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Participation in the two sessions of the UNFCCC COP27

The 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, November 6-18, 2022. The author presented in 2 sessions. One is a “Water Stress Management under Climate Change” session on November 10 at the Water Pavilion with the Government of Tajikistan, Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), French Water Partnership, and Center for Climate and Resilience Research in Chile. The other is the UNFCCC Official Side Event on November 14, “Actions for Effective Investment in Adaptation and Resilience,” with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asia-Pacific Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC). Here is a summary of the results of each event.

1. Water Pavillion “Water Stress Management under Climate Change” session

The Water Pavilion was first established at COP26 in Glasgow, UK, in 2021 to raise awareness of the crucial role of water in climate action. The Water pavilion this year was led by the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation and mobilized more than 30 different organizations, institutions, governments, and private sectors worldwide. It aimed to deliver science-based cutting-edge knowledge and feedback with case studies and best practices to climate decision-makers and negotiators.

Japan Water Forum organized a session entitled “Water Stress Management under Climate Change” with the above co-partners in line with the theme of Day 3 (November 10), “Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Cities for improved Livelihoods. The author joined it as the speaker.

Droughts and floods are some of the most devastating impacts of climate change and pose a significant and increasing threat to global water security. This session, therefore, explored the implications for developing long-term solutions for climate resilience, evaluating the latest science and the long-term trend. It also discussed how to promote collective actions for water-related disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, and resilience in the case of river basin management through global showcases.

The author presented the entitled “Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in Japan through Sound Water Cycle Management and River Basin Disaster Resilience and Sustainability by All,'” and joined the panel discussion with the moderator and the audience. Firstly, the author introduced the overview of Japan’s Climate Change Adaptation Act. As the measures of water resource management fields, she presented a policy about “River Basin Disaster Resilience and Sustainability by All.” As the implementation background, she introduced comprehensive river management in Japan, including flood control and water resources development, focusing on urban flood risk reduction in the whole river basin. She also introduced the Basic Act on the Water Cycle and a basic plan for the water cycle. As the concrete case, she shared the climate change adaptation measures in Yokohama City, especially public and private cooperation of Tsurumi River. She then delivered the policy recommendation about what is necessary to collaborate among the multi-stakeholders involved in the different initiatives regarding governance, finance, and science & technologies.

The session recording:

Session Program

Overview of the session

Ms. Paulina López – Center for Climate and Resilience Research (CR)2

Welcome remark

Ms. Rabab Fatima – UN Under-Secretary-General & High Representative for LDCs, LLDCs & SIDS, UN-OHRLLS

Welcome remark

Mr. Sulton Rahimzoda – Chairman of the Executive Committee of the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea, Special Envoy of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan to the Water and Climate Coalition Leaders

Case:Japan (flood)
“Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in Japan through Sound Water Cycle Management and River Basin Disaster Resilience and Sustainability by All,'”

Ms. Yumiko Asayama, Chief Manager, Japan Water Forum (International Affairs)

Case:Chile (drought)

Mr. René Garreaud – Director, Center for Climate and Resilience Research (CR)2

Case:Mediterranean (floods)
“Climate change in the Mediterranean basin: early warning as the first step of adaptation.”

Mr. Alix Roumagnac – CEO,  Predict Services

Q&A・Panel discussion

Moderator: Ms. Ingrid Timboe, Policy Director, AGWA
Panelist: Yumiko Asayama, Alix Roumagnac

Recommendations for DRR at the National Level “How national governments can create an enabling environment for sub-national implementation of DRM activities.”

Mr. Alex Mauroner, Chief Operating Officer, Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA)

Closing remark

Ms. Paulina López

2. Official Side Event of the UNFCCC COP27 (November 14)
The session about “Actions for Effective Investment in Adaptation and Resilience” was co-organized with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asia-Pacific Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), and Japan Water Forum. It discussed actions needed to move beyond business-as-usual approaches for scaling up effective investments in climate adaptation and resilience through the showcases and the lessons from the panelists. It aimed to identify factors critical to ensure that investments in climate adaptation are effective in the longer term and how such factors can be pursued during the conceptualization, design, and implementation of adaptation investments. It is the key to conducting risk-informed inclusive decision-making at all levels and sectors to enable such a shift.

Mr. Bruno Carrasco, Director General and Chief Compliance Officer of ADB delivered his opening remarks. He mentioned the effectiveness of adaptation investments depends on partners’ understanding of medium-/long-term climate risks, addressing the root causes of vulnerability, supporting inclusive decision-making, assessing current financial systems, and properly monitoring progress. Following his opening remarks, Ms. Pilar Bueno Rubial, Adaptation Research Alliance, shared the scene setting. Mr. Arghya Sinha Roy, Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Division, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department of the ADB, moderated the panel discussion. In addition to the author, Mr. Aslam Perwaiz, Vice Secretary-General of the ADPD, Ms. Anne Hammil, the senior director of the Resilience Program, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Dr. Walid Oueslati, Head of Environment, Transition and Resilience Division Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Ms. Louise Wilson, Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), and Ms. Noelle O’Brien, Chief of the Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Thematic Group concurrently Director, of the Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Division of the Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department of ADB, joined as the panelists.

In the first round of discussion, each panelist gave one example of an adaptation investment that can be considered effective, and argued the factors that make the example potentially effective. In the second round of discussion, the moderator asked a particular question to each panelist. The author shared the case of the Tsurumi River basin, which promotes public and private partnership by mobilizing the private sector’s finance into public finance for the improvement of the operation of water infrastructure by taking the viewpoints of whole-of-basin management. In addition, she discussed how governance for water management could be strengthened to contribute to effective adaptation. She highlighted the importance of deepening the understanding of water values and better water resources management by taking end-to-end approaches through the interaction of science & technologies, governance, and finance. She also emphasized the critical need to foster “facilitators,” who can lead the way to resolve the challenges by providing professional advice, sharing, and integrating a broad range of locally suited international scientific and indigenous knowledge to improve the governance framework. 

In the second round of panel discussion, the panelists discussed the following questions in addition to governance:

  • How do we ensure the national adaptation planning process embeds principles critical for effective adaptation investments?
  • How can we examine equity in the design of adaptation and disaster risk reduction investments?
  • What factors can contribute to the uptake of a suite of solutions, especially nature-based and nonstructural solutions, which need to deal with a range of hazards and uncertainties
  • How can we design the metrics to measure the outcomes of the effectiveness of adaptation investment embedded in broader decision-making systems?

The session recording:

(Reported by Yumiko Asayama, Chief Manager (International Affairs)

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