Experts Gather to Foster Learning to ‘Enable Resilience for All’

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More than 1,000 scientists, government officials, representatives from civil society and businesses, as well as development partners from 60 countries are meeting this week at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) headquarters in Manila for the 6th Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum to share and discuss urgent adaptation solutions to build resilience against the adverse impacts of climate change.

The recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on Global Warming of 1.5�C paints a bleak picture of a future world riddled by climate impacts if drastic changes are not made to limit global warming to 1.5�C. But even under this best-case scenario, the Asia and Pacific region faces significant devastation, from inundated coastlines to destructive droughts. Immediate action is needed to scale up efforts and build resilience to avoid severe effects on livelihoods, public health, and economies.

Adaptation ensures that we, as a people, are prepared and resilient enough to survive through the impacts of climate change with our culture and identity intact for generations to come, said the President of Palau Mr. Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. in his message to the forum participants.

We need to find solutions to pave the road for a resilient society, economy, and ecosystem using platforms from Asia and the Pacific, said Mr. Yasuo Takahashi, Vice-Minister for Global Environmental Affairs of Japan's Ministry of the Environment.

The Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum is the flagship event of the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN) and gives delegates the opportunity to forge partnerships and share learnings from actions, cutting edge science, and practical solutions that will strengthen resilience. The forum also helps establish regional priorities and mobilize political support for the international climate conference (COP24) in Katovice, Poland in December 2018.

There is increasing prevalence of climate change and disaster risks in our cities and local communities. The poor and the marginalized are bound to suffer the most, said Philippine Climate Change Commission Secretary Mr. Emmanuel M. De Guzman. Reducing disaster risk and adapting to climate change is a pro-poor response. It liberates the poor from the vicious cycle of poverty and risk. It is social justice in action.

Climate change, with its wide-ranging and largely adverse impacts, has emerged as a new threat to the continuing sustainable development of the region, with the potential to undermine five decades of progress, said ADB Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development Mr. Bambang Susantono. For ADB, to help achieve the development objectives of this region, investing in building resilience to climate and disaster risks has to be a new norm.

Climate change resilience is imperative for the Asia-Pacific region. We have no choice but to adapt, said UN Environment Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific Ms. Dechen Tsering. Fortunately, here in Asia, we have the tools and insight to do so. The APAN Forum builds partnerships to share this knowledge.

Co-hosted by the Government of Palau, the Philippine Climate Change Commission, and ADB, together with the APAN secretariat at UN Environment, the forum is the largest gathering of adaptation practitioners in the Asia and Pacific region. This year's theme is Enabling Resilience for All: Avoiding the Worst Impacts and features interactive sessions, panel discussions, and knowledge exchange.


About the Asia-Pacific Adaptation Network

The Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN) is a network supported by UN Environment 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. The network has grown to one of the most recognizable adaptation networks not only regionally but globally, under the Global Adaptation Network initiated by UN Environment.

About ADB

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members�48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.

About the Philippine Climate Change Commission

As the lead climate change policymaking body of the Government of the Philippines, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) is mandated to review and recommend policies, as well as coordinate, monitor, and evaluate projects and programs in ensuring that climate action is mainstreamed into the country's development plans. Through the Communities for Resilience (CORE) Convergence Program, the CCC aims to enhance the knowledge and skills of local government units in climate science and finance, as a way for them to formulate their own local climate change action plans and access the People's Survival Fund (PSF), a local adaptation fund.

About the Republic of Palau

(Represented by the Office of the President and Office of Climate Change under the Ministry of Finance)

Office of Climate Change (OCC) was created as a governmental agency responsible for leading the development and implementation of national policies and actions through the lens of climate change. Beyond its borders, Palau champions ambitious actions on climate change with the global community, and the symbiotic relationship between climate change and our oceans.

Source: Asian Development Bank