Development and Adaptation Days 
at UNFCCC COP-11

3-4 December 2005 | Montreal, Canada


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Highlights for Saturday 3 December 2005


Above photo: View of the plenary during the "High Level Panel Discussion" 

 



The “Development and Adaptation Days at COP-11” event took place in Montreal, Canada from 3-4 December 2005. Hosted by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), and the RING Alliance of Policy Research Organizations, this event was held alongside the eleventh Conference of the parties (COP-11) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the first meeting of the parties to its Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP-1). 

On December 3, designated “Development Day,” sessions were held on linkages between climate change and development, health and disaster management, before the day ended with a high level panel discussion.

OPENING STATEMENTS:  



The Development and Adaptation Days event opened on Saturday morning, 3 December. Saleemul Huq (left), IIED, welcomed participants, noting that this was the fourth event of its kind, with previous meetings held in New Delhi, Milan and Buenos Aires following UNFCCC COPs. He highlighted the increase in awareness over the importance of adaptation within the climate change debate by scientific, development and government communities and the opportunities for fruitful interchanges during this event. 
John Drexhage (right), IISD, highlighted the increased awareness of countries on the links between climate change, energy and adaptation, and the need for the technical and scientific experts to share their knowledge on adaptation strategies and further engage the negotiating communities in these endeavors.


SESSION 1: LINKING DEVELOPMENT AND CLIMATE AND CHANGE



Above photos L-R:  Richard Klein, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Farhana Yamin, Institute of Development Studies (IDS) session chairs for the panel on "Linking Development and Climate Change".



Joel Smith, Stratus Consulting Inc., reported on the development of USAID project to develop guidance on methods to incorporate climate change into development planning at the project level.

Pierre Mukheibir, University of Cape Town, presented on adaptation strategies for water resource management at the local level in South Africa, sharing his experience in building climate change resilience by selecting short-term responses to climate variability that may also have long-term sustainable impacts.

Julio Garcia, Peru’s National Environmental Council (CONAM), illustrated a case study on climate change adaptation in Peru’s development framework, which involves viewing climate change as an obstacle to sustainable development and prioritizing vulnerability reduction.



Anne Hammill, IISD, presented a development portfolio screening framework, seeking to identify linkages with climate change and to incorporate adaptation when necessary. 

Andrew Simms, New Economics Foundation, commented on experiences with energy micro-generation projects, contrasting the potential for renewable sources of energy to meet global demand cautioning on the approaching gap between fossil fuel demand and supply in the near future.

Ian Burton, University of Toronto, introduced the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative aimed at increasing insurance availability beyond the area of natural disasters, as a market-based mechanism for spreading climate change-related risks and for encouraging adaptation through different premiums.



Above photo: Thomas Tanner, IDS Above photo: Global warming label on cars Above photo: Faizal Parish, Global Environment Center

SESSION 2: HEALTH AND CLIMATE CHANGE 


Above photos L-R: View of the dais on "Health and Climate Change" with Kristie Ebi, Exponent and Stephen Connor, International Research Institute for Climate and Society on the screen; Bettina Menne, World Health Organization, chaired the session on health and climate change. She explained that “health” incorporates psychological, social and physical wellbeing, and that the health effects of climate change include increases in the occurrence rates of some diseases and health-related impacts deriving from the increased frequency and intensity of extreme climatic events.


Charmaine Heslop-Thomas, University of West Indies, presented the results of a study on vulnerability to dengue fever in Jamaica.  Stephen Connor, International Research Institute for Climate and Society, noted that many of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and national development targets are sensitive to climate variability. Rais Akhtar, University of Kashmir, discussed the impact of climate change on health and adaptation strategies in the mountainous areas of Kashmir.


On the use of disease surveillance systems for facilitating adaptation to climate-related health risks, Kristie Ebi, Exponent, highlighted the necessary features of surveillance, including: effective public health infrastructure; accuracy and timeliness; the matching of spatial and temporal scales of health and environmental data; and appropriate legal and ethical frameworks.

Ana Rosa Moreno, US-Mexico Foundation for Science, illustrated how weather and climate forecasts can assist in localizing, better preparing for, and reducing disease epidemics.


SESSION 3: DISASTER MANAGEMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE


Madeleen Helmer (left), Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre, co-chaired the session on health and climate change, noting growing interest in climate change in light of extreme weather events, such as droughts and storms. Sarah La Trobe (right), Tearfund, who also co-chaired the session, explained that Tearfund has drawn on the experiences of its partner organizations in encouraging governments to mainstream climate-related risks into their development activities. 


Pablo Suarez, Boston University, highlighted the difficulties of convincing communities at risk about the need to invest in long-term adaptation planning, when immediate needs are not being met.

In discussing a recent study on adaptation initiatives at the local level, Ana Rojas, Both Ends, said that adaptation can be understood as a way of strengthening the resilience of communities to climate change. 

Explaining that, as a megacity, Istanbul can experience significant losses from natural disasters, Rana Izci, Marmara University, explained that Istanbul’s adaptive capacity would enhance Turkey’s overall resilience to climate change in light of its commercial and touristic significance, and discussed the importance of incorporating climate change-related concerns into the city’s disaster management strategies.



Drawing a parallel with adaptation, John Harding, UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Inter-Agency Secretariat, highlighted the challenge of integrating disaster reduction into development strategies at the national level and taking into account the multidisciplinary character of development.

Tarik-ul-Islam, UNDP, highlighted the impacts of climate change on disaster management, poverty reduction and food security in Bangladesh.


SESSION 4: HIGH LEVEL PANEL DISCUSSION


Above photos L-R: Camilla Toulmin, IIED, presented the high level panel discussion; view of the packed session of the high level panel discussion. 

Youba Sokona, Executive Secretary, Sahara and Sahel Observatory, emphasized the link between adaptation and development, from a developing country perspective.
Richard Hosier, GEF, reflected on recent projects addressing climate change and their links with adaptation and development, and queried whether approved Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects have a substantive impact on development.

George Mkondiwa, Secretary for Lands, Malawi, illustrated the recent dramatic impact of climate change on food security in Malawi, with the consequent large-scale import of emergency food relief exacerbating the country’s already poor economy. 



Bo Lim, UNDP, proposed replacing the word “mainstreaming” with “leveraging,” as adaptation is mainly a resource issue. She proposed focusing on partnerships to deliver more effectively a combined development and adaptation package. Jon Padgham, USAID, proposed: focusing on climate variability, disaster risk reduction and droughts; better earth observation; considering socioeconomic aspects; and promoting cross-agency linkages and collaborative research. A.K. Ofoso-Ahenkorah, Acting Executive Secretary, Energy Commission, Ghana, suggested that Africa seems to have been left behind with regard to CDM and other development activities for mitigating climate change.