Twelve technical officers and two executives from the focal Climate Change offices of seven Southeast Asian countries completed the workshop on Vulnerability, Impact and Adaptation Assessment (VIAA) for Climate Change: Approaches, Methods and Tools on 10-12 July 2013 at Meliá Hanoi Hotel, Hanoi, Vietnam. The officials and technical staff come from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam and belong to the Southeast Asian Network of Climate Change Offices (SEAN-CC) of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
Co-organized for SEAN-CC by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN), the workshop provided an overview of the approaches, methods, and tools in vulnerability, impact and adaptation assessment as inputs to planning of adaptations to climate change.
The workshop is premised on assumption that reducing the dire effects of climate change begins with undertaking a thorough evaluation of specific vulnerabilities that would reveal high priority sectors where countries should focus in developing appropriate climate change adaption (CCA) initiatives. The workshop provided the overall context of the necessity of adaptation plans being grounded on sound and reliable data/evidences derived through application of vulnerability, impact and adaptation assessment tools and procedures. It discussed processes of integrating climate change adaptation in development plans at different levels, from international, to national and local and provided examples of VIAA methods, tools and data in the agriculture, forestry and biodiversity, coastal and marine resources, economic and water sectors.
The workshop further provided two vulnerability frameworks and field-based experiences and insights on designing climate impact and vulnerability assessment from a project of the Food and Agricultural Organization titled “Analysis and Mapping of Impacts under Climate Change for Adaptation and Food Security (AMICAF)”.
It further discussed experiences in working with local governments in three Southeast Asian countries on vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning and insights on assessment and monitoring and evaluation for results-based adaptation planning.
The workshop summarized the following barriers to mainstreaming climate change adaptation in development planning: 1) limited understanding of the nature and extent of risks and vulnerabilities; 2) information and data gaps in VIAA (30 years minimum climate data); 3) lack of capability and other resources; 4) lack of supportive policies, standards, regulations and design guidance; 5) existing legal or regulatory restrictions; 6) lack of availability or restricted access to finance; and 7) differences in willingness to accept uncertainties. Participants identified the methods and tools most applicable and practical in their respective contexts; and asserted their additional needs and requirements to be able apply them in mainstreaming CCA in their development plans and investments.