Workshop on Climate-Related Risks, Cairo,
Egypt, June 18-20, 2007
Following is a brief report, kindly provided by ILRI
scientist Philip Thornton, on a workshop organized by the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which Phil
attended on behalf of the CGIAR.
This workshop on "climate related-risks and extreme
events" was the first in a series under the Nairobi Work
Programme (NWP) on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate
change. The program aims to assist all parties to improve their
understanding and assessment of impacts, vulnerability and
adaptation, and to make informed decisions on practical adaptation
actions and measures to respond to climate change on a sound
scientific, technical and socio-economic basis. The NWP is
structured around nine areas of work, under action-orientated
sub-themes, and the workshop addressed issues under the sub-theme
of climate related risks and extreme events.
The objective of the workshop was to identify best practices
that will help countries better prepare for climate-related risks
and extreme events as part of their overall efforts to adapt to the
impacts of climate change. The workshop was attended by some 80
participants from diverse countries and organizations. Background
materials were circulated before the workshop to all participants
After introductions to the workshop, participants split into
three discussion groups, focusing on agriculture and food security,
coastal zones (including human settlements and mega deltas) and
health. Discussions focused on sharing experiences of best practice
and identifying gaps and needs in relation to assessment and
prediction, management, and traditional knowledge. The sectoral
groups then formulated a set of recommendations for action, and
these were presented to the whole workshop and discussed in terms
of their implications for sustainable development.
The NWP works essentially by organizations, institutions,
experts and communities undertaking activities at their own
initiative in support of the objectives of the NWP and catalyzed by
the work of the NWP. Accordingly, workshop recommendations were
accompanied by lists of planned and on-going work, many of which
may become "action pledges" that will contribute to the
aims of the NWP.
Further workshops are planned by the UNFCCC secretariat under
the NWP. In September 2007, there will be a workshop on adaptation
planning and practices (at FAO in Rome), and one is planned on
methods and tools in February 2008.
The Government of Egypt was a very gracious host of the
workshop, and the UNFCCC Secretariat ensured that the sessions were
well-organized, focused and productive. A full workshop report will
be posted on the UNFCCC Web site shortly.
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