs SIE is designed to provide an opportunity to integrate global based scientific findings on climate change and GEC in general with relevant outputs or ongoing work at the local/national level to address pertinent policy needs of LDCs, and identify new areas that are of value to these countries for further development. As a result the synthesis will facilitate cross fertilization of scientific information produced at different scales by IGBP and its partners (IHDP, ESSP, WCRP etc) and local experts, and provide interaction between global and local LDCs scientists thus facilitate capacity building through “learning by doing”. The out put will be a coherent synthesis of key GEC issues in LDCs that can be of value to the IPCC process and hence help policy directions under international frameworks such as the UNFCCC as well as addressing local needs.

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E Pramova1,3, B Locatelli1,2, M Brockhaus1 and S Fohlmeister3 1Centre for International Foresty Research, Indonesia 2Agricultural Research for Development, France 3Technische Universität München, Germany

Societies that depend on natural resources for their livelihoods are likely to be adversely affected by climate change, unless they can adapt. There is growing evidence that ecosystem services play an important role in reducing these societies’ vulnerability to climate change. Regulating services reduce communities’ exposure to climate-related extreme events because, for example, they can act as natural protective buffers against wave and wind energy, and decrease temperatures during heat waves. Provisioning services can act as safety nets that lessen sensitivity to climate variability; for instance, in Africa, many rural communities use non-timber forest products for consumption or trading when agriculture and livestock are affected by climate events.

Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) is an emerging concept both in science and in international discussions on climate change and biodiversity. Since the 14th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC, Germany) held in Pozna in December 2008, several parties have submitted proposals related to EbA. Among others, G77/China, Costa Rica, Panama, Sri Lanka and the IUCN have all submitted such proposals.

The Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Biodiversity and Climate Change (under the Convention on Biological Diversity) defined EbA as “the use of sustainable ecosystem management activities to support societal adaptation”. Although EbA does formulate opportunities for sustainable adaptation, it also poses challenges related to the lack of awareness of ecosystems’ role in adaptation among institutions, and the shortcomings of multi-sectoral planning, as EbA requires the involvement both of sectors that manage ecosystems and of sectors that benefit from ecosystem services.

Many Least-Developed Countries have developed their National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) under the UNFCCC and have identified priority adaptation activities and projects, based on existing information and stakeholder consultation. Although the quality of the subsequent outcomes is sometimes questioned, the NAPAs constitute a starting point for realising adaptation and thus will need to be evaluated and improved as new knowledge emerges. The introduction of EbA could be one pathway for this further improvement. So far, the extent to which the NAPAs have integrated ecosystem services and EbA is relatively understudied.

Therefore, a content analysis study is conducted on the 44 submitted NAPAs (as of March 1, 2010) to answer the following questions: how are ecosystem services considered in priority adaptation activities? Are ecosystem services considered for the adaptation of local communities or broader society? Do the proposed adaptation activities involve multiple sectors? What approaches and instruments are proposed for conserving or restoring ecosystems (e.g., regulatory, economic and informational instruments)? What are the costs of the different adaptation activities (e.g., engineered infrastructure vs. green infrastructure)?

Although many of the NAPAs enclose “hard” engineering solutions, such as flood-control channels and seawall or dam reinforcement, a substantial number of projects emphasise ecosystems and their services. Such examples are found, for instance, in the NAPA projects of small island states or countries with large coastal zones, where rehabilitation techniques for dunes and mangroves are used to address erosion, provide protection against storm surges and enhance threatened livelihoods. These examples are explored in a comparative manner and are presented with a critical view on the various factors that influence the development of NAPA activities, such as stakeholder participation, existing development policies and trans-boundary dimensions.

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R J Swart1 and G R Biesbroek2 1 Alterra/Wageningen University and Research Centre, Netherlands 2 Wageningen University and Research Centre, Earth System Science and Climate change and the Public Administration and Policy Group, Netherlands

After two decades of emphasis on mitigation, the European Union has recently accepted its vulnerability to the projected impacts of climate change. But even before the European Union added adaptation to its climate policy menu, and in the absence of socially relevant research on vulnerabilities and adaptation, local, regional, and national levels were already developing adaptation strategies. Climate research in the 1980s focused on changes in the climate system and on the attribution to natural or anthropogenic causes. From the 90s onwards mitigation research was added to the research agenda and initial assessment of potential vulnerabilities and impacts were published, pushing towards a adaptation policy agenda. Only from 2005 targeted adaptation research programmes are being developed in only a limited number of countries. Is this timely, or does this lead to a potential mismatch between adaptation science and policy?

The paper reviews national adaptation strategies that were either formally adopted or under development by the end of 2009 in the EU member states and includes a number of similar efforts at the regional level. The paper is based on a study on national adaptation strategies by the Partnership for European Environmental Research (PEER) and on a study on regional strategies for the European Commission. It focuses on six dimensions of National Adaptation Strategies: (a) the drivers of adaptation policies, (b) the design of the science-policy interface, (c) communication and dissemination, (d) multilevel governance, (e) policy integration, and (f) implementation, monitoring and evaluation (Swart et al., 2009). Similarities and differences are summarized.

Developments in frontrunner countries like the United Kingdom, Finland, The Netherlands and Germany are used by other countries as a source of inspiration, notwithstanding their large differences in specific vulnerabilities, institutional and political structures, and social-cultural norms and values. There are at least three types of strategies that can be identified: 1) those that set a framework for action at national, regional and local level and are operationalised accordingly; 2) those that primarily have been developed to put adaptation on the political agenda, leaving development and implementation of concrete adaptation to follow-up activities; 3) those that result from the deliberated decision not to develop a formal national strategy, leaving adaptation to sectoral and local action.

All countries are currently exploring ways how to optimize the role of scientific information in shaping adaptation policy, struggling with the fact that many adaptation options are about mainstreaming climate concerns into a very wide set of sectoral policies rather than a clear-cut single-sector policy. New governance challenges emerge with the White Paper on climate change adaptation issued by the European Commission in 2009 as the first step towards a European Adaptation Strategy that is scheduled for 2013. The details of that strategy will be developed along four pillars: strengthening the knowledge base through the development of a Clearinghouse on information on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation; integrating climate change into EU legislation; including climate change impacts into relations with neighbouring and other countries; and the development of a combination of policy instruments to ensure effective delivery of adaptation.

The paper concludes with an analysis of key challenges for research to effectively support the development of actual adaptation action to meet the strategies’ objectives at the various administrative levels in Europe.

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G Picker1 1AECOM, Australia

As the science around climate change becomes clearer and more widely disseminated, there is an increasingly strong desire among those countries, sectors and communities that see themselves as particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change to better understand – and to manage – their risk.

Adapting to the future impacts of climate change is a complex challenge for policy-makers at both an international and national level. Firstly, there is the challenge of evaluating climate change risk across and between diverse countries, communities and sectors where the nature and severity of the impact can only be assessed in a probabilistic fashion. Next, there are only rudimentary tools available to analyse the economic and social benefits of risk mitigation measures. Lastly, there remains uncertainty about whether – and where – the impacts of climate change will represent market failure and will require structural reform, and where the impacts while significant can be managed through current, albeit enhanced, policy approaches.

This presentation will provide an overview and analysis of recent developments in adaptation policy emerging out of the Copenhagen negotiations and through the next major negotiations in Cancun in December 2010. It will also provide an overview and assessment of developments in adaptation policy in leading countries worldwide including Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, as well as adaptation activities supported by the World Bank and other multilateral funding institutions.

An analysis about the differences between national and international approaches on managing climate change impacts will be provided, and the causes for and implication of any discrepancies explored. Key differences in approach and proposed solutions will be examined, lessons learned identified, and examples of best practice highlighted. Challenges and barriers to the development of effective adaptation policy will also be detailed.

Lastly, the presentation will provide a scenario of the likely pattern of development for adaptation policy at both an international and national level. Finally, there will be a discussion about both the policy and practical consequences of how adaptation policy develops.

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P Mahrenholz1 and A Daschkeit1 1Federal Environment Agency, Germany

The German Adaptation Strategy is based on an ensemble of climate projections and an impact and vulnerability assessment. The German government assessed possible opportunities and risks of climate change in future policy planning and identified adaptation options within 13 specific sectors and two cross cutting sectors (e.g. regional planning) after it had agreed jointly on principles for decision-making under conditions of uncertainty. Considering the uncertainties surrounding future climate and socio-economic developments that are apparent e.g. from various emissions scenarios and climate modelling the government will henceforth base its planning processes and associated adaptation decisions on plausible ensembles of climate projections, taking account of existing uncertainties, and will thus accept probability statements as a basis for planning. This process is no means a given at present and necessitates a rethink of existing practices in a number of sectors.

The strategy takes also account of the possible implications for development, migration and security policy that could be associated with the impacts of climate change on developing countries especially affected by the adverse impacts of climate change. It reflects that Germany is playing an active part in the development of relevant concepts under the UNFCCC.

With a decision to continue the adaptation process the government accepted that adaptation requires a long term perspective which certainly goes beyond its political mandate. By starting the implementation phase of thestrategy and working on an Adaptation Action Plan (to be agreed in April 2011) the government clearly committed itself and took the responsibility of coordinating the adaptation process. Moreover the strategy is explicit for two additional aspects of the implementation phase: the inclusion of all concerned stakeholders and decision levels in the adaptation process as well as the improvement of awareness building and knowledge transfer.

In general adaptation to climate change requires user oriented information about climate change, its impacts, possible adaptation options and best practice examples. The Competence Centre on Climate Impacts and Adaptation (KomPass) at the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), established by the Federal Environment Ministry in 2006, summarises and assesses the results of vulnerability research and develops concepts for the national adaptation process. It gives advice to the Federal Environment Ministry how to steer the implementation phase of the strategy. Additionally KomPass makes the available impact and adaptation knowledge readily accessible to the public. It collects information on possible adaptation options (e.g. by a lot of stakeholder dialogues), evaluates them with respect to their risks and opportunities and makes good practise results available to concerned actors.

KomPass delivers platforms for communication and transparent information access. The knowledge base is underpinned by the numerous products, services and information provided by KomPass: besides the KomPass project data base including more than 200 adaptation projects, a decision support system for communities and enterprises, vulnerability risk maps, a newsletter, studies, fact sheets, brochures and flyers. KomPass distributes this information via an Internet- based information and communication platform with continuously expanding content. This platform allows easy access for a large group of people. The Environment Ministry ensures the required personnel and financial resources to keep them updated. If appropriate, KomPass has complemented the online communication by face to face communication by operating and moderating different networks with actors from science, business and administration for six years.

We will present, how the Action Plan is developed in detail. This includes the following aspects: the necessary political agreement on a practical definition on “adaptation measure” as well as on the needed level of detail, the evaluation and ranking of principles and criteria for prioritizing action needs (e.g. timing, synergies and conflicts among adaptation and mitigation as well as other policy targets, adaptation costs, best practice). How KomPass acts as effective science policy interface. This includes a description of transfer and communication methods, experience with stakeholder processes and communication tools. We will give a short overview on how KomPass is developing its Internet platform into a national clearing house mechanism and how we will combine the efforts of different disciplines and administrations in providing climate and adaptation information.

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S K Mandal1 1Department of Architecture, National Institute of Technology Patna, India

The projected impacts of climate change in India are an increase in average temperatures by 2-4o C and marginal changes in rainfall during monsoon months, with large changes during the non-monsoonal months. The number of rainy days during the monsoons is projected to decrease by more than 15 days while the rainfall intensity is expected to rise by as much as 1-4 mm/day. Cyclonic storms are likely to increase in frequency and intensity. Climate change increases the vulnerability of the poor, and those dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods. It leads to less secure livelihoods due to depleted social, financial, physical and natural resources and human assets. Adaptation is the response to actual or expected climate stimuli that moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities. Nationally, some capacity, in about a quarter of Indian states, has been built for single rapid onset (such as earthquake) and long onset (droughts) disasters and risks. By and large, the reliance is on hard resilience options. Managing a complex portfolio of hazard risks and vulnerabilities is beyond the capability of current institutional setup. India has undertaken four officially supported national technical assessments of climate change risks, impacts, adaptation and mitigation option since 1992. This paper will discuss in details about these assessments and the future action plan for its adaption.

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J Gardner1, R Parsons1 and G Paxton1 1CSIRO, Australia

Research into the current level of adaptation planning in Australian organisations is being conducted jointly by CSIRO’s Climate Adaptation Flagship (CAF) and the Australian Government Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE). The research involves a longitudinal survey of public- and private-sector organisations that would ideally play a significant part in Australia’s efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change. The project is designed to benchmark current level of adaptation activities in sampled organisations, to allow for tracking of changes in adaptation activities, and to attribute observed changes to the impact of the DCCEE, CAF, and other agencies where appropriate. The project is also intended to raise levels of awareness climate adaptation in general.

Initial telephone surveys were conducted in late 2008, and included local government groups, infrastructure management organisations and a variety of industry representatives and individual businesses. The survey measured the type and extent of adaptation activities these organisations are currently undertaking. Survey results indicated that although most businesses recognise the challenge posed by climate change, and accept that both mitigation and adaptation are important, the nature and extent of adaptation activity was highly variable, with only 59% of surveyed organisations having conducted formal vulnerability assessment, and less than 40% having implemented any specific planning for adapting to future climate change impacts.

A second series of interviews were conducted with 19 state and federal government agencies that are involved in adaptation activities. These interviews indicated that state and federal government entities typically incorporate climate adaptation within a broader climate change framework, rather than having separate policy directed at adaptation. Further, the major area of activity related to adaptation was gathering further information, suggesting that adaptation planning is still in its early stages within these entities. Commonly cited barriers to adaptation activity were lack of information, lack of clear responsibilities and coordination across jurisdictions, and uncertainty regarding funding, although this latter issue was more often identified by state/territory entities. Federal entities also cited lack of community engagement and the presence of climate scepticism as barriers to adaptation planning.

A third series of 16 in-depth interviews were conducted with businesses and other non-government organisations to gather more information about drivers and barriers to adaptation activity. Organisations with both low and high levels of adaptation activity were targeted for these interviews, to allow for examination of the differences between them. Drivers for adaptation planning that were identified included a growing awareness of climate change, a sense of vulnerability to climate change impacts, and a response to pressure from external stakeholders. Barriers to adaptation planningincluded a lack of information and resources (money, people and time), a lack of policy clarity and/or government support, scepticism about climate change impacts, and a culture of conservatism within the organisation.

It is noteworthy that the drivers and barriers to adaptation activity identified by both types of organisations were similar – this suggests that there are not extensive qualitative differences that are preventing organisations from taking action. Rather, the differences seem to involve the relative scale of drivers and barriers: if the drivers are extensive enough in an organisation to overcome the barriers, then it appears likely that the organisation will take action on adaptation issues. In particular, it appears that once organisations develop a sense of vulnerability to climate change (and overcome scepticism, lack of information and a lack of resources), they are then likely to take action.

The expected drivers and barriers identified in a review of adaptation literature were largely supported by both the quantitative survey findings and the qualitative interview results. It appears that adaptation planning is more likely to occur if an organisation:
• has more knowledge of climate change in general,
• has conducted formal vulnerability assessment,
• has prior experience with longer-term strategic planning,
• has contact with external organisations to provide information and assistance.

Further, it appears that adaptation planning may be less likely if the organisation:
• is waiting for someone else to take responsibility for adaptation planning,
• has an organisational culture that does not support change,
• has a lack of information or physical resources (money, staff, time),
• has a degree of scepticism about climate change in general.

The three processes of data collection will be repeated in mid-2010, to allow for the tracking of changes over time and to provide some assessment of the impact of work conducted by the Climate Adaptation Flagship in the intervening period. Once the second set of survey data is collected, it will be possible to identify how, and to what extent, various organisations in the sample have changed over time. It will also be possible to identify organisations that have changed markedly, and compare them to those who have not changed; this approach will allow a further examination of the range of barriers and drivers of adaptation planning in Australian organisations.

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D Bruci1 and R Kay2 1UNDP Climate Change Programme, Albania 2 Coastal Zone Management Pty, Ltd, Perth, Australia

In this paper we review the increasing demand for trans-national GEC research to contribute towards adaptive solutions as the stresses imposed by human activities on the life-support systems of planet Earth become more pressing. Today, the climate and indeed the GEC research community generally faces an increasing challenge to present research results in more accessible and informative ways to stakeholders, especially to policy makers. This demands that inter- and trans-national research builds into political and economic decisions (i.e. that research improves societal outcomes) with an understanding of the kind of information that decision-makers need.

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K Eisenack1, 2, R Stecker1, D Reckien2, E Hoffmann3, M Steinhaeuser1, 2, A Pechan1, M Rotter3 1 Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Germany 2 Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany 3 Institute for Ecological Economy Research, Germany

In this paper the state of the art in adaptation to climate change in the transport sector is assessed by a systematic review of peer-reviewed papers and other available documents (studies, policy and business documents). Risks for this sector are considerable for overall social welfare, since transportation is essential for multiple further economic, public and private activities. However, while the transport sector received much attention with respect to mitigation of greenhouse gases, studies on adaptation in the transport sector are rare.

For a systematic description of adaptation and to clarify our basic assumptions we propose an action theory of adaptation that is used for the review. The use of an action theory helps to specify the nomenclature and guides the analysis. It is designed to systematically assess the actors involved in adaptation. The theory additionally serves to develop accompanying economic arguments by specifying actor constellations (exposed actors, operating actors and actors that are affected by adaptations). Thereby, we’re aiming to shed light on some crucial adaptation problems. Special interest is directed to the question whether and under which circumstances the public should assist these (private) actors in adapting to climate change.

The paper shows that adaptation in the transport sector is still in a stage of infancy. This contrasts the actual need for considering adaptation in this sector since it operates on the basis of long-lasting infrastructures as roads, railways or airports. Long planning horizons require early consideration to make these infrastructures resilient against future or already occurring climate changes. Retrofitting transport infrastructure can be very costly. Without anticipatory adaptation this is likely to become necessary, since the transport sector is highly sensitive to changes in climate and to extreme weather events in particular. The review shows that adaptation in the transport sector involves a substantial diversity of actor constellations. This complexity may partially explain missing action. The (potential) adaptations identified by the review also show that some established categories as, e.g., autonomous and planned adaptation, do not have the necessary clarity for understanding adaptation. Ecological changes in natural systems are typically considered as autonomous, while government programmes are planned. Between these extreme there is a spectrum of further relevant actors, systems and institutions, e.g. technical infrastructure, companies, markets, local authorities, educational institutions or NGOs. Which actors should be accounted for as exercising planned adaptation? We show how the proposed action theory sheds some light on such questions.

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K Van Nieuwaal1 1Knowledgde for Climate – Utrecht University, Netherlands

In 2008, The Netherlands saw the birth of a national research program for making the country climate proof: Knowledge for Climate. To that end, the program has the ambition to balance scientific excellence and practical relevance. Government, research institutes and other matching partners will invest more than 70 million euro in the total research program.

Central to Knowledge for Climate are the so-called hotspots that represent the regions requiring the most significantinvestments with regard to adaptation to climate change in the coming years. These hotspots are (a.) Schiphol Mainport and Region, (b.) The Hague region, (c.) Rotterdam region, (d.) Major rivers, (e.) South-West Netherlands Delta, (f.) Shallow waters and peat meadow areas, (g.) Dry rural areas and (h.) Wadden Sea. At the end of the research program, in 2014, each hotspot will deliver ‘Options for the regional adaptation strategy’, based on region specific characteristics, the best scientific research possible and meeting the actual regional demands and priorities. For that purpose, the hotspots work closely together with the consortia that have been selected after an open call and an intensive review procedure, for each of the following themes: (1.) Water safety at national and regional level, (2.) Freshwater supply at national and regional level, (3.) Climate-proofing rural areas, (4.) Climate-proofing urban areas, (5.) Infrastructure and networks, (6.) Improving climate projections and the set of instruments used for modeling, (7.) Governance of adaptation and (8.) Decision support tools.

In Knowledge for Climate, those who ask for knowledge and solutions continuously interact with those who supply it. Operating on this science-policy interface demands extra effort from all of those who are involved, as compared to their daily routines and mindsets. Policymakers are facing the challenge of looking beyond the relatively short-term time horizons that prioritize political agenda’s. Scientists are being challenged to let practitioners be part of the research process, from problem formulation to the dissemination and implementation of the results. For instance, Knowledge for Climate is putting into practice the so-called ‘on the spot Ph.D.’, whose aim is to balance between the world of fundamental knowledge production and that of daily and actual societal circumstances by actively participating in those two worlds simultaneously. The ‘Knowledge for Climate Ph.D. Network’ will be the platform for the almost 50 doctoral researchers to be inspired by senior researchers and practitioners and to exchange experiences.

Knowledge for Climate has embarked on a remarkable journey as a next step in the long history that The Netherlands has in adapting to the natural environment. From September 29 to October 1, 2010, Knowledge for Climate, together with the sister research program Climate Changes Spatial Planning and the City of Rotterdam, will be hosting the international conference ‘Delta’s in Times of Climate Change’ in Rotterdam, supported by the C40. For further information on Knowledge for Climate and the conference in Rotterdam, please visit

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R Meyer1 1Australian-American Fulbright Commission

Science policies have proven immensely successful with the task of advancing knowledge. However, they often falter when it comes to producing useful information for decision makers. For example, the US has invested more than $30 billion in global change research since 1990, yet the government research program continues to get poor marks on its ability to inform decision making on important environmental policy issues (e.g. NRC 2007, 2009b), a central component of its mission.

The disconnect between advancing knowledge and useful information results from a divergence in the priorities driving scientific research and the urgent needs of society. Calls for increased “stakeholder engagement,” and for “participatory research” both in Australia and in the U.S. (e.g. Cash et al. 2006, Nelson et al. 2008, Gardner et al. 2009, NRC 2009a) tacitly recognize this disconnect. But such appeals often focus on scientists and stakeholders themselves, leaving out a crucial discussion about science policy. The institutions, policies, and individuals who implement science policy have a duty to guide research toward the kinds of societal benefit that justify research investments.

Adaptation research in Australia represents an important opportunity for innovation and learning when it comes to the management of research for beneficial social outcomes. This highly interdisciplinary field has a common goal of developing useful information for people dealing with the effects climate change. Generating useful information implies far more than the traditional metrics of academic success such as peer-reviewed publications. Thus, it is useful to ask, what is successful adaptation research?

How is it evaluated? How is it different from other kinds of research? What are its core values? What does it demand from funding organizations? The ways in which researchers, managers, and users answer these questions will contribute valuable insight to the adaptation research enterprise and, more broadly, to the growing field of science and technology policy.

I will present the results of a series of interviews with individuals in three groups important to adaptation research in Australia: researchers; science policy decision makers; and the users or potential users of adaptation research. This approach draws on the Reconciling Supply and Demand, and Public Values Mapping frameworks, each of which has emerged as an important tool for assessing science policies.

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J Pickering1 1Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, The Australian National University, Australia

The Copenhagen Accord contains new commitments to scale up international finance for adaptation in developing countries, but available resources are almost certain to fall short of countries’ needs. As a result, priorities for the allocation of limited adaptation funding will need to be established. Vulnerability to the impacts of climate change is a widely accepted criterion for prioritising adaptation funding, as reflected in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Copenhagen Accord and the Kyoto Protocol Adaptation Fund. Distribution according to vulnerability or need is also consistent with a range of theories of distributive justice.

However, identifying consistent measures of climate vulnerability and obtaining sufficient data for them has proved difficult to date. A country’s climate vulnerability is influenced by a number of factors, including both its biophysical exposure and sensitivity to climate impacts and also its social and institutional capacity to respond to those impacts. Vulnerability may also vary greatly within individual countries and over different time periods. Moreover, some research, drawing on experience from development assistance, has argued that factors such as a country’s capacity to absorb adaptation finance (which could be inversely correlated with its degree of vulnerability) should also be taken into account in allocating adaptation finance.

This paper will survey a range of criteria that could be used to inform the allocation of international adaptation finance, including different measures of vulnerability and absorptive capacity. I will first sketch a brief conceptual framework for understanding the various principles that could inform the distribution of adaptation finance, drawing on recent literature from climate policy, climate ethics and international aid policy. I will then analyse several criteria-based approaches for allocating adaptation finance (including existing mechanisms such as the Kyoto Protocol Adaptation Fund and the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience), comparing them according to the relative emphasis they place on equity, efficiency and effectiveness. Finally, I will evaluate the feasibility of implementing these approaches under a range of possible institutional architectures for governing international adaptation finance. In doing so I will consider factors such as the interests of potential recipients and contributors of finance, and the practices of existing institutions through which adaptation finance could be channelled. I will argue that an approach to adaptation finance that places vulnerability at the centre of allocative decisions while making some adjustment for absorptive capacity is best equipped to meet concerns of both equity and efficiency, and that such an approach could feasibly be implemented under new or reformed institutional arrangements.

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L A Stevenson1 1Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research, Australia

Scientific understanding of climate change is advancing at a significant rate, with new information emerging about the likely impacts of climate change, the options to adapt to these changes, and new approaches to mitigative options. Through many national and international fora, it is becoming clear that climate is one of the most, if not the most, pressing issues in the political arena today. The most recent 34th G8 Toyako Summit underscored its commitments to climate change, adaptation and mitigation as well as the need to support developing countries for financing, transferring technology and capacity building activities for these nations to be able to respond effectively to a changing climate.

The Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN)’s growing strength lies in its uniqueness to facilitate underpinning scientific research and capacity building that is systematically targeted for the needs of the Asia-Pacific region as identified by its government-appointed national Focal Points and scientists who, together, develop the science, policy and institutional agendas of the APN. With this, the APN welcomes the continuing opportunity to inform SBSTA of research, capacity development and science-policy interfacing within the Asia-Pacific region relevant to the convention.

Most APN member countries continue to identify climate vulnerability, impacts, and adaptation and/or mitigation assessments as their priority concerns . GHG emissions, inventories, and the capacity to conduct activities in these areas are also considered important, particularly in the least developed nations. Climate change projections, uncertainties and modelling, particularly downscaling GCMs, are important as is access to/and the sharing of data across national borders for climate research.

Taking on board the challenges presented in climate impacts, vulnerabilities and adaptation, this is major interrelated issue for the UNFCCC and post-Kyoto agreements where skills in scenario development and impact quantification for climate sensitive systems will be needed. Particularly challenging for APN countries is the development of systematic efforts to implement adaptation strategies in various sectors likely to be affected by climate change. Currently, many APN member countries are developing adaptation strategies (and in some cases implementing them) in many sectors and all countries see the adoption of adaptation strategies as important to counter impacts and reduce vulnerabilities.

Citing an example from Indonesia in adaptation strategies for future climate risks, fostering a co-evolution of interdisciplinary science is a major challenging strategy that is currently underway. In this regard, there is a need to enhance cross-sectoral governmental communication and coordination, improve education and increase public awareness. In this regard, the APN’s capacity development programme, CAPaBLE , is successful in that it can contribute to the process of developing effective climate information systems which meet client needs and are provided to the appropriate users in a timely fashion, allowing them to use this information to assist their decision making.

While the integration of various elements such as climate risk assessments, sectoral adaptation plans and international cooperation is seen as a systematic, coherent and sound basis for developing appropriate adaptation strategies, it is very clear that many APN developing countries lack the human and institutional capacity to plan and adopt such adaptation strategies. There are many limiting factors and developing countries, in particular, have yet to conduct much- needed vulnerability and impact assessments in many areas/sectors in order to plan appropriate adaptation strategies and mainstream these into national policy and plans. The most vulnerable sectors are agriculture, fisheries, water (floods and drought), forests, health and social welfare, transportation, coastal zones, mangroves and maritime resources.

Recognizing this, the APN is conducting seven national and regional projects in China, Indonesia, Philippines, Pakistan, Thailand and Viet Nam that are focused specifically on scientific capacity development in areas of impacts, vulnerability and adaptation strategies and assessment in the scientific, user and policy-communities levels. These key activities and results will be shared at the Climate Adaptation Futures conference.

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X Zhang1, Y Abawi2,3, S Dutta3 and D McClymont3 1Queensland Climate Change Centre of Excellence, Department of Environment and Resources Management, Toowoomba, Queensland Australia. 2 Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Victoria Australia 3University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland Australia

Uncertainty in water supplies due to climate variability is the major constraint for sustainable production of irrigated agricultural system in many countries like Indonesia. In Lombok, Indonesia, the high year-to-year variability of streamflow is linked with the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon, and forecasting streamflow based on ENSO ahead of growing season can potentially improve agricultural productivity through tactical decisions on water and cropping management. However, paucity of hydro-meteorological data limits this application as long-term (>50 years) data sets are required to produce statistically valid forecasts. The paper describes how an integrated modelling approach is developed to simulate long-term streamflow and water allocation from limited observed hydro- meteorological data, which enables forecasting the streamflow based on the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI).

First, the Integrated Quantity and Quality Model (IQQM) that can simulate daily streamflow and irrigation allocation up to 100 years was implemented to simulate the Lombok Irrigation System. The IQQM was configured by schematically representing 33 direct river/tributary inflows, 42 ungauged catchment inflows, 18 groundwater inflows, 86 effluent flows (transmission loss and effluent diversion) and 57 irrigation areas (weirs) covering total 65,000ha of irrigated land. Then the model was calibrated using limited observed daily flow data (1995-2000) and the calibration quality for each irrigation area/weir was assessed using a set of statistical indicators. The results have shown that the simulations of streamflows and diversions at 43 irrigation weirs in Lombok have achieved ‘adequate’ quality or better, indicating the adequacy for tactical decision purposes. However quality indicators for other 14 weirs were ‘inadequate’ or ‘poor’, meaning that cautions should be exercised when applying the IQQM simulation output in those weirs.

The IQQM simulation requires long-term daily sub-catchment inflows as inputs. The observed data in Lombok are generally of poor quality and of short length. In this study, WeatherMan which is a weather data disaggregation tool was used to extend the daily meteorological time-series data through disaggregating of historical monthly records. The generated daily time series were then used to drive the catchment rainfall-runoff model, IHACRES to extend the short-term observed sub-catchment inflows to the long- term daily time series datasets. The generated datasets were used to drive the calibrated IQQM to simulate the streamflow and irrigation allocation at irrigation weirs for the period of 1950 to 2000.

Finally the simulated long-term streamflow was associated with ENSO to forecast its variability within the study area. The results showed that the median flows in La Niña years were significantly higher than that during El Niño and ENSO-neutral years. For example, in one irrigation area (Majeli weir), the median available irrigation water in La Niña year is about 100 Gl more than that in an El Niño year which allows growing an additional 2500ha of rice crop (based on 40 Ml/ha/year). The information can therefore assist rice growers and water managers to make better decisions, which may potentially increase gross margin of agricultural production by 30% in the study area. (This research was funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research).

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