RegionsAdapt in 2018: a renewed pathway of increased ambition

Last December 3rd, RegionsAdapt celebrated its second anniversary.  These two years of existence imply the completion of the deadline that founding members had established to accomplish their three commitments. Such a landmark also represents an opportunity to assess the achievements of the initiative´s first phase of implementation. In this sense, the level of fulfillment of these commitments may serve as a valid key performance indicator for measuring one of RegionsAdapt´s main goals: to inspire and encourage regional governments to raise the ambition of their climate adaptation approaches.

As most readers will probably recall, these three commitments are:

  1. Adopt a strategic approach to adaption and prioritize adaptation actions, e.g., through adopting or reviewing a regional plan or strategy on climate change adaptation within two years of joining the initiative;
  2. Take concrete action on adaptation in at least one of the seven key priority areas identified by the regions.
  3. Report data on the progress of adaptation actions on an annual basis through the risk and adaptation section of CDP’s states and regions platform.

The level of accomplishment of these commitments among founding members will be disclosed in early 2018. We expect to publish this assessment in RegionsAdapt´s next report, together with the major figures of the data collected through 2017´s reporting process.

In parallel to the aforementioned, there are other numbers that can help us evaluating RegionsAdapt´s first two years as well. Working groups were created for six of the seven key priority areas, in which the technical staff of regional governments from all continents could exchange information and experiences through twenty-five online meetings. Eight webinars were also organized to discuss cross-cutting thematic based on the presentation of invited regions or external experts. In the meanwhile, the initiative was included in several global coalitions as well, such as the UNFCCC Global Climate Action, UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, and UNEP DTU Partnership Database.

Taking into account RegionsAdapt´s achievements and recognition in these first two years, its founding members are now keen to move forward through a renewed pathway of increased ambition. Building on an initial proposition the Secretariat had suggested, they have agreed to reinvigorate their engagement and establish new rounds of 2-year commitments. Hence, those regional governments successfully fulfilling all three initial commitments will be invited to take the following steps:

  • 2018 – 2019:

Commitment 1 – To identify opportunities for improving the regional government´s adaptation plan/strategy by answering the questionnaire of BC3´s Adaptation Policies Checklist (APC), or of any other relevant tool, and inform the Secretariat about identified gaps;

Commitment 2 – Take concrete action on adaptation in at least 3 of the 7 key priority areas identified by the regions. These could include: water resources and management; resilience and disaster risk reduction; agriculture and zootechnics; forestry, protected areas and biodiversity; infrastructure (including transport and the energy sectors) and territorial planning; economic impacts and opportunities; social adaptation and impacts;

Commitment 3 – Gradually broadening the scope of the data annually reported on the progress of the adaptation actions through CDP´s States and Regions reporting platform (or other relevant reporting platform, as consensually agreed by members).

  • 2020 – 2021:

Commitment 1 – To publish a report providing evidence of measures filling the gaps identified through APC or any other relevant tool.

Commitment 2 – Take concrete action on adaptation in at least 6 of the 7 key priority areas identified by the regions. These could include: water resources and management; resilience and disaster risk reduction; agriculture and zootechnics; forestry, protected areas and biodiversity; infrastructure (including transport and the energy sectors) and territorial planning; economic impacts and opportunities; social adaptation and impacts;

Commitment 3 – Gradually broadening the scope of the data annually reported on the progress of the adaptation actions through CDP´s States and Regions reporting platform (or other relevant reporting platform, as consensually agreed by members).

Therefore, the invitation to follow these steps will be extended to all RegionsAdapt members as soon as they accomplish their three initial commitments. Moreover, we believe that all participating regional governments will be able to benefit from the partnership we have formed with the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3), even those that might not be able to deliver commitment 1 in due time. This because the APC Tool not only enables an ex post evaluation of adaptation plans and policies, helping regions identify main gaps and guiding them towards future improvements, but also an ex ante orientation, serving as a guiding tool for those regions that are just starting to work on adaptation, outlining all the issues that current practice and research have identified to be critical for an effective adaption.

For all these reasons and many others that we could not include in the limited space of this article, we are very much looking forward to strengthening RegionsAdapt with you in 2018!

 

 

 

 

 

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