Adapting to climate change is just as important as fighting it; There are many uncertainties, but enough certainties to take action
Near the end of Adaptation Futures, time was set aside to grant some awards. A number of young scientists had made presentations of their research. These professionals are the next generation in climate science. They are the one will be making this a better world.
The plenary took off with a speech of the Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment Sharon Dijksma. And ended with a lively panel discussion.
Dijksma emphasised that “adapting to climate change is just as important as fighting it”. The Minister saw the conference as a springboard for next steps. “And adaptation needs to stay right up there on the agenda. As it happens, in two weeks we’ll be gathering in Nairobi for an international conference with environment ministers from around the world. And adaptation, and specifically implementing adaptation strategies, will be on the agenda.”
She finalised her speech looking ahead of us: “At the end of this year we have CoP22 in Marrakesh. The challenge is to keep the focus on adaptation—and you can rest assured that I will be taking the outcomes of this conference with me to Morocco. In the meantime, there is plenty more to do - and I know the world will continue to hear from you.”
Staying in line with the tradition of this conference, the plenary was the scene of a lively and engaging session, given over less to discussion and more to a retrospective that took in the highlights of the conference, as well as the lessons that had been learned thus far. Christian Blondin from the WMO - “there are many uncertainties, but enough certainties to take action. And to do that, we have to think globally, but act locally”- sat next to Áile Javo from the Norwegian Saami Association. “From an indigenous people perspective, we contributed the least to the problem, but we are among the first to experience the consequences,“ she stated. Princess Abze Djigma of Burkina Faso said that “We in Africa are sustainable by nature.” EU Commissioner Jos Delbeke noted that “for me, three adaptation issues are at stake. One is the cities. Two is water; and three, disaster risk reduction”. The panel was finalised by emeritus professor Ian Burton. He said market forces were not always the solution to all problems. “We certainly need the private sector, and they also need to take their responsibilities seriously. But we are in danger of focussing too much on market solutions and business models in relation to adaptation”.
Richard Klein (Stockholm Environment Institute) and Paula Canevari (Acclimatise) gave the answer to the three questions posed at the beginning of the conference: 1: What is the challenge you discussed during your session?; 2: How has your session helped to address this challenge? 3: What are the next steps, and who needs to take them?
At the end of the conference an important envelope was opened; the next issue of the conference on climate change Adaptation is in 2018 in Cape Town.
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Closure conference (video)
Sharon Dijksma, Minister for the Environment, the Netherlands (video)
Award ceremony Young scientist best presentation and best poster award AF2016 (video) (presentation)
Joyeeta Gupta, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Co-Chair Scientific Advisory Committee Adaptation Futures 2016
Impressions from the Earth Journalism Network and from Wolfert Bilingual Secondary School students (video)
Ayman Bel Hassan Cherkaoui, COP 22 Advisor to the Minister, Morocco (speech)
Co-Chair PROVIA Scientific Steering Committee to announce Adaptation Futures 2018