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News and Media
SEI-hosted adaptation forum in Bangkok emphasises the need for joint regional efforts and continued development of policy and practice.
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The Asia/Pacific region is expected to be among the most vulnerable to impacts of climate change, including sea-level rise, severe storms, climate variability, and other risks to human environments, biodiversity, and infrastructure.
At the recent Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum in Bangkok, over 500 policymakers, scientists, representatives of Asia-Pacific governments, bilateral and multilateral donors discussed ways to better prepare for and manage the looming large-scale effects of climate change in the Asia-Pacific region.
“The defining issue of our time”
H.E. Virachai Virameteekul, the Minister of Science and Technology for Thailand called for cooperation between all countries to combat climate change, quoting, “If you want to go somewhere fast, you go alone; if you want to go far, then we go together”.
Young-Woo Park, UNEP Regional Director and Representative for Asia and the Pacific, reminded the participators that responding to climate change – “the defining issue of our time” – was particularly critical for developing countries and the Asia-Pacific region.
UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, emphasized building resilience, the centrality of science to effective adaptation programming, and the power of partnerships.
“Adaptation is not the poor cousin of climate change mitigation,” said the Executive Director, who forcefully argued for moving forward together on both adaptation and mitigation.
“We have to build the strength to deal with change,” he said.
Saleemul Huq of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) remarked at the close of the forum’s first day: “We are just at the beginning of what is going to be a very long journey. Adaptation policy and practice is at the nursery [school] stage. There are no experts – but we are beginning to ask the right questions.”
Launch of new knowledge portal
The forum also saw the launch of the Asia Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Knowledge Portal, a one-stop-shop knowledge portal on climate and adaptation launched at the recent Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum 2010. Developed by SEI, UNEP, Sida and other organizations, the portal is driven by weADAPT, SEI’s online collaborative platform for climate adaptation. This means that users can access info from both websites at the same time.
The portal also promotes the Regional Climate Change Adaptation Knowledge Platform for Asia, the Asia Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Network and the Adaptation Learning Mechanism.
The forum was organized by the Regional Climate Change Adaptation Knowledge Platform for Asia and the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN), with the support of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the Swedish Environmental Secretariat for Asia (SENSA), the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), the Asian Institute of Technology – UNEP Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific (AIT-UNEP RRC.AP), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Ministry of Environment of Japan (MoEJ), and the Institute of Global Environment Strategies (IGES).
Read more about the Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum here