Day 2 – 5th Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum (Jasmin)

High Level Panel Discussion - Environment and Climate Authorities Debate

The High Level Panel Discussion on Environment and Climate Authorities Debate at APAN2016

The gap between policy and practice has been an unsolvable issue for many decades. Time and time again scientists are faced with the constant challenge of communicating their work and research into an implementable action. There is a struggle of translating readied information into policy, and institutions are more often than not, merely side notes, in the process of policy making.

The evidence of Sri Lanka being a country that “walks the talk” was clearly portrayed by the President of Democratic Socialist of Sri Lanka, who is at the forefront of addressing climate change as an important issue faced by the country. According to Harsha de Silva, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka, the President took an inclusive approach to getting everyone in the parliament to participate and discuss before ratifying the Paris Agreement. Sri Lanka is now in the stage of developing an Act for Climate Change, which clearly shows that Sri Lanka is committed to this climate change agenda.

Community-based adaptation is a topic that was widely discussed in today’s session. The session that I attended, “Effective strategies for informed decision-making on adaptation measures for enhanced resilience”, touched on the various key stakeholders and their roles in making informed decision-making.

Thea, from Climate Change Working Group (CCWG) Vietnam pointed out an interesting approach to making the most vulnerable resilient through Community Based Climate Change Initiatives (CBCCI). There are many benefits of this approach, which includes reduced vulnerability to disasters and climate change, protection of natural disasters and sometimes greenhouse gas mitigation, poverty reduction, food security and economic development as well as empowerment and solidarity.

Advocating climate change often comes with a string of challenges. More often than not, these challenges lie within communication breakdown or lack of communication. Thus, it is imperative to address this issue at hand immediately, by identifying common grounds of the government, private and NGO sectors. Only then can we solve and close the knowledge-policy-practice loop.

Written by: Jasmin Irisha Jim Ilham

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