Over 600 climate change adaptation scientists, government officials, representatives from civil society organizations, businesses and donors from more than 30 nations in the Asia and the Pacific region met in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday to find new solutions to address the impacts of climate change.
Organized by the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN), the three-day Asia Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum, now in its fourth year, is the largest gathering of adaptation practitioners in the region. These practitioners are meeting under the theme ‘Fostering strong partnerships to build a climate resilient Asia Pacific’, aligned with the “genuine and durable partnerships” theme of the UN Conference on Small Island Developing States held earlier in September this year.
Seven out of ten countries most vulnerable to climate change are from Asia Pacific. Extreme weather events, which have increased in frequency and intensity in the region, account for hundreds of billions of dollars in loss and damages. It is expected that by 2050, the number of people vulnerable to the effects of climate change will reach two billion, and will put natural and economic capital at high risk.
“Asia Pacific countries are generators of adaptation solutions. This Asia Pacific Adaptation Forum is a place to showcase these solutions. It is also the place to learn from others generating and implementing innovative ideas and practices to reduce the vulnerability of our region and its people from the all too evident impacts of a changing climate,” said Kaveh Zahedi, UNEP Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific.
The Forum is taking place less than two weeks after the high level Climate Summit in New York. It serves as a regional platform for countries and institutions to respond to the call to action from the Summit with concrete actions to strengthen climate resilience and to mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement in 2015.
It will address the role of governments, civil society and businesses in addressing climate change adaptation, the types of knowledge these actors use and need, and the forms of partnerships that are important for successful adaptation to climate change. It will also cover topics such as mainstreaming, finance, water-food-energy nexus, security, disaster risk reduction, ecosystems, cities and sea-level rise.
“The Honourable Prime Minister of Malaysia has stressed that new partnerships are critical for climate resilient development and in this context the relationship between government, business and society has to be pursued with greater intensity and seriousness to build resilience in Asia and the Pacific”, said Emeritus Professor Dr. Zakri Abdul Hamid, Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia and Founding Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.
The Office of the Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia is hosting this event with technical support from the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, the National University of Malaysia.
APAN is a network supported by UNEP and regional partners that work to equip government officials with critical knowledge to design climate change adaptation measures, access needed finance and technologies, and build capacity to integrate climate change adaptation into national development policies.
For more information: Ms. Satwant Kaur, Regional Information Officer, UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Tel: + (66 2) 2882127; Mobile: + (66 8) 17001376. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN) has grown to one of the most recognizable adaptation network not only regionally but globally, under the Global Adaptation Network (GAN) initiated by UNEP. UNEP has been supporting APAN since its inception in 2009. APAN operates through its regional hub located in Bangkok. Sub-regional activities of APAN are carried out by the sub-regional nodes and thematic nodes of APAN located in the five sub-regions of Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia and the Pacific.
The sub-regional nodes operate with the help of national implementing partners located in the countries falling within each sub-region. The core partners are the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), the Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific (RRC.AP) located at the Asian Institute for Technology (AIT), the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). In addition, UNEP acts as APAN Secretariat guided by the Steering Committee of the Network.