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The joint networking event was co-organized by the UNFCCC/NWP and the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN) of Columbia University.

1. Background of the event:

In the field of urban adaptation, mitigation, and resilience, the UCCRN, with its network of 750 expert scholars and urban practitioners, is one of the key knowledge partners of the NWP. The UCCRN has just published the Second UCCRN Assessment Report on Climate Change and Cities (ARC3.2), which was presented during the event.

The presentations given by the UNFCCC/NWP and the UCCRN were followed by a facilitated discussion and a networking session. The facilitated discussion aimed at addressing the following questions: 

  • Which knowledge needs preventing climate action are not being addressed by research/knowledge networks?

  • How can research/knowledge networks better collaborate, including with other organizations, policy-makers and practitioners, to scale up climate action on the ground?

 

2. Summary of the discussion:

 

The discussion led to an increased awareness of the role of the NWP in improving climate-resilience in cities. Participants also gained a better understanding of the opportunities for collaboration under the NWP on human settlements and adaptation. Such opportunities include:

  • Sharing experiences and knowledge on adaptation planning and action addressing human settlements by responding to the UNFCCC Secretariat’s call for submissions before 20 September 2017.  More information is available here.   
  • Sharing additional information on case studies, tools/methods and other knowledge resources through the Adaptation knowledge portal.
  • Participating in the discussion during the 11th Focal Point Forum on human settlements and adaptation.

  • Collaborating in the preparation of a synthesis report on human settlements and adaptation, for the 48th session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), during the Climate Change Conference in May 2018. The synthesis report will inform the climate negotiations, including on the next steps in terms of closing the knowledge-to-action gaps in the field of human settlements and adaptation.

  • As a follow up, exchanging ideas amongst experts from South and North, and building science-policy-practice collaboration to help close the identified knowledge-to-action gaps.

The discussion offered the opportunity to provide more details on the ARC 3.2 report of the UCCRN, which constitutes the latest scholarly, practitioner-oriented and creative research about urbanism. UCCRN’s Case study docking station was also introduced as an online database that facilitates multi-criteria search of the 115 urban case studies undertaken in the preparation of the ARC 3.2. report.  As a result, urban policy makers and practitioners gained better access to information, tools and other knowledge resources to support them in formulating and implementing appropriate policies and interventions in their own cities, in line with the objectives of the New Urban Agenda.

 

3. Recommendations and ways forward from the discussions:

Regarding the objective of catalyzing adaptation action through knowledge, a key recommendation from the discussion was to promote the co-production of knowledge, building on the experience and practices of numerous urban stakeholders, including from local governments, civil society, private companies and communities. It was considered important to leave sufficient space for communities to self-organize in response to their own approaches to risks and response actions.

An additional key recommendation from the discussion was to inquire how the New Urban Agenda could be brought to the attention of the climate policy arena in the UNFCCC process, and in particular during COP 22. The possibility of better linking the New Urban Agenda to the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process, in relation with the Least Developed Countries Expert Group, was also mentioned.