Assessing and Building Resilience to Climate Change in the Asia-Pacific Region:
Many parts of the world are experiencing adverse impacts of climate change such as intensified floods, droughts, heat waves, brush fires, and irreversible changes in natural ecosystems. In particular, the Asia–Pacific region is a region that is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts in the world because of high poverty, high dependence on primary sectors such as agriculture, rapidly growing unplanned urbanization, and poor developmental governance. In recognition of such climate change impacts and vulnerabilities, there is urgency for both developing and developed countries to implement adaptation strategies in conjunction with mitigation measures. Though there are already numerous measures to promote adaptation in the Asia-Pacific region, they suffer from limitation such as lack of proper scientific basis for decision making, lack of coordination across numerous stakeholders and limited resources to scale-up. Realizing the urgent need for promoting science-based and well-coordinated adaptation in the Asia–Pacific region, the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund (S-8) “Comprehensive research on climate change impact assessment and adaptation policies” (F.Y. 2010–2014, Project leader: Professor Nobuo Mimura, Ibaraki University), which is funded by the Ministry of the Environment in Japan, studies climate change impacts and adaptation in Japan and the Asia-Pacific region. The S-8 consists of three major thematic groups: S-8-1 “Research on highly reliable quantitative assessment of climate change impacts throughout Japan”, S-8-2 “Research on impact assessment and comprehensive adaptation policies at local government level” and S-8-3 “Research on the development of vulnerability and adaptation indices for the Asia-Pacific region”.
The S-8-3 research group aims to (1) clarify the current state of climate adaptation policies at the international level, (2) propose vulnerability and adaptation indices to climate change, (3) conduct two case studies in the Mekong Delta and Gangetic Basin on climate-change-induced vulnerability and adaptation, and (4) build an international network for collecting information related to vulnerability and adaptation, as well as for disseminating new findings that will be reported. These topics will specifically examine developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region. S-8-3 sub-theme will be implemented through five components (sub-sub themes) with the participation of the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), United Nations University (UNU) and Ibaraki University. SS (1) Promotion of an international network for adaptation SS (2) Comparative study of national adaptation policies SS (3) Development of vulnerability and adaptation indices through case studies SS (4) Identification of win-win adaptation options and adaptation metrics through an integrated decision making framework: Institute for Global Environmental Strategies SS (5) University networking for climate and ecosystems change adaptation research (UN-CECAR).