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Construction of the “wave barrier” at the mouth of Tha Chine River.
Policy makers, resources managers, researchers and NGOs identify strategies to efficiently deliver climate change knowledge to where it’s needed the most – on the ground.
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Most research on climate change in Thailand has so far focused on understanding potential impacts, but time has come to build the adaptive capacity to respond to these impacts.
New workshop on knowledge platform
This was the overarching theme of “Implementing a Climate Change Adaptation Knowledge Platform in Thailand”, a one-day workshop that took place in Bangkok on 22 February 2010. Organized by SEI, the Unit for Social and Environmental Research (USER) and the CCKM, this meeting came two months after Thailand’s First Roundtable Consultation in December 2009.
About 60 individuals from more than thirty organizations and agencies took part. This workshop was also part of the SIDA funded Regional Climate Change Adaptation Knowledge Platform for Asia (Adaptation Knowledge Platform).
A timely venue
- Global warming poses significant risks and burdens to Thailand’s development participants said, especially in terms of biodiversity, agriculture and disaster management.
The establishment of the adaptation knowledge sharing venue is seen as quite timely, since public policies are just now beginning to consider how to incorporate climate change consideration into their planning processes.
The new venue aims to support the agencies and resource planners in building flexible adaptation strategies that can take into account the variability of changes that may lie ahead, driven as much by information from researchers as from the local communities where livelihoods are most at stake.
Participants at the workshop in Bangkok 22 February 2010.
Limited adaptation measures
To date public involvement in exploring mechanisms to build adaptive capacity and designing effective adaptation measures has been very limited especially at levels above small, local projects.
Two areas of concentration where building adaptive capacity and resilience to climate variability is seen as critical are water resources management and rural livelihoods; and disaster climate risk management in human settlements.
Participants wanted to shape the Platform so that it addresses these needs by reinforcing strong links between policy makers, researchers and impacted communities.
Mechanisms will be established to allow researchers to more efficiently collaborate with policy makers and affected groups not only in providing them valuable analysis, but also the capacity to interpret and apply the information to scenario-based planning and risk assessment processes that recognize that the magnitude of change is itself becoming more uncertain as emissions continue to rise.
Hopes for robust knowledge-based adaptation
Possibly the most significant challenge the Platform aims to overcome is the creation of conduits that ensure disenfranchised groups (migrants, minorities, women and children) are empowered to participate in framing climate change adaptation strategies.
These groups are among the most vulnerable to extreme climate events, and historically are poorly represented in development planning.
It is hoped that a more robust knowledge-based adaptation led by government agencies across the board can identify mechanism to provide the capacity building and adaptation assistance needed to meet the specific needs of these groups.
Whether it’s the management of uncertain water resources, preparation for more extreme whether events, or those departments more generally responsible for poverty alleviation and rural development, inclusion of these groups is seen as a priority.
For future contact or inquiry, please contact Dusita Krawanchid.
Download roundtable workshop documents (in English and Thai):
Roundtable Workshop Agenda (PPT, Thai and English)
List of participants (Word, Thai)
Concept note (Word, Thai)
Summary of roundtable consultation (PDF, Thai)
Thailand Scoping Report (PDF, English)
Adapting to climate change: Institutional and policy issues (PPT, Thai)