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Perspectives from across the Asia Pacific region

On March 10th, an engaging technical session organized by UN Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Global Adaptation Network (GAN) shared perspectives from across the Asia Pacific region on how to close knowledge gaps and scale up adaptation action, including nature-based approaches.

The session, Closing adaptation knowledge gaps to scale up nature-based action in the Asia-Pacific region, focused on building on and scaling up the Lima Adaptation Knowledge Initiative (LAKI), a UNFCCC-GAN initiative that identifies, prioritizes, and catalyzes collaborative actions to close knowledge gaps. The event took place at the 7th Asia Pacific Adaptation Network Forum.

Expert insights from the region
Mr. Espen Ronneberg, from the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, spoke about the lack of gender segregated data as a major gap, which when addressed, can determine social protection issues and highlight the role of women as agents of action.

Ronneberg shared an example from Palau where a farming community solved the issue of saltwater intrusion into their fields by creating levees and waterways, and planting mangroves. Besides providing a protective buffer, the mangroves unexpectedly brought in an abundance of mud crabs that can be sold in the local market to bring an extra income.

Ms. Malia Talakai, Climate Change Adviser at Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, highlighted the value of traditional knowledge in building community resilience in the Pacific region and the ways in which such knowledge can serve as early-warning systems for communities.

The importance of building win-win partnerships and engaging with multi-disciplinary actors at different levels was highlighted. Dr. Neera Shrestha Pradhan, the Senior Water and Adaptation Specialist at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), said the LAKI is a pathway that provides an opportunity to engage with multiple stakeholders and partners in a subregion to close knowledge gaps on multiple thematic areas. Pradhan went on to highlight how ICIMOD welcomes working on the next phase of the LAKI, bringing in other local and national partners to further close knowledge gaps.

Dr. Mokhlesur Rahman, Executive Director of the Centre for Natural Resource Studies, noted the challenge of sectoral and segmented adaptation initiatives. This is a major challenge for rural communities dependent on diverse activities. He emphasized that we need to “build resilience across social-ecological levels, considering all facets in a given context ”.

Essential adaptation solutions: nature-based approaches and ecosystem restoration
Nature is crucial in everyday life in the villages of the Pacific”, says Dr. Christopher Bartlett, a climate expert from the Republic of Vanuatu. “By protecting and enhancing normal functioning of ecosystems you increase the community resilience.”

Ms. Tshering Yangzom, Senior Environment Officer from the National Environment Commission in Bhutan, showcased how the Bhutanese have preserved natural resources for centuries due to living in harmony with nature.  “Natural sites are sacred. 60% of forest cover maintained by law.”

The LAKI’s outcomes of identifying adaptation knowledge gaps, particularly in relation to nature-based approaches, will be feeding into the Global Ecosystem-based Adaptation Fund, which opens its first call for proposals in the coming weeks.

A rich set of stories, insights and examples of practice were shared by all the speakers. You can now watch the session via YouTube if you missed it.

About the Lima Adaptation Knowledge Initiative (LAKI)
The LAKI is a joint action pledge under the Nairobi Work Programme (NWP) between the UNFCCC Secretariat and UNEP’s Global Adaptation Network (GAN) to address knowledge barriers hindering the implementation and scaling up of adaptation action.
To learn more about the LAKI, click here.
To get involved, please contact:

Seven subregional LAKI workshops have been held: Andean, West Asia/Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), North Africa, Southern Africa, Indian Ocean Islands,Hindu-Kush-Himalayan and, most recently, in the Pacific Small Island Developing States.

About the Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation (APAN) Forum
The APAN Forum is the flagship event of the APAN Network, developed and hosted by the UNEP in 2009, under the Global Adaptation Network (GAN). The Forum is the primary regional platform for adaptation practitioners to meet, share their learning and experiences, and work together towards the pertinent outcomes and practical solutions that are needed to address the challenges of climate change.
For more information about APAN and its upcoming Forum, please contact