Measuring the Effectiveness of
Adaptation: Implications for Climate Negotiations

Presented by the Institute for Global
Environmental Strategies

This event discussed the implications of adaptation metrics on climate
negotiations, funding and governance. Following two presentations on the topic,
a panel considered relevant questions, provided in advance.

Akio Morishima, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), described
projects in Bangladesh and India to
develop proactive micro-adaptation strategies. He raised questions regarding:
whether appropriate means and capacities to measure adaptation progress exist;
whether it is appropriate to have adaptation targets akin to mitigation
targets; and whether those who implement effective adaptation actions should be
recognized and rewarded.

Jonathan Pershing, World Resources Institute, described the past, current and
future levels of water availability according to both local- and national-level
data, given the striking differences in the depictions, and argued for
site-specific adaptation metrics.

Ancha Srinivasan, IGES, presented on his work with SVRK Prabhakar, IGES, on
findings from an IGES-World Bank workshop on measuring adaptation
effectiveness. He outlined major concerns in developing metrics, and noted that
challenges remain, such as deciding whether metrics should be: deductive or
inductive; site-specific or spatially scalable; direct or proxy; ex-ante vs.
ex-post; project-specific or regional; discrete or composite; and qualitative
or quantitative.

Heather McGray, World Resources Institute, discussed the outcomes of a workshop
on assessing adaptation at the national level. She said that adaptation is
highly context dependent, and she presented the schematic elements of an
adaptation framework, including: planning, management, and service delivery
functions; country-specific priorities; and progress measures.

Shuzo Nishioka, IGES, introduced the panel’s questions, concerning: whether
adaptation should be measurable, reportable and verifiable (MRV); whether
metrics should be the basis of funding decisions, and what the barriers are to
operationalizing metrics; whether metrics should be quantified; country-level
governance issues, and how a future climate regime can improve governance at
various levels; and how synergies between UNFCCC and non-UNFCCC initiatives can
be strengthened.

In the panelists’ responses, Ir. Sulistyowati, Ministry of Environment, Indonesia, said
that just because MRV applies to mitigation does not mean it should apply to
adaptation. Masato Kawanishi,

International Cooperation Agency, said that MRV requirements may be necessary
but are very difficult, and highlighted the need for coordination. Ian Noble,
World Bank, discussed metrics in defining vulnerability and described a World
Bank pilot programme in climate resilience. Mozharul Alam, Bangladesh
Centre for Advanced Studies, said that metrics can help identify infrastructure
and institutional capacity needs and respond to sectoral impacts. Savio
Carvalho, Oxfam, described adaptation realities in Uganda, and underscored the urgency
in coordinating the humanitarian and climate communities.

Participants discussed: adaptation needs across ecosystems; risks inherent in
developing metrics; and the utility of metrics.