South Asia shows the way forward for regional cooperation on adaptation planning.
Climate Action Network South Asia called on the heads of government to collaborate and coordinate their efforts on climate change adaptation to reflect the urgency that is needed to address climate impacts.
This happened at a two day conference held on the 24-25th of February, facilitated by CANSA in collaboration with its regional and national partners: Janathakshan and Asia-Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN).
Collaboration is key
Conference attendant Mr. Malik Muhammad Uzair Khan, Member of Parliament from Pakistan, also recognised the need for regional collaboration.
"Pakistan like India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh is reeling under the worst impacts of climate change. Clearly, climate change knows no borders and now more than ever it is critical that our leaders come together to share best practices for climate change adaptation and set the region on the path of sustainable development," he said.
Demystifying Climate Science
Climate change is the greatest humanitarian, environmental and security threat facing the world today. We need bottom-up, inclusive, responsive and flexible approaches towards adaptation planning if we are to take timely actions to address its impacts.
This was stressed by both governmental and non-governmental participants from Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan.
In his opening speech Mr. Asoka Abeygunawardena, Advisor to Sri Lanka's Ministry of Energy, underlined the need for communities in the region to better understand the climate change processes.
"It is important that climate change science is demystified to raise public awareness and communities are educated and empowered on climate change adaptation measures. Sri Lanka has recently demonstrated that people power is mightier than political power, and empowering our people will help not only to build their resilience but also choosing the sustainable path for development," he said.
Local experiences with the JPA
During the conference case studies on regional adaptation planning from Bangladesh and Nepal were presented and guidelines for the development of National Adaptation Plans and the use of Southern Voices' Joint Principles for Adaptation (JPA) were also outlined. Policymakers at the conference showed great interest in the JPA, and several suggested that the JPA could be taken into consideration in the national policymaking processes.