Financing, Partnership & Networking Strategies for Action-Oriented Research & Capacity Building: What Does/Doesn’t Work?
Side Event at UNFCCC COP19
13 November 2013; 13:00-14:30
Japan Pavilion, National Stadium, Warsaw, Poland
Background: While scientists are grappling with the challenge of modelling for extreme event conditions, the world is moving into climate regimes that have no comparisons with the past. Hence, the past may not be the guide for countries as they tackle climate uncertainties and changing risks. This will require new strategies and discussions to deal with uncertainty, including co-financing, strengthened partnerships & core networking strategies. Local community needs have to be factored in by so that action-oriented research can offer answers to the concerns of vulnerable communities. Knowledge production needs to be broadened, going beyond scientists and policy makers to include other actors who matter. This multi-stakeholder production of knowledge should consider financing, partnership & networking strategies from the scientific community, governments, the private sector, local communities, non-governmental organizations, and civil society.
Opening and Introduction: Mr. Satoshi Tanaka, Japan introduced APN, an intergovernmental network in Asia and the Pacific since 1996. He remarked that this is the first time APN has organized a side event, while noting APN’s previous involvement with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). He stressed his pride in being connected with such an organisation as APN’s and provided his congratulations on the success of the network to date. Dr. Akio Takemoto, APN, explained that APN comprises 22 member countries in the Asia-Pacific region and focuses on climate change, biodiversity, water, land-use change research. He listed four goals: cooperating regionally in global change research; facilitating interactions between scientists and policy makers; improving scientific and technical capabilities; and cooperating with other global change networks. He announced the launch of APN’s new book, entitled “Climate in Asia and the Pacific: Security, Society and Sustainability.
Member Country Presentations: Four countries, namely Thailand, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Japan provided presentations and presented their perspectives on the topic. Dr. Soottiporn Chittmittrapap, Thailand, stated climate change is perceived as a development challenge in Thailand. He noted support from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to set up a Centre for Scientific Research on Climate Change, linking six organizations to combine funding and expertise. Dr. Monthip Srirantana Tabucanon, Thailand, introduced Thailand’s Climate Change Research Strategy, including nine areas, inter alia: modelling and assessment; agriculture and food security; ecosystem dynamics; climate and health; urban development; and knowledge management. Dr. Sunimal Jayathunga, Sri Lanka, expressed the need to implement action oriented research and to pool resources, while noting the need for additional support for capacity building, technology development and technology transfer. Mr. Karma Tshering, Bhutan, highlighted that Bhutan is allowed to increase emission levels under the UNFCCC, but for the “human benefit” they prefer to be carbon-neutral but require support to ensure this. Mr. Tshering noted climate change, environment and gender are mainstreamed at the policy and project level and stressed that Gross National Happiness is something we should all strive for as the future is in the hands of our younger generations. Dr. Junichi Fujino, National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Japan, introduced an ongoing collaborative research project between Japan and Malaysia, the Iskandar Malaysia Research Project which aims to facilitate a green economy, green community and green environment.
Perspectives from Partner and Stakeholder Organisations: Two-minute interventions were provided for other participating organisations. Dr. Ali Taqueer Sheikh, Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), noted strong overlap between CDKN and APN, as both are strong multi-sectoral networks attempting to bridge the science-policy gap. Dr. Hiroki Kondo, MEXT/RESTEC, highlighted ongoing modeling activities in Japan and how this has influenced policy research in Japan and other parts of Asia, while inviting researchers from developing countries to collaborate. Dr. Takuya Nomoto, Ministry of the Environment of Japan, provided pertinent remarks as the final speaker emphasising that the capacities of developing countries have been enhanced by partnerships, such as those developed by APN.
Summary: The moderator, Dr. Linda Anne Stevenson, APN, summarised the ensuing panel-interactive audience session highlighting that APN’s function, role and ability to facilitate research and capacity development project implementation in developing countries and provide holistic approaches linking the natural science of climate change with socio-economic aspects is key for effective adaptation and mitigation responses. She also stressed that expansion of the science-policy approach to other regions may be pertinent and worthwhile by sharing best practices at events such as the “Adaptation Futures” conference in 2014 to be held in Brazil, highlighted by audience member Dr. Saleemul Huq. Other main points highlighted during the event will be shared with the APN members for consideration as it transitions into its 4th Strategic Phase from April 2015. Some of these are:
- Best practices and climate knowledge needs to be shared with the public;
- APN should continue to mobilise funds. In doing so, developed and developing countries need to be involved;
- The uniqueness of APN is strong and needs to be protected. Now APN is ready for a second generation of projects that are more complex in nature and larger in scope;
- Strengthening financing, building partnerships for action-oriented research; and
- Sharing national experiences across borders on what has already been done.
By: Dr. Linda Anne Stevenson, Head, Communication & Scientific Affairs Division, APN Secretariat