Assessments of Impacts and Adaptations to Climate Change in by 2zn5u0


									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

International Conference:
Global Philanthropists - Partners for a knowledge-based response to climate change
Portoroz, Slovenia, 1-3 June 2008
    TWAS: Who and what we are
                                      •   Founded 1983 in Trieste, Italy,
                                          by Abdus Salam and 40 other
                                          eminent scientists from the
                                          South (incl. 10 Nobel
                                      •   Inaugurated 1985 by the
                                          Secretary General of the United
                                          Nations, Javier Perez de

    •   Located at the Abdus Salam
        International Centre for
        Theoretical Physics (ICTP),
        Trieste, Italy.
    •   Administered by the United
        Nations Educational, Scientific
        and Cultural Organization

        TWAS: Who and what we are
    •   880 Members in 90 countries
    •   746 “Fellows” in 73 countries in the
    •   134 “Associate Fellows” in 17
        countries in the North.
    •   15 Nobel Laureates.

                  “The voice of science for the South”
    TWAS: Objectives

    • Recognize, support and promote excellence in scientific
      research in the South.
    • Respond to the needs of scientists working under
      unfavourable conditions.
    • Support South-South scientific exchange and collaboration.
    • Promote South-North cooperation between individuals and
      centres of excellence.
    • Promote dissemination of scientific information and sharing
      of innovative experiences.

          “Building scientific capacity in developing countries”

    Climate change: The challenge
       "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 Development
       10-12 May 2007, Trieste, Italy

    Climate change: The challenge

    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.”

    Climate change: The challenge

                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.

    Model project: AIACC
    Assessments of Impacts and Adaptations to Climate Change (AIACC)
    • Developed in collaboration with the UNEP/WMO Intergovernmental Panel on
      Climate Change (IPCC);
    • funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF);
    • implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
    • executed jointly by START and TWAS;
    • collateral funding provided by the United States Agency for International
      Development (USAID), the Canadian International Development Agency
      (CIDA), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the
      World Bank; and
    • substantial in-kind support was provided by participating institutions in
      developing countries.


    Model project: AIACC
    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.


     Climate change: Filling the gaps
         Where are the gaps?
     •   Climate models – Need for regional models of relevance
         to developing countries.
     •   Health – Unknown effects on infectious diseases such as
         malaria, dengue and diarrhoea.
     •   Agriculture – Unknown effects on traditional crops and
         varieties. Rice cultivation in Asia thought to be under
     •   Fisheries – Changes to ocean currents will affect
         fisheries. Temperature changes will affect food-chains.
     •   Water – There will be widespread – but largely, as yet,
         unpredictable – effects on the hydrological cycle,
         especially in arid and semi-arid areas where people
         already lack sufficient safe drinking water and water for
         irrigating crops.
     •   Other sectors – Rising sea-level, disaster mitigation …

     Climate change: Filling the gaps

      “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
     Scientific response: Trieste
                       International scientific organizations based
                         in Trieste:
                       • Abdus Salam International Centre for
                         Theoretical Physics (ICTP)
                       • International Centre for Genetic
                         Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB)
                       • International Centre for Science and High
                         Technology (ICS-UNIDO)
                       • TWAS, the academy of sciences for the
                         developing world.

                       International scientific organizations based
                         in Trieste and associated with TWAS:
                       • TWNSO => COSTIS
                       • InterAcademy Panel (IAP)
                       • InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP)
                       • Third World Organization for Women in
                         Science (TWOWS).

     Trieste: ICTP
     Physics of Weather and Climate Section
     • established at ICTP in 1998.

     • to carry out research and educational activities in the physics of the atmosphere, ocean,
       and land surface processes; and
     • to make climate models available and provide the know-how of their use to the scientific
       community in developing countries.
     Research activities can be broadly divided into two main areas:
     • regional climate change, with emphasis on anthropogenic effects and future climate
       scenarios; and
     • natural climate variability.

     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.

     Trieste: TWAS and ICGEB
     Joint Programme on Abiotic Stress in Plants

     • Initiated in 2006;
     • 5 research networks funded;
     • One member of each network must be from an ICGEB member state,
       and one must be from a science- and technology-lagging country
     • US$10,000 a year, provided to
       each research network for three
       years, most of which must be
       spent supporting research in
       and training young scientists
       from the S&TLC partner;
     • Currently funded entirely by
       TWAS and ICGEB.

         Trieste: TWAS and ICGEB
         Joint Programme on Abiotic Stress in Plants

     Research programmes being supported:
     •  Tolerance strategies of Quinoa plants under salt stress: Chile with
        collaborators from Argentina, Mali and Italy;
     •  Use of bacterial H+ pyrophosphatases for the development of salt-
        tolerant plants: Russia with a collaborator from Uzbekistan;
     •  The development of maize and other crops tolerant to abiotic stresses:
        South Africa with collaborators from Kenya and Zimbabwe;
     •  Over-expression of genes encoding ion transport proteins as a strategy
        to improve salt- and drought-tolerance in wheat: Tunisia with
        collaborators from Ghana and Syria;
     •    The identification of key genes
          involved in salt and osmotic stress
          tolerance in model plants: Uruguay
          with collaborators from Argentina,
          Nicaragua and Hungary.

     Trieste: TWAS, TWNSO
         Conservation and Sustainable Use of Dryland Biodiversity

     •       Three-year project: 2000-2003;
     •       Aimed at identifying and disseminating ‘Best Practices’ case studies;
     •       Aimed at linking and networking research institutes from the world’s arid and
             semi-arid regions;
     •       Involved 3 regional workshops and 2 international conferences;
     •       70 case studies published aimed at different levels of interest/understanding
             (scientists; policy-makers and NGOs; general public);
     •       Funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

         Trieste: TWNSO => COSTIS
     •   Third World Network of Science Organizations (TWNSO), founded in 1988, Trieste,
     •   January 2007: TWNSO to become the Consortium on Science, Technology and
         Innovation for the South (COSTIS).
     •   Decision announced by Foreign Ministers of the Group of 77 at meeting held at
         UN headquarters in New York City on 22 September 2006.

                                                                     regarded as the
                                                                     ‘political wing’ of
             COSTIS Membership
                                                                     TWAS – enabling
             • Ministers responsible for S&T;
                                                                     the Academy to
             • National Research Councils;
             • National Science Foundations;
                                                                     promote the need
             • National Science Academies;
                                                                     for science at the
             • Science-based private sector institutions (observer
                                                                     highest government
               status).                                              levels.”
     Trieste: TWAS Regional Offices

                                                          Chinese Academy of Sciences
                              Bibliotheca Alexandrina
                                                       J.N. Centre for Advanced
                                     Nairobi                 Scientific Research
                                     African Academy of Sciences
       Rio de
       Brazilian Academy of

        TWAS Regional Office for Sub-Saharan Africa (TWAS-ROSSA):
        • Hosted by the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), which also hosts
          the Network of African Academies of Science (NASAC).
        • AAS is currently implementing a project with START (TWAS’s AIACC
          partner) to offer fellowships to young scientists from sub-Saharan Africa
          in the area of climate change science.

     Trieste: TWAS and Networks of
     Academies of Science
      • Joint statement by
        academies of G8 countries
        and NASAC to
        G8 summit in Scotland
        in June 2005.
      • NASAC statement to
        AU summit in Addis Ababa,
        Ethiopia, in January 2007.
      • NASAC statement to
        G8 summit in Germany
        in June 2007.

     Climate change: Filling the gaps
     There are gaps evident in these
         highlighted projects:
     •   TWAS-ICGEB: Relatively low level of
         funding for a project that could be
         expanded greatly.
     •   TWNSO drylands biodiversity:
         Funding has ceased – but needs
         continue for the second phase, on
         sustainable land management.

     Climate change: Filling the gaps
     Tearfund Climate Change Briefing Paper 1 (2006)
     Institute of Development Studies
     Overcoming the Barriers: Mainstreaming Climate
     Change Adaptation in Developing Countries
     Major recommendations:
       • Funding for adaptation should be
         increased well beyond that currently
         available via the GEF and other
         adaptation-specific bilateral aid.
       • Donors should support research and
         monitoring and evaluation of the
         mainstreaming process, to develop
         understanding of what contributes to
         effective enabling environments.

     Climate change: Filling the gaps
     • Many challenges remain – indeed, it is likely that many challenges are only now
     • Developing countries are most at risk – and developing countries have less scientific
       expertise available to be able to define that risk and to provide advice on adaptation
       and mitigation responses.
     • Developing countries’ scientific capacity must be
       increased – across the board, from basic chemistry and
       theoretical physics, to the agricultural sciences and
       integrated water management etc…
     • TWAS is already addressing these problems through its
       current programmes: research grants, fellowships
       programmes, support for scientific meetings etc...

                                                                       “But much more still
                                                                       needs to be done.”

Thank you for your attention

  Peter McGrath
  TWAS Acting programme officer


To top