A. Coastal Zones
Technological solutions have been used as instruments for reducing the vulnerability of coastal
communities to coastal hazards. This is done in three basic ways: protect (decrease the
probability of damage from a weather related calamity), retreat (limit potential effects) and
accommodate (increase society’s ability to cope with the effects).Protective strategies involve defensive measures taken to
protect coastal zones against the impacts of natural calamities such as flooding, shore erosion and
salinity intrusion. Protective strategies can include a combination of both hard and soft
technologies. These include the building of dikes & levees in the Netherlands (SIGMA
programme) and sea walls in Male Island, Maldives. Measures have also been taken to protect
coral reefs by adopting biorock, which has been successfully implemented in Indonesia, Maldives,
Panama, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles and Thailand. Early warning systems have been developed in
many instances. Examples include the Indian Tsunami Early Warning System, an early warning system
developed by the Central Committee for Flood and Storm Control (CCFSC) in Vietnam, forecasting cyclones
in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea in India, and early warning systems in Bangladesh which are
described in the box below.
Retreat: These strategies include the establishment of set-back zones or relocating threatened
buildings from weather related calamities on the coast. Many countries have purchased large areas
on the coast and designated them as nature reserves. India, Sri Lanka, Tonga, Fiji, Mauritius,
Australia and the United States have constructed new buildings in these set-back zones.
Regulations could be modified to consider the future impacts from a rising sea level, but most nations
would require compensation for coastal property owners.
Accommodate: These strategies include increasing society’s ability to cope with the
effects (e.g., emergency plans, insurance, modification of land use and agricultural practices).
Very little information has been provided on ‘accommodation strategies’.
Coastal early warning system in Bangladesh
Stakeholder engagement: Centre for Environmental and Geographic Information Services
(CEGIS), Riverside Technologies inc (RTi), Bangladesh Disaster Preparedness Centre
Background: Every year millions of people in Bangladesh
are exposed to catastrophic flooding in coastal areas. These floods result in thousands
of deaths and could lead to epidemics, as well as seriously damage habitats, agricultural
production, fisheries, and pastoral systems.
Success so far and still on going: The Community Flood
Information System (CFIS) was designed to enhance the capacity of Bangladeshi communities to
adapt to the risks of floods and cyclones. The CFIS was implemented in several coastal
districts in partnership with local organizations and communities. The goal was to build
an interactive process of collecting and disseminating information on monsoon floods to
communities to increase their capacity to adapt to adverse climate phenomena.
Lessons learnt: The CFIS project generated useful
information during the devastating floods of 2004. The timely and widespread delivery of
flood warnings in the region was widely acknowledged, and prompted communities to take steps to
protect their crops, habitats, livestock. Given the successful outcome of the CFIS
project, the Honourable Prime Minister of Bangladesh has recommended to replicate the model in
other flood prone areas in the country.
However, prior to the CFIS project, most people in the project region obtained flood forecast
information from a combination of sources such as word-of-mouth (neighbours, relatives,
friends), traditional knowledge (wind, cloud, rain patterns), and local media (radio,
television, newspapers). The first two are “hit-or-miss” and prone to
inefficiencies. Information from local media is ineffective as most people are unable to
understand media reports easily and as a result they cannot take full advantage of warnings
The adverse affects of climate change on agriculture have become a major concern for all
countries. One successful means of adaptation is transferring crop varieties between regions to
increase agriculture yields. Successful pilot projects include floating agriculture in
Bangladesh and the New rice for Africa initiative (NERICA), which is further elaborated in the box
New rice for Africa
Stakeholder engagement: The West African Rice
Development Association (WARDA), Africa Rice Center in Côte d’Ivoire, farmers.
Background: After much effort, breeders at the Africa
Rice Center in Côte d’Ivoire were able to cross varieties of African rice (Oryza
glaberrima, adapted to African conditions but prone to lodging and grain shattering) with
varieties of Asian rice (Oryza sativa, high yielding, but susceptible to stresses) to produce
early maturing, higher yielding, drought tolerant, pest resistant varieties able to thrive in
saline soils. Known by the acronym NERICA, which stands for New Rice for Africa, these
varieties could revolutionize rice farming in Sub-Saharan Africa because they produce a crop
with minimal inputs even under stress, yet respond well, with bountiful crops, when farmers are
able to apply additional inputs. Varieties of NERICA are being planted on 100,000
hectares (including 60,000 hectares in Guinea and about 10,000 hectares in Uganda) and are
helping countries cut crippling rice import bills.
Success so far and still ongoing: The West African Rice
Development Association (the former name of the Africa Rice Center, which retains WARDA as its
acronym) used participatory varietal selection (PVS), an impact-oriented and demand-driven
technology generation and dissemination approach. In the first year of the typical three-year
programme, WARDA and extension agents established a ‘rice garden’ in a target
village, often in the field of a leading or innovative farmer. The rice garden contained
NERICA varieties; modern, improved Asian rice; popular local and regional varieties; and a few
glaberrimas (African Rice). Farmers from the host community and surrounding villages were
encouraged to visit the garden as often as they liked to monitor progress. WARDA also
spread the news among its other 17 member countries, and workshops were held in 1998 and 1999
during which two-person teams from each country were trained in the PVS methodology. The
PVS approach has since been applied in all 17 countries, and a regional network was established
whose participants meet annually to discuss progress.
Lessons learnt: Once the new varieties gained a level
of acceptance among farmers, seed supply was identified as a bottleneck to wider
distribution. To overcome this problem, WARDA imported and adapted a community-based seed
system (CBSS) developed in Senegal. The system builds on farmers’ own seed-saving
practices, with some training input on selecting panicles for seed harvest and methods of
preparation, storage and maintenance. With the adoption of CBSS, new varieties can be
made available to farmers in four years, as opposed to seven years normally required with
formal seed systems. With initial success in Côte d’Ivoire, the system was
adapted further and adopted in Guinea, and it is expected to spread to other areas
C. Water resources
A number of technologies to mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change on water resources exist
in many countries. While many of these technologies fall under the category of hard
technologies such as increasing reservoir capacity, others can be categorized as soft.
These include flood warning systems such as the ALERT protocol in the United States of America and
the MIKE project initiated by the Danish Hydraulic Institute and implemented in Bangladesh .
Successful pilot projects also include the Water harvesting in North Darfur state, Sudan and The
SWMnet regional network, Eastern and Central Africa, both of which are further elaborated in
document- FCCC/TP/2006/2 P.86. The case study of Burkina Faso’s seasonal forecasting
initiative for water resources is presented below.
Seasonal forecasting in Burkina Faso
Stakeholder engagement: The project engaged farmers,
including agriculturists and pastoralists, in collaboration with major institutional
stakeholders, including the Direction de la Météorologie Nationale (forecast
development and presentation), the National Agricultural Research Service (to determine the
farming implications of the forecasts through crop modelling components), and Plan
International, one of the largest development NGOs operating in Burkina Faso (to provide
logistics and communication support). Provincial level representatives of technical
services (ministries of agriculture, livestock, environment) and other local level stakeholders
(representatives of NGOs, farmers’ organizations, agribusiness, etc.) participated in the
forecast dissemination workshops as well.
Background: Rural households in the Sudan–Sahel
region that depend largely on rain-fed agriculture for food and income could substantially
benefit from climate forecast information to improve agricultural productivity. In 1997
the Climate Forecasting for Agricultural Resources (CFAR) Project, funded by the United States
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, was initiated to assess how farmers (both
agriculturists and pastoralists) in Burkina Faso could use climate forecasts to enhance
agricultural sustainability and food security. This two-phase initiative included a study
of local forecasting
knowledge, adaptive strategies to climate variability, and farmers’ information networks
through fieldwork, surveys, interviews and participatory exercises (1997–2001). The
second phase (2001–2004) involved the experimental dissemination of seasonal rainfall
forecasts based on sea surface temperature in selected communities, monitoring of farmers'
and pastoralists' responses, and the circulation of information among and beyond the
communities. The forecasts were presented as the probability of rainfall being in the
higher, middle, or lower percentile of total historic seasonal rainfall for the region.
Success of the project but no longer active: Radio
broadcasts and workshops were used to disseminate forecasts to farmers and herders. These
workshops were held at the village level in three project sites at the Sahel, Central Plateau,
and southwest. The workshops included presentation of the forecast, discussion of
response strategies, the plan for dissemination at the village level, clarification by the
project teams and discussion of issues with the farmers, and distribution of a leaflet
summarizing the forecast in local languages. The farmers who participated in the
workshops explained to others what they learned when they got back to their villages.
Lessons learnt: The forecasts were often late, were for
three months and three zones only, and were not specific to individual farm locations.
They provided only total seasonal rainfall, not rainfall distribution. Institutional barriers,
such as village politics, ethnic identity and gender roles, contributed to exclusion of certain
groups. Social norms for appropriate social interaction occasionally hindered
outreach. Farmers’ perceptions and priorities affected how they understood, and
what they remembered, of the information received from the forecast dissemination team or from
radio broadcasts. Finally, there were resource barriers as forecast dissemination ceased
after completion of the CFAR project because the Burkina Faso government lacked the financial
resources to continue or extend the project and feared the potential political liabilities
stemming from the risk of forecast failure and subsequent economic losses and popular
D. Public health
Technological measures to address public health issues in climate change adaptation can be classified
as legislative, technical, education or behavioural. Successful pilot projects include
SMARTNET, which is a public–private partnership to prevent malaria in Africa (elaborated in the
box below), Information planning for SIDS as well as the Áma Drum project for tackling the
out-break of cholera in Eastern Cape town South Africa.
SMARTNET: A public–private partnership to prevent malaria
Stakeholder engagement: SMARTNET is a
public–private partnership between the Ministry of Health, Population Services
International (Tanzania office), net manufacturers, insecticide suppliers, distributors,
wholesalers, retailers, NGOs, research organizations, advertising and promotion companies, the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Department for International Development,
and the Royal Netherlands Embassy.
Background: Insecticide treated bed nets (ITN), which
kill adult mosquitoes, are one of the four main strategies of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM)
global partnership to reduce illness and death associated with malaria. Although most
malaria-endemic countries have adopted the RBM strategy, achieving sustainable universal
coverage requires intensified financial and technical commitments to bed net
distribution. In Africa in 2000 there were as many as 213.5 million clinical episodes of
P. falciparum malaria among 557 million people exposed to any risk of infection; children less
than 5 years old experienced over 48 per cent of these episodes (Snow et al. 2003).
Approximately 1.14 million people died as a result; 68 per cent of these were children less
than 5 years old. In the United Republic of Tanzania, in a population of about 34 million,
there are over 16 million cases of malaria annually, killing one person every five minutes and
causing the death of 80,000 children under the age of five. The country’s annual malaria
burden is 3.4 per cent (USD 1.2 million) of GDP.
Success so far and still ongoing: In the United
Republic of Tanzania, SMARTNET has provided support to manufacturers, distribution agents and
retailers through transport subsidies, guaranteed payments for shipments, and support for
Lessons learnt: This programme was not designed and
implemented in response to, or anticipation of, climate change. However, climate change is
projected to increase the range and intensity of malaria transmission in some regions of Africa
(e.g. Patz et al. 2005). Therefore, programmes such as this may need to be revised, reoriented
and/or expanded just to maintain current levels of disease control.
A limitation of the project is that Malaria’s highest toll is in the rural areas of the
country where accessing ITNs is more difficult and the ability to pay is less. SMARTNET
and other partners implemented strategies to reduce these barriers. For example, traders at
weekly mixed goods and produce markets now sell ITNs along with other goods. A voucher
programme was created that targets subsidies to the most vulnerable groups, pregnant women and
children under the age of five. Pregnant women receive a voucher at antenatal visits and can
use the voucher as a part payment of an ITN at a nearby retail outlet or shifting market.
Infrastructure is under strain, as a result of population
growth, rural-urban migration, high levels of poverty and the demand for more roads and
vehicles. All these strains are likely to interact with, and be exacerbated by different
aspects of climate change. Changes in temperatures or rainfall along with sea level rise or
extreme weather events will have an immediate impact, as storms or hurricanes bring down power lines,
wash away roads or bridges or overwhelm systems of drainage. Three success initiatives have
been implemented to address some of these impacts. These projects include the local Agenda 21s
and urban environmental management, the Smart Growth planning networks for urban cities and the urban
transport reformation in Surabaya, Indonesia, which is further elaborated below.
Urban transport in Surabaya, Indonesia
Background: Like many large cities in developing countries,
Surabaya, the second largest city in Indonesia, faces a number of transport challenges,
including increasing motor vehicle use and resulting air quality reduction and increased
urban congestion. Motor vehicle ownership in Surabaya in 1990 was higher than in Singapore and Jakarta and twice as high as
in Manila, Seoul and Hong Kong and growth has continued, faster than population growth. As a
result, Surabaya is now one of the most dangerous cities in the world by health and traffic
safety indicators. Such congestion problems are directly linked to the adaptation
potential of individuals in communities such as Surabaya. Therefore transport problems
must be addressed to prevent further congestion and the various risks associated with
congestion, which stand to increase with increased, unchecked urbanization.
Success so far and still on going: Mechanisms to
adapt Surabaya’s transport system included proposed projects to reform the public
transport sector and employ economic instruments for adaptation, among several others.
Suggested efforts to reform the public transport sector included:
Establishing a programme for the use of
less-polluting urban buses (running on compressed natural gas)
Improving driver behavior by controlling
Introducing obligations for taxi operators
relating to the level of pollution from their vehicles
Physical improvements, including bus stops,
pedestrian facilities, terminals and bus priority lanes in congested areas
Economic measures proposed in the adaptation process included the development of parking
management schemes, taking into consideration tools such as:
New parking policies and fees
Reform of the annual vehicle taxation system, to
reverse the current approach to high taxes on new vehicles, low taxes on old, heavily
Area licensing scheme
Congestion road pricing
Lessons learnt: The projects are still