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A Toolkit for Designing Climate Change Adaptation Initiatives

November 16th, 2010

 “The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2007) states unequivocally that the world is warming. The report provides a comprehensive analysis of how climate change is affecting natural and human systems. There is increasing concern about the likely implications of climate change on poverty, economic growth, ecosystem services, livelihood opportunities as well as overall human development. The poorest populations in developing countries are expected to bear the brunt of the impacts of climate change, with costs in individual sectors (e.g., water or agriculture) expected to exceed billions of dollars in some countries. In this context, the world’s attention is shifting towards adapting to the likelihood of a range of climate change-induced effects on ecosystems and economic development.

With the emerging necessity to adapt to climate change, countries and communities are starting to design and implement adaptation initiatives of various types, scales, and coverage. These initiatives seek to manage anticipated climate change risks at the national, sub-national, local/community levels. Some focus on developing system-wide local capacities aimed at analyzing, planning, and implementing a range of priority actions that strengthen the resilience of key stakeholders and institutions against anticipated climate change risks. Very often, this entails:

  • Conducting analysis of the likelihood of associated biophysical and socio-economic implications of long-term climate change risks
  • Preparing development strategies and plans to include consideration of climate change risks and opportunities
  • Reviewing/revising/designing national and sub-national policies (including accompanying legislative adjustments) to take into account climate change risks and opportunities
  • Developing partnerships, tools, and practices to incorporate climate resilience into investment decision-making processes
  • Testing and demonstrating discrete interventions to manage climate risks

In this context, an emerging challenge is to design initiatives that explicitly address a climate change-driven problem. Questions arise on how to differentiate between a climate change “adaptation” initiative and a traditional development initiative. What are key elements that must be considered when developing and designing an adaptation initiative? Operational guidance on these questions is still very nascent.”

The Toolkit developed by the Environment and Energy Group/Environmental Finance, Bureau of Development Policy of UNDP aspires to support all those involved in the design of measurable, verifiable, and reportable adaptation initiatives. It provides step-by-step guidance. As such, it seeks to answer the following question: What are the basic steps in planning and designing an adaptation initiative?

To download the full paper click here.

The Toolkit for Designing Climate Change Adaptation Initiatives is also on Delicious.