Strong partnerships for climate resilience at the APAN Asia-Pacific Adaptation Forum

Kuala Lumper, Malaysia, 1 October 2014: The Fourth Asia Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum convened under the theme ‘Fostering strong partnerships to build a climate resilient Asia Pacific'. As the largest gathering of adaptation practitioners in the region with over 150 speakers and 30 sessions, the event brought together over 500 scientists, government officials, representatives from civil society organizations, the private sector and donor agencies from more than 30 countries to generate innovative solutions to address the impacts of climate change.

The Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN) and UNEP co-organized the event, which was held in Kuala Lumper, Malaysia from 1 to 3 October 2014, hosted by the Office of the Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, with technical support from the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. APAN provides governments with the necessary knowledge to design adaptation measures, access finance and technologies, and build capacity to integrate adaptation into national development policies.The Forum provided a venue to identify new adaptation solutions across the region and contributed to the "Science to Action Programme" of Malaysia, inspired by the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

The Forum was attended by Ministerial-level participants from Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Japan and Indonesia as well as the UN Resident Coordinator of Malaysia.The event served as a regional platform for countries and institutions to respond to the call to action made at the UN Climate Summit and to strengthen climate resilience and mobilize political will for a legal climate agreement in 2015. The forum addressed the role of governments, civil society and businesses in confronting adaptation, the kinds of knowledge needed, and the types of partnerships necessary for successful adaptation.

Five themes were addressed throughout the event; mainstreaming and transformative change; development and the food-water-energy nexus; disaster risk reduction (DRR) and human security; forestry, biodiversity and ecosystems; and cities with an emphasis on coastal development and sea-level rise. Cross-cutting issues were also addressed, including: roles of State and non-state actors in adaptation; barriers to different actors' involvement and how they can be addressed and overcome; knowledge used by different stakeholders; influence on decisions and actions by various stakeholders; and types of collaborations and partnerships that are important to successful adaptation.

A successful session was held in the 'Role of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) in Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation', focussing on how National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) can help advance integration of adaptation into development agenda, and what can be learned from the early stages of implementing NAPs at national and sectoral levels from both LDC and non LDC perspectives. The session was moderated by Youssef Nassef, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), with speakers Chea Chan Thou, Climate Change Department, Ministry of Environment, Cambodia, Tri Dewi Virgiyanti, Ministry of National Development Planning / BAPPENAS, Indonesia, Gary W. Thesiera, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Malaysia (NRE), Buddhi Marambe, National Expert Committee on Climate Change Adaptation, Sri Lanka and Mozaharul Alam, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

During the closing session, the Minister of Environment and Renewable Energy, Sri Lanka, formally expressed interest to host the next Adaptation Forum in 2016 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

[Pictures from the APAN Photo Contest 2014: 1st Prize: "Water Scarcity" by Dilip LOKRE (India) - The photo of a rural lady in India taking her cattle to a dried pond highlights an impact of climate change – water security. 3rd Prize: "Human within Ocean and Sky" by Van Thanh PHAM (Vietnam) - The photo of sandbags on the beach was taken in the coastal city of Phan Thiet in Vietnam.]

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