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This report is a synthesis of the Fourth Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1-3 October 2014.
The Forum was the fourth in a series organised by the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN) since 2010. The Forum is an on-going collaboration between the four core co-organisers: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)2, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)3, Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific (RRC.AP)4, and the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)5.
The Office of the Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia hosted the event, with technical support from the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Southeast Asia Disaster Prevention Research Initiative (SEADPRI-UKM).
The APAN partners were6: the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA), The Regional Environment Centre for Central Asia (CAREC), Global Adaptation Network (GAN), Global Water Partnership South Asia (GWP SAS), International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Local Governments for Sustainability, Southeast Asia (ICLEI), Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Korea Environment Institute (KEI), The Research Center for Climate Change Adaptation, Keio University (RCCCA), Ministry of Environment Japan (MOEJ), Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP), United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The 4th Adaptation Forum placed special emphasis on adaptation actors, and how they can collaborate to form partnerships and networks. Actors are individuals, organisations or networks, that participate in decision-making and action-taking related to adaptation to climate change. Actors in adaptation can influence agendas and activities in many ways; from lobbying or advising through to creating and following rules, norms and procedures, and by taking discrete action. Some actors have authority, influence or power, whereas others have much less over the ways in which adaptation is pursued in development. State actors typically claim legitimacy to act on behalf of their constituencies, and make substantial efforts to enable adaptation to climate change. Non-state actors – civil society organisations and businesses – can also make critical contributions towards adaptation.
Actors are important at local, national and international scales. At the international level, for example, are various intergovernmental organisations. Scientific networks operate at several scales, and may contain members from both public and private bodies. Business associations have roles within and among countries. Local actors are usually critical for success of adaptation policies and programs in particular places. Thus, actors and their partnerships are critical for resilient development.
To help address the general questions about adaptation actors in a way that can be useful for practice, the 4th Adaptation Forum was organised around the following five themes:
- Mainstreaming and Transformative Change: policy; trade and finance; technology/knowledge transfer; public-private partnerships; ethics and values; gender sensitive development; community involvement; poverty alleviation.
- Development and the Food-Water-Energy Nexus: agricultural land; water-use; water resources; infrastructure/reconstruction; private investment; energy/water/food security.
- Disaster Risk Reduction and human security: loss and damage; insurance; risk communication; risk management and adaptation; reconstruction; health; conflict; migration; poor and vulnerable groups.
- Forestry, Biodiversity and Ecosystems Change: livelihoods; traditional ecological knowledge; conservation; community-based and ecosystem-based adaptation.
- Cities with an emphasis on coastal Development and Sea-Level Rise: urbanisation, tourism; heat waves; mangrove protection; sea-level rise and small island developing states (SIDs).
The three day program was built around six plenary and 30 parallel panel sessions. The report is organised thematically following the structure of the forum’s program.