1 October 2014, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — The APN, in collaboration with the International Center for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) and International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) held a session themed “Knowledge Foundations of Loss and Damage Systems” at the Fourth Annual Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The session invited APN project leaders and international experts to talk about key issues in Asia-Pacific on loss and damage associated with climate change, focusing on the importance of effective loss and damage knowledge systems, its main actors, and constraints in accessing and sharing such knowledge.
Studies on loss and damage from climate change is a new area that looks at limits to adaptation and explores the adverse climate impacts under a warming regime. It has received much attention in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in recent years. At the 2013 Loss and Damage Forum, the Asia-Pacific region was identified as most vulnerable to a range of natural disasters and climate change impacts, from those emanating from extreme events to those resulting from slow-onset processes. Considering that, the APN session provided a venue for participants across the region to share knowledge and develop partnerships on loss and damage.
The APN Secretariat Director, Mr. Hiroshi Tsujihara, discussed the APN’s core programmes on regional research and capacity building and three new frameworks for focused activities, including the most recently established Climate Adaptation Framework, under which 14 projects are being supported (www.apn-gcr.org/caf-2014).
Dr. Linda Anne Stevenson, Head of APN Communication and Scientific Affairs Division, moderated the session and summarised the discussions that ensued. She cited that the limited interaction between different stakeholders, as well as the lack of understanding on what loss and damage is and how it can be addressed in the CCA, DRR and sustainable development spheres appear to have emerged as a very important point. Non-economic losses and damages and limited available solutions to assess and address such losses and damages in particular have emerged as a problem, and thus, science research, capacity building and policy approaches are important to comprehensively address this problem.
For a full report of the session: Report of APN Session at APAN Forum
For a copy of the new APN Publication: Linking DRR, CCA and L&D: Activities under the APN Climate Adaptation Framework
Asia Pacific Forum on Loss and Damage
Dr. Saleemul Huq
Integrating Climate Adaptation with Disaster Risk and Loss & Damage to Address Challenges
Prof. Joy Jacqueline Pereira
Dr. Stevenson summarised the session by stressing some key points:
- How can we better quantify disaster risk to enhance resilience?
- At the community/grass roots level, we need to keep development at the core.
- There are significant issues of displacement and migration and this is an incredibly complex issue. For example, the question of “how do we deal with non-economic losses and damages?” is not an issue about financial compensation in the case of some small island developing states.
- There are less obvious impacts of disasters that need to be addressed, such as psychological impacts, as well as the need to avoid disasters in the first place – place greater emphasis on prevention and risk reduction.
- Many APN projects are undertaking regional research and capacity-building on non-economic losses and damages. In this context, bridging Loss & Damage, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation is crucial, and actions are being taken across various levels, both horizontal and vertical, to address this.