A number of international initiatives have been launched to help countries build their national capacity to respond to the changing climate. Still, several initiatives are being undertaken independently one from each other, leaving an unsolved need for enhanced sharing of information, knowledge and lessons learned within and across borders.
The Regional Climate Change Adaptation Knowledge Platform for Asia (AKP) is a three-year programme that supports research on climate change adaptation, policy making, capacity building and information sharing to help countries in Asia adapt to the challenges of climate change.
The Adaptation Platform also seeks to facilitate climate change adaptation at local, national and regional levels and to strengthen adaptive capacity of countries in the region – while working with existing and emerging networks and initiatives. Through its work the Adaptation Platform is working towards building bridges between current knowledge on adaptation to climate change and the governments and agencies that need it.
In order to achieve this goal, the Adaptation Platform brings together policy-makers, adaptation researchers, practitioners, community and business leaders and works through three components:
- Regional knowledge sharing system: To promote dialogue, improve exchange of knowledge, information and methods (e.g. annual forum, thematic workshops and trainings, interactive on-line sharing mechanism).
- Generation of new knowledge: To facilitate the generation of new climate change adaptation knowledge promoting understanding and providing guidance relevant to the development and implementation of national and regional climate change adaptation policy, plans and processes (e.g. downscale and/or interpretation of climate data) and
- Application of existing and new knowledge: Synthesis of existing and new climate change adaptation knowledge to facilitate its application in sustainable development practices at the local, national and regional levels (e.g. climate narratives, risk envelope communication exercises).
In collaboration with a wide range of national and regional partners, the Adaptation Platform will therefore aim at establishing a regionally and nationally owned information exchange mechanism that facilitates the integration of climate change adaptation into national and regional economic and development policies, processes and plans, strengthening linkages with the development agenda and enhancing research and institutional capacity.
In addition to the SEI Asia Center, the Adaptation Knowledge Platform is supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Swedish Environmental Secretariat for Asia (SENSA), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT)/UNEP Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific (AIT/UNEP RRC.AP), which hosts its Secretariat. Where appropriate, the Adaptation Knowledge Platform works with national partners to assist in specific implementation of activities in the countries of engagement.