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From assessment to action
UNFCCC compendium on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation methods
Sonja Vidic
Meteorological and Hydrological Service
In negotiations about climate change,
two broad policy responses debated are
• mitigation (of greenhouse gas emissions) and
• adaptation (to climate change impacts or risks).
Countries are committed in the UNFCCC
• to formulate and implement measures to facilitate
adaptation (Article 4.1b), and
• to cooperate in preparing for adaptation to the impacts
of climate change (Article 4.1e).
First generation approach: adaptation linked to
Climate scenarios
Future climate and anticipated vulnerability
More impact than adaptation oriented
Focus on:
• stabilization of greenhouse gas
concentrations in the atmosphere
• mitigation options
• Too abstract and uncertain
• No reality check: hard to explain to stakeholders
• Based only on mean changes of temperature
and precipitation
• No projections or risk assessments of extreme events
• Lack of assessment tools/models
Unchanged facts:
1. Climate change continues affecting us in the future
regardless GHG stabilization
2. Adaptation to climate change still plays a key role
3. Less developed, more vulnerable
Second generation approach: adaptation linked to
Current climate variability and current vulnerability
in addition to the concern with future climate and vulnerability.
This empirical approach
provides grounding in reality
on which to base
projections of future impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation.
Compendium – catalogue of methods
provides information on available tools and their intended use.
• represents no consciously planned interventions
• there is potential to reduce negative impact of CC
or to moderate vulnerabilities
• tends to be reactive
• can be quite costly and
• can encounter some residual damages
• represents consciously planned response
• considered at local, national and
international scales
• particular adaptation measures or practices,
can be almost infinite in number
Adaptive capacity: potential or ability of a
system, region or community to adapt
Enhancement of adaptive capacity represents practical
means of coping with changes and uncertainties in
climate, including variability and extremes
What do we need?
Scientific understanding
• Climate processes
• Linkages between climate and society
• Tools to model interactions between climate and society –
compendium of methods
Stakeholders involvement
• Deeply involved at the level of understanding
• Participation in research and assessment activities
•Use of available tools - compendium of methods
• Funding sectorial and interdisciplinary studies
• Recognition of benefits
Supportive government
That understands and facilitates all of it !!!
What are limitations ?
They depend on social and economic welfare !!
Countries with economical difficulties still cope with
• Lack of vision and strategic planning
• Day-to-day policy decision making
• No continuity in project funding
• No resources for A&V assessments
• No stakeholder involvement
• Lack of integration
at governmental level !!!
Is Compendium useful ?
Yes !!!
Underpins scientific understanding,
defelopment of new methods.
Provides tools for sectoral analyses.
Facilitates stakeholders involvement.
Supports independant research activities
of interested groups.