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

October 19, 2018 Friday

• Over 1,000 delegates meet in Manila to discuss adapting to the worst impacts of climate change
• Recent global warming assessment predicts devastation to coastlines and crops across Asia-Pacific
• Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum is the largest gathering of its kind in the region

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — 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 1.5ºC 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. 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 Katowice, 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.