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Call for Focused Activities: Climate Adaptation, Disaster Risk Reduction and Loss + Damage. (Linkages, Priorities, Limitations)
As an inter-governmental network that promotes research and capacity development of Gobal Environmental Change (GEC) in the region, especially for developing countries, APN places strong emphasis on networking, including developing and strengthening Science–Policy–Practice interfaces,  strengthening existing networks involving the scientific community, academia, governments and civil society; learning and exchange of knowledge at the regional level; joint responses to events affecting the entire region and pooling of resources and technical capabilities.
Under its new Climate Adaptation Framework, established in 2012 and fully endorsed at the APN’s 18th Inter-Governmental Meeting in April 2013, has a number of new and exciting opportunities for scientists, decision makers and practitioners that will aim to address the gaps, status quo and future directions for bringing together “Climate Change Adaptation (CCA)”, “Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)” and “Loss and Damage (L+D)”.
A workshop on linking Climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and loss and damage (CCA-DRR-L+D) was conducted in Kobe from 21-23 August 2013 and focused on the linkages, priorities and limitations and the challenges and opportunities presented. Clear was the manifestation of extreme and slow onset events in the face disasters, and disaster risk management (DRM) and the climate adaptation practices being planned and/or incorporated or at local, national, sub-regional and regional levels in Asia and the Pacific.  Some of the challenges presented at the recent workshop were so-called disaster amnesia; cultural practices and traditional knowledge; lack of financial capacity; lack of availability of information/data; lack of consultation in project designing (leading to maladaptation); and insufficient education to deal with adverse impacts of weather events, among others.
APN believes that it is important to learn from past risks by focusing on climate impacts, both weather and slow-onset events, and adopting strategies to cope with them. To do this, building on the knowledge, institutional structure and communities of practice developed by Disaster Risk Management strategies may be a good point of entry, rather than starting at a point zero. There is also a need to learn from smaller events (smaller-scale disasters such as annual flooding events, etc.) and not just larger extreme events (like large cyclones/ typhoon disasters). Addressing these might also help with making extreme events less extreme, which is especially important as they happen more frequently.
Loss and damage from climate change has emerged as a new area that looks at limits to adaptation and explores adverse climate impacts under a warming world and has been the focus of much attention in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in the past year.  For example, the recently formed Loss and Damage Forum, established at the Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum, in Incheon, Republic of Korea, March 2013, highlighted that “the Asia-Pacific region is the most vulnerable region to a range of natural disasters and climate change impacts, from those emanating from extreme events to those resulting from slow onset processes.”
Following an agenda that was developed among its participants, the main objectives of the workshop held in Kobe, Japan from 21-23 August 2013 were to:
Identify and explore thematic areas of high priority for sub-regional levels of Southeast Asia, South Asia, Temperate East Asia and Oceania.
Explore both economic and non-economic losses of Loss and Damage, particularly areas where gaps have been identified.
Provide common understanding of the terminology of Disaster Risk Reduction and Loss and Damage due to climate change impacts.
Empower APN developing member countries to address Loss and Damage and conduct research and capacity development activities associated with Loss and Damage, allowing the APN members to be involved in conducting activities and reviewing related proposals under the APN’s focused activities.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Asia is a disaster hot spot for extreme events, and the Pacific, while highly vulnerable to extreme events is impacted by slow onset processes that include sea-level rise, biodiversity loss, salinity intrusion and ocean acidification, among others.  Taking this into consideration, the workshop explored the most important areas for the region, review work undertaken, particularly case studies, and discuss needs and opportunities for conducting research and capacity development activities that will support APN’s developing countries  to address the linkages, priorities and limitations of CCA, DRR & L+D.
Some of the priorities highlighted for the region include (although are not limited to) the following: coastal zones and low lying areas; floodplains; glaciers and glacier melting,  highlands and water catchments, watersheds; peatlands; remote communities (access to information; early warning systems, local knowledge, impact assessments, sea level rise); salinisation of soil and groundwater, urban areas (including megacities) – population density, rural-urban migration, flooding, drought, heat waves, epidemics; loss of land; loss of agricultural output; data issues: problems with lack of data, inaccessibility to existing data, and inconsistency in data formats.
US$680,000 is available immediately and it is anticipated that the funding will be used to fund both regional research activities and capacity development activities. The ratio of split might look something like the below, although the final decision-making will depend on the kinds of activities that APN receives via the Expressions of Interest (see 3 and 4 below). Funding availability beyond the present call for focused activities is not known at this time.
Activities of interest, among others, may include:
Assessment of the impacts of climate change and adaptation limits – what is Loss and Damage? What are linkages with disaster management and disaster reduction?
Gap analysis on regional needs and status quo in the Asia-Pacific region.
Approaches to address loss and damage associated with adverse impacts of climate change.
What kind of underpinning scientific and policy-relevant planning and methodology is needed in response to Loss & Damage?

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