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
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 (BDPC).
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
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
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 provided.
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 below.
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 soon.
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
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 discontent.
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 marketing.
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
Urban transport in Surabaya, Indonesia
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 polluting
Area licensing scheme
Congestion road pricing mechanisms.
Lessons learnt: The projects are still