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The side-event was held on Saturday 13 May, on the margins of the Climate Change Conference in Bonn (Germany).

Knowledge gaps have been repeatedly identified as a barrier to widespread and successful adaptation actions. The Lima Adaptation Knowledge Initiative (LAKI) aims to address knowledge barriers that hinder the implementation and scaling up of adaptation action in the context of various subregions and areas of vulnerabilities.  The LAKI is a collaborative initiative between the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment), in partnership with subregional coordination entities, such as International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). Following the side-event, Dhrupad Choudhury from ICIMOD gave a short interview about climate change challenges in the Hindu Kush Himalayan subregion.


This side event was co-organized by the UNFCCC secretariat under the Nairobi work programme (NWP), UN Environment, and ICIMOD, which is the subregional coordination entity responsible for the Hindu Kush Himalayan subregion. Facilitated by Mozaharul Alam (UN Environment, Asia and Pacific Office), the side event contributed to the effort of catalyzing action to close priority knowledge gaps, with a focus on the Hindu Kush Himalayan subregion.  It was organized as follows:

  • Presentation of the progress of the LAKI, with a focus on the Hindu Kush Himalayan subregion;
  • Dialogue on the modalities, challenges and opportunities to close adaptation knowledge gaps in different regions of the world;
  • Call for expressions of interest to: close priority knowledge gaps identified through the LAKI for the Hindu Kush Himalayan subregion, and support the implementation of the LAKI in new subregions.
  • Youssef Nassef,  the UNFCCCSecretariat, introduced the LAKI and highlighted following: 
    • LAKI’s rigorous quantitative methodology offers innovative modality to scale-up adaptation and comparability through consistency in applying it across sub-regions;
    • LAKI aims to inform adaptation action among policy-makers, practitioners, and communities through improvements of access and format of available knowledge.

  • Mozaharul Alam, UN Environment, underscored the collaboration between the UNFCCC secretariat and UN Environment as the foundation of the LAKI. He also addressed the importance of connecting LAKI to adaptation planning processes at various scales.

  • Dhrupad Choudhury, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), emphasized LAKI’s relevance in addressing major adaptation challenges in the Hindu Kush Himalayan sub-region. LAKI’s priority-setting workshop contributed to the identification of 16 priority knowledge gaps for the sub-region. The LAKI outcomes have also strengthened ICIMOD’s efforts to mobilize resources on early warning system (EWS) that is now implemented in India, Afghanistan, and Nepal.

  • Ram Prasad Lamsal, Nepal Ministry of Population and Environment, underscored Nepal’s vulnerability to climate change and the progress of their national adaptation plan. He highlighted several knowledge adaptation gaps, such as in projecting future climate risks and impacts, capacity building for national planning processes, as well as synthesizing indigenous peoples’ knowledge.

  • Neera Shrestha Pradhan,  ICIMOD, shared an example in the Hindu Kush Himalayan sub-region where information needs to be repackaged to be useful in decision-making. For farmers, it is important that climate projection information can focus on drought cycles and the need to change cropping patterns. Therefore, data must be made available in the right format for each audience, such as through Hindu Kush Himalayan Monitoring and Assessment Programme (HIMAP) that gathers over 200 researchers.

  • Edith Ofwona, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), shared experience of supporting thought leaders from developing countries to design climate adaptation solutions through Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Asia and Africa (CARIAA). In consortium with the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the project puts a special focus on young scientists among the 450 researchers that have been involved, as well as issues of balancing scientific and applied research, and scaling up pilot projects.

  • Akio Takemoto, Japanese Ministry of the Environment, shared the national government’s experience of working with over 50 scientists and local governments in assessing climate change impacts and providing local-scale data and information under its National Adaptation Plan. He also highlighted Japan’s contribution through Global Adaptation Network (GAN) and the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN), including in the production of national- and local-scale datasets in the Asia Pacific region.
During the discussion that followed, participants highlighted the relevance of the LAKI outcomes in producing knowledge that would be understandable to policy makers and communities. The following key points emerged from the discussion:
  • Multi-stakeholder participation is critical to ensure access of knowledge to users. In this regard, the need for partnerships between researchers and communicators, the importance of working with local governments from early on, and the role of training for young researchers were presented as ways to bridge the gap between knowledge and action.
  • Institutional initiatives such as the LAKI were seen as very relevant, as they provide a consistent methodology to identify knowledge gaps and develop partnerships with experts and institutions in closing knowledge gaps for target audiences in the context of various subregions.
  • Participants highlighted the challenges with securing access to financial resources in undertaking actions to close the priority knowledge gaps identified through the LAKI, as well as the complexity of managing multi-stakeholder partnerships over a long term period.
  • The outcomes of the LAKI were seen as relevant in informing the institutions working in these various subregions, as such institutions could design/refine/align their work in ways that are more responsive to knowledge users’ needs in these subregions. 

Participants were also invited to fill out an online survey in case they wished to express their interest in supporting the LAKI.