Adaptation, Indigenous People

Climate Change and Inuit Communities in the Canadian Arctic  

This article is written by Joseph Delgove.

What are the impacts of climate change on the environmental resources and the hunting and fishing practices of the Baffin Island Inuit communities (Nunavut)? This particular research digs deep in the ice to understand.

Photo Credit: Guillaume Weissenberger

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Adaptation, Climate Talks, COP23 - Fiji & Bonn

Bula Vinaka, My Dear Talanoa Dialogue

This article is written by Pramisha Thapaliya.

Paris Agreement, two buzz words, has set an unambiguous goal to hold global temperature increase to “well below 2⁰C “ and for parties to pursue efforts to limit this to 1.5⁰C above preindustrial levels. And it is so unfortunate that there is not much progress to figure out the urgency in COP 23. But there is a hope .i.e. Talanoa Dialogue!!! The first key political moment after Paris!!!

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Adaptation, Climate Talks, COP23 - Fiji & Bonn, Loss & Damage

Adaptation and Loss & Damage when it comes to islands

This article is written by Muhammad Ibrahim.

« Since the Adaptation fund was created in 2001 in COP7 in Marrakech for the developing countries to help them to adapt to the harmful effects of climate change, there have been good improvements but they are not enough according to lots of reports.

This is how we started our policy paper when we were talking about the Adaptation Fund from youth perspective at COP23. But when it comes to the parties, there are some other opinions.

Source :

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Adaptation, Climate Talks, COP23 - Fiji & Bonn

Technical talks on Adaptation ahead of COP23

This article is written by Viktor Jósa.

12th Meeting of the Adaptation Committee (AC) – 19-22 September 2017 – Bonn

slide_2The AC did not begin today

The Adaptation Committee (AC) – is a technical UNFCCC body, which was launched at COP16 in Cancun in 2010 and serves as one of the key bodies in carrying forward the political momentum of Paris. In September 2017 in Bonn the Adaptation Committee members convened for the last time before COP23 to discuss priorities for work in the upcoming months. The Adaptation Committee will have to satisfy two general expectations.

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Adaptation, Climate Talks, Paris Agreement

The long and tenuous road of Adaptation

This article is written by Sofia Kabbej.

Adaptation and mitigation are two fundamental concepts in the climate change debate. While they both appear as solutions to climate change, there is one main difference between the two : the objective that they each pursue. Mitigation focuses on the causes of climate change, adaptation on the other hand addresses the impacts of climate change.

For a long time mitigation has been prioritized and little attention was dedicated to adaptation or the actions of developing countries to cope with the impacts of climate change. The historical Paris Agreement (PA) took a significant step forward by placing adaptation on par with mitigation and including a Global Goal on Adaptation (which remains to be defined by Parties) alongside the goal on mitigation.

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Adaptation, Climate Talks, COP22 - Marrakech

Balancing adaptation at COP22: the future of adaptation finance

This article is written by Lisa Murken.

climate_header_b3Adaptation has long been dwarfed by the big challenge of mitigation. Since the beginning of the climate negotiations, countries have emphasised their preference for mitigation action in order to avert the most dire climate change consequences. Politicians avoided talking about adaptation, in order to not give the impression of surrendering to an inevitable fate of disastrous climate change. As understandable as this narrative may be, over the past years it became increasingly clear that this is no longer supportable. Climate change impacts are no dismal future scenario anymore: unfortunately in many countries climate change is already a reality.

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Adaptation, Climate Talks, COP21 - Paris, Water

Opportunities for resilient growth and climate change adaptation of water resources during COP21

This article is written by Daniela Gutierrez.

It is not a secret that water is an essential element for development. Nevertheless, the world faces several issues regarding the integrated management of this resource. For example “800 million people do not have access to drinking water” said Ségolène Royal French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy. During the first three days of COP21, two important announcements were made by several representatives of the government and multilateral organisations regarding resilience and climate change adaptation, which inherently are related to water challenges. These were the “Secretary- General’s Climate Resilience” and the “Paris Pact on Water and Climate Change adaptation”.


Ban Ki Moon speaking at the UN’s Secretary General’s High- Level meeting on resilience.

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Forget adaptation, it’s all about vulnerability!

Mangrove plantation in Tuvalu (South Pacific)

After six weeks of intense research work, the CliMates delegations from China to Colombia and from Austria to the US have finally submitted their topic papers on adaptation, more precisely on the links between adaptation to climate change and development.
Adaptation and mitigation are the two core issues discussed in the international climate negotiations, like this week and the last one in Bonn (Germany). As I highlighted in my previous post, adaptation is a pretty fierce debate between developed and developing countries, and even among developing countries between emerging and least-developed countries. The debate on adaptation is not, however semantically right, or could at least be defined differently. Really, what countries are trying to reduce by negotiating at the UNFCCC is the level of risk.

If you just have a look at your Oxford dictionary, risk is only defined as a situation involving exposure to danger. From a more scientific point of view, risk is a triangle combining hazard, the elements exposed (understanding exposure, population or assets) and their vulnerability. The three elements together shape a triangle, the risk triangle as you can see in the figure below.

Risk Triangle (Chrichton, Kron)In this perspective, the level of risk is estimated by the surface of the triangle; thus reducing only one of the elements of the triangle will consequently affect the whole area and will then diminish the level of risk. According to David Chrichton, the risk triangle’s father, the three elements composing the triangle could be defined as such:
Exposure: assets, goods and populations exposed to hazards;
Hazard: the likelihood of an extreme natural event taking into accounts its intensity and probability of occurrence;
Vulnerability: the degree to which a system is susceptible to, and unable to cope with adverse effects of an event (IPCC, WG 2, 2007).

The risk triangle offers a general background for natural hazards, exposure and vulnerability. If we decided to look at these three elements shaping the risk triangle in a climate change perspective, then the conclusion emphasizes the significance of vulnerability in the climate debate.

Because of increasing global GDP at a current rate of 3.6% (forecasted for 2012) and global population at a rate of 1.1% ( estimated for 2012) we can expect the exposure side to become longer in the coming years.

Following the last IPCC SREX report, both frequency and intensity of disasters are expected to increase over the next decades. In some specific cases though, for instance with tropical cyclones, only intensity is however expected to increase, as Thomas R. Knutson and his co-writers showed in 2010 (Tropical Cyclones and Climate Change, Nature Geoscience). They further explained that the frequency of category 1 to 3 cyclones will decrease while category 4 to 5 cyclones will increase.

In a context of changing climate, global demographic and economic growth, we observe that both exposure and hazard sides of the triangle are expected to get longer and then increase the area of risk. Hence, for the next decades, risk reduction will only depend upon reducing vulnerability. Furthermore, according to IPCC (Climate Change 2001, Synthesis Report) developing countries are more vulnerable to climate change and vulnerability “is most extreme among the poorest people”. As an illustration of this, IPCC SREX report shows that, from 1970 to 2008, over 95% of natural disaster-related deaths occurred in developing countries.

Tackling the adverse effects of climate change requires maximising the resilience capacity of communities. Resilience is defined as “the ability of a social or ecological system to absorb disturbances while retaining the same basic structure and ways of functioning, the capacity for self organisation, and the capacity to adapt to stress and change” (IPCC, 2007, WG 2). Increasing resilience capacity does not necessarily and always involve costly investments and heavy infrastructures. For example, in Niger, by regenerating native trees and shrubs, farmers have increased agricultural yield and their resilience to climate change. In Samoa, the World Bank approved the first country strategy focused on reducing vulnerability to climate change, natural disasters and economic shocks.

Vulnerability mitigation tends to become the new focus of international organisations and governments. This is exactly what adaptation must be about.