In Cape Town South Africa, the Adaptation Futures 2018 was held between 18 and 21 June 2018. Adaptation Futures is the world’s premier conference on climate change adaptation, and is organized by PROVIA, a global programme of research on climate change vulnerability, impacts and adaptation. This 5th edition was for the first time organized on the African continent (the 4th one was held in 2016 in Rotterdam with many WUR contributions in sessions and in the organizing committee).
“The main message of Adaptation Futures 2018 was that climate adaptation is urgent especially for the global south,” says Fokke de Jong. ”During the conference there was large attention for topics such as climate services, climate-smart agriculture, ecosystem-based adaptation, climate-resilient cities and finance.”
Delegates from WUR were, during the three days of the official conference programme and one day of workshop sessions, presenting and chairing sessions under the theme of ‘Dialogues of Solutions’, such as presenting a cookbook to build successful narratives in the field of climate adaptation & disaster risk reduction; on using scenarios to develop adaptation pathways to inform adaptation policy and practice in developing countries; on the assessment and mapping of vulnerability to climate change; and visualizing future climate impacts for a brewery: examples of ongoing activities under the Green Climate Solutions programme.
WUR researchers also (co-)organized back-to-back project meetings (i.e. Tanzania research project; HI-AWARE, and a Himalaya project), the successful side event of JPI Climate on the 18th (report here), and some of the WUR participants demonstrated ERA4CS projects and Climate Services Tools during the conference and afterwards in the region, and attended many sessions and some field excursions. In a session about Building Water-Resilient Cities, the Water-Smart City solutions were presented and systemic approaches for climate-resilient cities with the C40 cities: Cape Town, Melbourne and Los Angeles were discussed.
Wageningen University & Research PhD students from African and Asian countries presented their research on knowledge provision for adaptive decision-making systems in rice farming in Ghana; hydro-meteorological information services to Ghanese farmers in a river delta; role of room of the rivers in Vietnam; farming system transitions with respect to climate change and their impact on livelihoods in India; power interplay between Bangladesh and India for Brahmaputra River; use of scenarios to understand society’s capacity to act towards achieving the 1.5˚C target; adaptation plans of actions in Nepal; and the need for integrated assessments of drivers of biodiversity loss.
Green Climate Solutions programme leader Tim van Hattum says: “It was notable during spontaneous talks and meetings how many African people from research institutes, NGOs, business companies from Ghana, Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Africa, amongst others, do know and recognize WUR in the field of climate-smart agriculture, ecosystem-based adaptation, water management and climate change. During and between the sessions many new contacts for cooperation and co-creation have been made for climate services and climate research projects.”