Enabling Resilience for All: Avoiding the Worst Impacts: Summary Report of the 6th Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum
The 6th Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum took place from 17 to 19 October 2018, at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Headquarters in Manila, Philippines.
This is the sixth flagship biennial event of the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN), which constitutes the primary regional platform for adaptation practitioners to share adaptation knowledge and collaborate to address the challenges and opportunities of climate change.
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. The 2018 Forum theme was 'Enabling Resilience for All: Avoiding the Worst Impacts', and featured interactive sessions, panel discussions, knowledge exchange, and an exhibition of adaptation technologies.
The Forum brought together more than 1,000 scientists, government officials, representatives from civil society and businesses, as well as development partners from 60 countries. Delegates gathered to forge partnerships and share learnings from cutting-edge science and practical solutions, to strengthen resilience. The Forum also helped to advance regional priorities and mobilize political support for the international climate conference (COP24) in Katovice, Poland in December 2018.
Resilience provided a unifying theme for the 2018 Forum, which focused on learning from adaptation action, moving towards climate resilient development. This reflected the views of participants from previous APAN Forums, as well as the wider network of APAN partners. Discussions at the Forum were built around four streams: Resilience of social and human systems; resilience of natural systems; resilience of industry and the built environment; and resilience of island communities. The special focus on island communities recognized that the numerous and diverse island communities within Asia and the Pacific face particular challenges associated with natural hazards and socio-economic shocks as a result of climate change.
Resilience embodies the desired end-point of adaptation, applicable to natural, human, economic and engineered systems. For this Forum theme, adequate enabling conditions and access to support through which resilience may be built, maintained, and strengthened were identified. These were: policy and governance, planning and processes; financing and investing; technologies and practices; and science and assessment.
The Forum took place shortly after the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC, which served to galvanize delegates and bring added urgency to all discussions. The report paints a bleak picture of a future world riddled by climate impacts if drastic changes are not made to limit global warming to 1.5ºC. Delegates were all mindful that 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.
This Summary Report was compiled by the APAN Secretariat and brings together Forum highlights, lessons learned in key aspects, and takeaways from the 6th Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum.