Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation into Development Planning in the Asia-Pacific
The Asia-Pacific region is home to 60% of the world's poor or over one billion people. Poverty often hinders access to education, healthcare and other important services and resources. Climate change adds another layer of risks and challenges to sustainable development. The Asia-Pacific region is among the most vulnerable to climate change. Adaptation to climate change is an adjustment in ecological or social systems in response to observed or expected changes in climate and their impacts. Mainstreaming adaptation describes the process of integrating concerns with, or responses to, climate change into a variety of development activities. This report focuses on development planning. Efforts to mainstream adaptation into development planning have been promoted as an effective way to respond to climate change. At the Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum held in Bangkok, October 2010, a diverse range of experiences in mainstreaming at different levels of governance and sectors were explored. This report draws substantially on issues raised at that meeting.Mainstreaming approaches acknowledge that it is often easiest to start with current policies and practices. Mainstreaming should save money by making more efficient use of scarce resources than alternatives which create entirely new institutions and processes. Several guides or frameworks have been proposed for ways to integrate concerns about climate change into ongoing national development planning processes. This report reviews and illustrates several of these and draws implications for planning at different levels.