ACCCA NEWSLETTER AUGUST 2008
Since February, the implementation of the Pilot Actions has progressed quickly; two training workshops have been organized and field visits have been conducted by several partners. The ACCCA platform has been improved and is constantly updated with relevant adaptation literature, including a direct link to the Wikiadapt. A new platform guide has been created to reflect these improvements and facilitate the many possible uses of the platform.
Increasing communication and team work has been one of the important mottos of the last few months. In this context, the ACCCA platform provides a good opportunity to manage the pilot actions in an efficient and transparent manner as well as an efficient communication and knowledge sharing tool. Everyone can use the forum to ask questions and share knowledge at the same time. The Monthly Online Journal can be updated by project teams directly in order to keep track of progress and inspire other projects.
News from the ACCCA Pilot Actions
The Philipino Pilot Action Team Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation in Watershed Management and Upland Farming in the Philippines (AO21) has been advancing in its work. Team members shared the following information with us:
"The pilot action is being implemented in Lantapan, Bukidnon, Philippines to primarily promote climate change adaptation among them. To help attain such goals, the project team conducted a number of activities. These include: (1) assessment of vulnerability of watersheds and upland farming systems; (2) identification of adaptation options to climate change through a participatory process; (3) development and dissemination of risk communication materials such as video and magazine; and (4) capacity building of the different stakeholders i. e. farmers, local government units, (...) National Power Corporation, non-government organizations, people's organizations and the corporate group who are managing huge banana and pineapple plantations. Capacity building of farmers, barangay and municipal officials are being undertaken in coordination with the Farmers' Information Technology Services (FITS) of the municipality of Lantapan. As a result of the awareness created on climate change, Implementing Rules and Regulations of the municipal ordinance on the practice of contour farming among farmers will be drafted by the Committee to Enhance Adaptation to Climate Change. Other ordinances related to the environment such as waste management will also be drafted by the municipal officials." See full newsletter
By Florencia PULHIN
In addition to their newsletter, the Philippines team developed a flyer, a good communication tool, to raise awareness and understanding of the Pilot Action and a risk communication video which is now uploaded in the video section of the ACCCA platform. A French version will be available soon). See flyers :I and II
The Bangladeshi Pilot Action Team sent the information below which provides an update on the content and the advancement of the pilot action.
"The project has been undertaken to identify the existing and potential risks induced by increase of salinity, waterlogging and drought and to develop adaptation plans followed by piloting some of the adaptation options. Three areas most vulnerable to salinity (Assasuni), waterlogging (Keshobpur) and drought (Porsha) in Bangladesh have been selected to implement the project for a period of 18 months.
The project has developed a guideline and completed the participatory climate risk assessment, documented the risk statements and developed adaptation action plans. In doing so, the project has established collaborative relationship with the national programme Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (CDMP) under the ministry of Food and Disaster Management for mainstreaming and national level support. Piloting of adaptation options: floating garden and duck rearing in waterlogging areas, crab cultivation and mat-making in saline areas is ongoing. Besides, strategies for risk communication among the community people and policy makers are in progress." See full newsletter and See progress newsletter
By Ashoke Adhikary
The Mongolian Pilot Action Team made headway in their project. Through their "Monthly Journal", they shared the latest events that took place during June and July 2008 regarding their Pilot Action.
The project partners of the scientific team from the Colorado State University visited their study sites and gave the pilot investigator input on community based natural resource management, social survey methods and an introduction on the modeling for study of socio-ecological systems and decision making.
The climate vulnerability has been identified geographically and socially. As a matter of fact, the vulnerable region has high social vulnerability due to lower numbers of livestock for household. Other vulnerability factors - like late snow and water reduction - have also been taken into account for further advancement of the pilot action. The pilot action team led by Davaanyam Surenjav noticed that the herders have improved their adaptive capacity and that they have understood the importance of doing so. Therefore, the project bears fruits which is quite stimulating for the project team.
The ACCCA team attended the International Grassland-Rangeland Congress, Huhhot, China (28 June-06 July 2008). Many participants were interested in their poster presentation "A policy to strengthen pastoral communities and to restore cultural landscapes for climate change adaptation and sustainability" see poster. Their paper is published in the "Multifunctional Grasslands in a Changing World" 2008 IGC/IRC Conference Volume II Book.
The Vulnerability in Ghana Pilot Action conducted by Dr Francis Agyemang-Yeboah seeks to determine to what extent climate change in the Northern region has caused an increase of cases of Guinea worm and water borne diseases.
Dr. Yeboah organized two field visits to this the region as part of the team's research. The Northern region is the most vulnerable area in Ghana to water borne diseases. On the first trip, in January 2008, villagers were asked to fill out a questionnaire. The purpose of the questionnaire was to access the community's knowledge of climate change and water borne diseases. The persons infected with Guinea worm were directly treated and benefited from information relevant to prevent the diseases.
On the second field trip a training session on Guinea worm infection and climate change was organized. The workshop had many participants, among which a traditional ruler from one of the Guinea worm endemic communities as a key stakeholder, the ruler's presence gave much credit to the training.
The Malawian Pilot Action Team is in the final stages of editing two short videos on farming adaptation options to climate change. Both were made using a participatory approach with villagers in two villages: Mphunga and Kasache. The videos are meant as a tool to support the participatory processes of community-level adaptation work facilitated by the Malawi Red Cross. The videos are currently only available in Chichewa, the local language, and are being screen tested in Chichewa-speaking villages both inside and outside of Malawi. English subtitles as well as some climate expert commentary on uncertainty to climatic changes will be added during the editing process. As the video was made in a very organic manner, almost entirely upon the direction of local farmers, some of the more technical issues like uncertainty need a little refining. A weblink to the videos will be posted on the ACCCA website as soon as they are finished.
Technical assistance, tools and methods
A Technical Assistance Workshop for ACCCA Pilot Action Teams took place in Bangkok, in June 2008. It was organized by Southeast Asia START Regional Center. 11 participants from the ACCCA pilot actions in Asia (Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Mongolia and Philippines), as well as a group of resource persons from SEI Bangkok, TEA START, IUCN Thailand and UNITAR attended the workshop. It covered presentations and discussions on the issues of future climate projections and risk assessment, adaptation strategy formulation and implementation, communicating risk and risk management. These sessions focused on case specific situations related to project implementation and the problems that each project is facing. Time was also allotted to consider plans and possible projects after the completion of the pilot actions that could build upon the current actions. All teams reported promising progress on the implementation of their pilot actions, with the exception of Nepal where the situation is still difficult and progress has been slower than expected. See Volume I (workshop report) and Volume II (team project presentations)
As noted earlier, the motto of the last few months has been the need to improve communication and team work. The Climate Change Science Team sent to every Monitoring Team a information note on the work in progress, including updates on data and tools availability. This document provides the progress to date, including about tools such as the Climate Change Explorer (CCE), the AWhere software and other useful technical guidance (Full document).
The climate change science team also gives an input on their materials under preparation. Among others, you can find a project to develop a guidance document on downscaling techniques, or to create a briefing note and an edited video to explain the method needed to interpret the output from the CCE tool.
The Climate Change Explorer is an integral part of weAdapt http://www.weAdapt.org, a collaborative effort to make climate risk management decisions practical, yet robust. The platform assembles 'good practices' acrossÂ a range of issues relating to climate change adaptation, including vulnerability and risk mapping, multi-criteria assessment, decision screening using envelopes and rules, and databases on criteria and actions. Learning through hands-on work with partners is central to the design of the platform and the CCE tool. ACCCA teams can download the tool from: http://data.csag.uct.ac.za/resources.
The Risk Communication Team created a new forum specifically for risk communication issues. If you haven't been on it yet, you can find very useful information like a short statement related to the launching of the Malawi video done by students.
The Malawi team intends to distribute the video on local TV and on DVD in schools. The Risk Communication Team has developed two guidance documents that are available on the ACCCA database. The first summarizes the different communication methods used by the ACCCA teams with comments and an evaluation of the advantages/disadvantages of each of the different tools used for risk communication. The second document is an excel sheet allowing the pilot action teams to keep track of the risk communication updates and a complete list of teams tasks to elaborate a good risk communication policy.
The new ACCCA website platform guide is an updated version made by the UNITAR team in order to motivate the teams to take advantage of the website (www.acccaproject.org).
The guide provides a good opportunity to explain once more, and insist on the importance of, the Monthly Journal Report that pilot action teams can fill in directly on the website. See full document
The "Monthly Journal" is where ACCCA teams and partners can regularly provide inputs on a set of indicators that have been jointly agreed upon and is a fundamental step in the process of the pilot actions.
ON THE MANAGEMENT SIDE
- NEWS from UNITAR: Mamadou Moussa Diakhite will join the UNITAR Climate Change Programme on September 1 as manager. Moussa brings to UNITAR strong policy and technical expertise as well as solid international experience. Moussa is joining UNITAR from the UNFCCC Secretariat, where he first started working for the LDC programme and more recently with the CDM unit. Annie Roncerel is retiring from the UNITAR as of August 31. New contact details: email@example.com.
- NEWS from START International: Jon Padgham will join START in late September, replacing Neil Leary who is taking up a position at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA as Director of the Center for Environment and Sustainability Education. Clark Seipt will continue to work on ACCCA and will assist Jon as he familiarizes himself with the pilot actions. Jon brings strong scientific capabilities (soil science, ecology, and agriculture) to START as well as experience working on climate change adaptation issues at USAID and the World Bank.