The adaptation agenda is fully packed, and there are a number of crucial issues to move forward in order to deliver a good outcome in Durban. Coming to Bonn and feeling the summer sun on their skin, delegates should imagine they were to mix the ideal adaptation cocktail, which would provide refreshment as well as substantial taste. Of course, some alcohol to get the spirits high may also be allowed. So here are some key ingredients for the recipe of a cocktail which delegates may enjoy consuming next Friday before they go home:
Advance the Adaptation Committee to promote coherence on adaptation under the UNFCCC, as well as identify key gaps related to adaptation finance within the financial mechanism, and provide recommendations for further action directly to the COP. A number of around 20 members seems reasonable compared to similar bodies. Members of the Committee should be adaptation and development experts and include non-governmental stakeholders such as civil society and research organisations with relevant expertise and experience.
Agree on a Work Programme on “Loss and Damage” that will provide the basis for substantial progress in Durban and that eventually will enable the establishment of a mechanism to be presented to COP 18 for its adoption, resulting in the scaling-up of disaster risk reduction and risk management, the establishment of an international climate risk insurance mechanism, and a rehabilitation mechanism to deal with long-term climate Loss and Damage.
Advance modalities for national adaptation planning. Modalities and guidelines should follow an inclusive and integrated approach, taking into consideration vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems. They ought to be flexible so that they acknowledge national circumstances and facilitate the use of already existing strategies. It should be agreed in Bonn to launch a “call for submissions” on the modalities and guidelines, and to request the Secretariat to organise a workshop before Durban.
Also, a further phase of the Nairobi Work Programme should be agreed upon to ensure dissemination of knowledge on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation practices reaching local levels of government, civil society and communities.
Finally, delegates should ensure that adaptation is adequately reflected in the modalities of the overall review of the Cancún Agreements.
Oh one last thing - we recommend resisting the temptation to add ingredients, which would water down the cocktail - “response measures”. This can nullify all the achievements you have made in mixing this great cocktail.
And, in conclusion, imagine this great prospect: the more progress you achieve here in Bonn, the more time you may have in Durban to enjoy the beautiful South African beaches.