The First Roundtable Discussion on Climate Change Adaptation in the GMS
Bangkok, Thailand 12th March 2013
Climate change and associated extreme weather events will have a significant impact on economic growth and human development in the GMS. Key sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, and tourism support economic growth and local livelihoods and are highly dependent on climate-sensitive natural resources including forests, water resources, biodiversity and other ecosystem services.
To increase climate change adaptive capacity in the GMS requires close coordination and collaboration from all development players. Many organizations and programs, including CEP, have developed approaches and tools to help identify adaptation strategies and actions.
On March 12, CEP hosted the 'Roundtable Discussion on Climate Risk and Vulnerability Assessments and Design of Adaptation Options in the GMS.' The event bought together climate change adaptation stakeholders in an effort to develop a shared understanding of various approaches and tools, evaluate their effectiveness, and identify gaps. They also looked at potential collaboration opportunities.
The event was attended by experts from Southeast Asia START Regional Center, Chulalongkorn University; the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation; the USAID Mekong Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change Project; Institute for Social and Environmental Transition; the International Union for Conservation of Nature; the World Wide Fund for Nature; and the Stockholm Environment Institute.
This Roundtable was the first step towards establishing a loose consortium of institutions and experts in an attempt to strengthen the regional knowledge base on climate change adaptation, support GMS adaptation practitioners, and influence climate resilience investments by the ADB and GMS governments.
What was learnt?
- The majority of programs and projects in the GMS focus on understanding potential climate impacts on and identifying adaptation options for agriculture, water, coastal and urban sectors.
- Partners use different conceptual frameworks and modeling approaches, but have four key commonalities: 1) emphasis on analyzing the present context of vulnerability of a household or a system as a starting point to understand the future impacts of climate change; 2) recognition that climate pressures must be analyzed alongside development pressures; 3) importance of considering sectoral linkages, such as between rural and urban sectors; and 4) the need to analyze the potential impacts of climate change and development pressures on ecosystem services especially in the context of agriculture and natural resource management.
- In terms of knowledge gaps, the roundtable discussion identified two critical issues for further research and discussion: monitoring and evaluation of climate impacts and adaptation responses; and adaptation financing.