Assessments of Impacts and Adaptations to Climate Change in Multiple Regions and Sectors: Filling Gaps in Scientific Knowledge and Capacity. Peter McGrath Acting programme officer, TWAS, Trieste, Italy [email protected] International Conference:
Assessments of Impacts and Adaptations to Climate Change in Multiple Regions and Sectors:Filling Gaps in Scientific Knowledge and Capacity
Peter McGrathActing programme officer, TWAS, Trieste, Italy
Global Philanthropists - Partners for a knowledge-based response to climate change
Portoroz, Slovenia, 1-3 June 2008
“The voice of science for the South”
“Building scientific capacity in developing countries”
"At the start of the 20th century, there were one billion people on the planet. Now there are more than six billion people. By 2054 – in just 43 years' time – we will reach nine billion people.
“The challenge is to meet the requirements of all those nine billion people. Can we make the cultural changes that will be necessary?
“These additional three billion people will put added pressure on our natural resources, such as fresh water and biodiversity, especially in the light of climate change – the effects of which will be felt most severely in Africa, the region that has the least capacity to deal with it.”
David King, former science advisor to the UK government
G8-UNESCO World Forum on
Education, Research and Innovation: New Partnership for Sustainable Development10-12 May 2007, Trieste, Italy
Filling Gaps in Scientific Knowledge and Capacity
The Third Assessment Report of the IPCC (2001) highlighted that developing countries are highly vulnerable to climate change.
“Yet gaps exist in understanding the nature of this vulnerability and opportunities for adaptation. Furthermore, in many of these countries, there is a need for improved scientific and technical capacity to conduct the integrated, multi-disciplinary regional investigations necessary to fill these gaps.”
Assessments of Impacts and Adaptations to Climate Change (AIACC)
“We need science to fill these gaps – and we need scientific capacity in developing countries to ensure that the science carried out is relevant to the needs of these countries.”
Africa is most vulnerable to climate change because of its fragile ecosystems, and weak resilience and adaptation capacity.
WHO estimated mortality (per million people) attributable to climate change by 2000.
Source: Nature (2005), vol. 438, pages 310-317.
To advance the scientific understanding of climate change vulnerabilities and adaptation options in developing countries.
By funding collaborative research, training and technical support, AIACC has enhanced the scientific capacity of developing countries to assess climate change vulnerabilities and adaptations, and has generated and communicated information useful for adaptation planning and action.
“A partnership between climatologists and crop scientists will be valuable.”
“The estimated window for implementing mitigation and adaptation programmes has shrunk from 30-40 years to 15 years.”
Martin Parry, IPCC co-chair, Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, UK
“There is a need to go beyond coarse global models and develop specific river basin and farm-scale models of how climate change will affect river water availability and lake levels.”
Colin Chartes, International Water Management Institute, Sri Lanka
Each year, the group organizes a number of educational activities, such as workshops and conferences on specific topics related to weather and climate research.
The group also maintains strong contacts with international programmes and leading laboratories worldwide to maintain a state-of-the-art level of research and to enhance communication between scientists in developing and developed countries.
Research programmes being supported:
Trieste: TWNSO => COSTIS
“TWNSO/COSTIS regarded as the ‘political wing’ of TWAS – enabling the Academy to promote the need for science at the highest government levels.”
Chinese Academy of Sciences
J.N. Centre for AdvancedScientific Research
African Academy of Sciences
Rio de Janeiro
Brazilian Academy of Sciences
There are gaps evident in these highlighted projects:
Tearfund Climate Change Briefing Paper 1 (2006)
Institute of Development Studies
Overcoming the Barriers: Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation in Developing Countries
“But much more still needs to be done.”
Thank you for your attention
Peter McGrathTWAS Acting programme officer