Tackling the challenge of climate change adaptation through sharing experiences

Bringing together a diversity of knowledge and experience is the only way to tackle the challenge of climate change. 

Climate change adaptation is a new and evolving area of work that has bourgeoned in the last decade, with many different measures tried, and many successes, challenges and lessons emerging.  As such, it becomes increasingly important to ensure the information and knowledge arising from this vast experience is shared through exchange and interaction at all levels - within countries, across borders and between regions. This was the aim behind the Global Exchange Workshop on Adaptation for Food Security and Resilience.  This Workshop, co-hosted by the Canada-UNDP Climate Change Adaptation Facility (CCAF) and the Africa Climate Adaptation Food Security (ACA) regional programme, brought together experts from eleven countries to share their experiences and lessons learn on a variety of adaptation-related issues. 

The CCAF was established in 2014 to promote south-south cooperation and enhance understanding about initiatives that address adaptation, with a focus on gender dimensions. This Facility focuses on six initiatives supported by Canada, all aiming to strengthen resilient approaches to agriculture and water management. It also provides broader exchange between these projects and other adaptation initiatives supported by UNDP and other partners.  Similarly, the ACA regional programme, supported by the Government of Japan, aims to 1) improve climate information systems for informed decision-making and integrated planning approaches; and 2) test and scale up climate risk management measures including weather index insurance and community based adaptation measures, while also enhancing the capacity to access and manage climate finance. These two initiatives jointly hosted the Exchange Workshop in Niamey, Niger from 2-5 March.

Representatives from countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Arab States were brought together to share experiences and document critical lessons and successes emerging from their ongoing projects. The workshop was organized around six thematic issues:

  • Climate-related information and services,
  • Innovations in water, soil, energy and crop management technologies and approaches,
  • Strengthening policy and institutions to better integrate agriculture, food security and climate change,
  • Financing measures for resilience,
  • Gender-sensitive approaches, and
  • Measuring impact of adaptation on development outcomes.

Every participating country shared at least one innovative experience from their project related to these themes, and participants discussed the various processes, challenges and success factors that would allow others to apply the same approach in their countries.

The participants also visited three project sites near Niamey, where adaptation activities are being undertaken with support of the GEF and the Government of Canada. Activities observed included the introduction of new irrigation techniques and supporting women’s collectives engage with alternative income generating activities, such as gardening and livestock fattening. The participants had an opportunity to speak with the beneficiaries directly and understand their experiences and challenges.

This workshop stands as the first step in establishing a community of practice around the issues of adaptation and food security.  The information shared will be turned into technical briefings and comparative analyses, and the countries will continue their exchange.  A full workshop report is available on the CCAF ALM website here: Proceedings of Global Exchange Workshop - Niamey, 2-5 March 2015. Presentations and workshop materials are available here.

For further information, please contact Jennifer Baumwoll, CCAF project coordinator at Jennifer.baumwoll@undp.org

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