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Expert meetings on technologies for adaptation and on the outcomes of the Nairobi work programme (NWP)

Following on the heels of the climate change talks in Bangkok, two important meetings took place in the Thai capital focusing on adaptation to climate change.

The first was a one-day expert meeting on technologies for adaptation to climate change. Attended by some 45 participants, the meeting gathered members of both the Expert Group on Technology Transfer (EGTT) and the Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG), as well as representatives from Parties engaged in both technology and NWP work, and experts and intergovernmental organisations.

Areas of discussion included:

· Activities on technologies for adaptation in various sectors, such as agriculture, water resources, coastal zones, human health and infrastructure, as well as technologies for adaptation identified in National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs).

· The respective roles of technologies for adaptation, including crop rotation, seawalls (for example in Male Island in the Maldives) and irrigation technologies, including new or improved irrigation systems in Portugal.

· Technologies to support implementation of adaptation actions, for example, those that support planning and design, information and awareness-raising, and monitoring and evaluation. They included technologies aimed at protecting against sea level rise, such as dykes in the Netherlands and beach nourishment (the replacement of beach sand removed by ocean waters) in Cuba

· Identified needs, concerns and experiences, including lessons learned from the successful development and deployment of technologies for adaptation, as well as from maladaptation.

A further important issue addressed at the meeting was how the EGTT work on technologies for adaptation could specifically contribute to the NWP in a number of relevant areas. These include developing performance indicators to monitor and assess the development and transfer of technologies for adaptation.


Outcomes of completed activities under the NWP

The meeting on technologies for adaptation was followed by a three-day informal meeting with around 50 representatives from Parties to consider the outcomes of completed activities under the Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. It was also attended by experts and representatives of organisations active in the NWP, including FAO, WMO, UNEP, UNDP and Practical Action.

The work carried out so far under the NWP was well appreciated by Parties and organisations. In order to enhance achievement of the objective of the NWP -which is to assist all Parties, in particular developing countries, to improve their understanding and assessment of impacts, vulnerability and adaptation, and to make informed decisions on practical adaptation actions - participants suggested a number of additional activities. These included adding to the body of knowledge by considering practical adaptation experience and information from NGOs, and to take into account livelihood considerations.

The engagement of organisations, institutions, experts, communities and the private sector was perceived to be useful in the implementation of the NWP. Participants recognised the effort made by the organisations that have actively engaged in the NWP by providing information, pledging action and carrying out practical work towards NWP objectives. Participants agreed that there is a need to expand the engagement of organisations to include smaller ones and those at community level.

There was a request from participants that the various outputs and recommendations from the different NWP activities be more actively communicated to all Parties, especially the most vulnerable communities. In this regard, participants suggested reviewing the recommendations and considering which could be taken up by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), other UNFCCC bodies, including the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Ad hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA), and other organisations.

There was consensus among participants that the next phase of the NWP should focus on enhancing adaptation planning and practices, and that further work should be carried out on economic diversification as a means to increase resilience to climate change.

Based on the outcomes of this informal meeting and other inputs, Parties will next consider activities to be undertaken in the second phase of the NWP, as well as appropriate timing and modalities. This will take place during the forthcoming sessions of the UNFCCC subsidiary bodies in Bonn in June.