Africa, Asia to track climate change adaptation and development

Africa, Asia to track climate change adaptation and development

Africa, Asia and other developing nations will soon be able to track climate change adaptation and development thanks to a framework and tools specially designed by researchers working in these regions, the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) said today.

The project is a collaboration and partnership between IIED and Adaptify and Garama 3C Ltd.

IIED spokesperson Mike Shanahan said in a statement that his organisation was engaging with governments of Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nepal and Pakistan to test the framework and tools as means to evaluate a range of climate adaptation activities.

“Government representatives and researchers will join IIED staff and other partners in Edinburgh, Scotland, today and tomorrow 20 March 2013 to review the design for the feasibility testing arrangements and next steps,” he added.

Representatives of the Scottish Government and their advisers will also attend the meeting to share their own experiences of planning climate adaptation and designing a monitoring and evaluating framework, Shanahan said.

“While most frameworks for evaluating responses to climate change assume that adaptation will neutralise harm and allow development to continue as planned, but this underestimates the real change needed to keep development on track,” Dr Simon Anderson, head of IIED climate change group, said.

“As governments and development partners begin to invest large sums of money in action to adapt to climate change, it is essential that they focus on adaptation’s contribution to long term development, and not just spend money on adaptation projects,” he explained.

Anderson warned that unless they can track adaptation and measure development outcomes there is a risk that funds will be poorly spent.

“The new framework and tools that IIED and partners have developed will enable governments and development agencies to assess whether adaptation projects enhance or compromise development.

“They will measure how fairly the costs and benefits of such projects are distributed. And they will help to identify where to spend future investments.”

The framework and tools – known collectively as the Tracking Adaptation and Measuring Development (TAMD) Framework – were developed with funding from the UK’s Department of International Development.

IIED said it can be tailored to suit individual country contexts, different sectors and at various scales.

The framework is described in a new paper that IIED publishes this week.

“All countries need to adapt to climate change, but they need to be sure they do so in a way that does not harm their social and economic development,” Anderson said. “The tools we have developed will allow countries to ensure that adaptation and development work hand-in-hand. Ultimately this will mean better management and more accountability in how investments in adaptation are made.”

The project’s next steps will include tailoring TAMD to each of the five pilot countries and testing the framework in them at national and subnational levels, IIED said.

To offset the greenhouse gas emissions that arise from people travelling to the meeting in Edinburgh, IIED will invest in both a direct emissions offsetting scheme and in projects that help communities adapt to climate change.

A project from the meeting will be published in April.

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