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5th Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum-2016

November 4, 2016

The 5th Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum, which held from October 17 to 19 at Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), Colombo, Srilanka, the flagship event of the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN), was the primary regional platform for adaptation practitioners to meet, share their learning and experiences, and work together towards the pertinent outcomes and practical solutions that are needed to address the challenges of climate change.

Event was very timely when adaptation to climate change is turning the new reality for many nations and for many actors that strive to equip their growing populations with the means to survive and thrive in a vastly different world. One can observe that many policies are in place, but translating them so that they facilitate real action can become a real challenge given the often fragmented approaches, thinking, and perspectives that had espoused them in first place.

It is known that year 2015 has delivered 4 major global outcomes in the context of adaptation. First one is Finance for development in Addis, Second one is Sustainable Development Goals in New York, Third one is Paris Agreement (CoP21) in France and Fourth one is Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in Japan. Following these developments, countries are now embarking on delivering these global outcomes.

APAN 16 had created much expectations of bringing fruitful outputs and it succeeded its goal. Different technical sessions enhanced audience’s understanding of the challenges and opportunities encountered when planning for adaptation. Bringing together speakers from academia, civil society, governments, private sector, regional and international development organisations, this platform provided knowledge and lessons to all participants.

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Event was opened by lighting the oil lamp. Welcoming the delegates, UdayaRanjithSevenirathne, secretary, Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, Sri Lanka, opined that only making policies cannot serve purpose but proper implementation would do. Prof Masataka Watanabe, Co-chair, Asia Pacific Adaptation Network, asserted that delegates from 60 countries, 170 non-government organisations, 28 governments are participating in this event. `We need to improve management capacity. Managing in effective way is need of the hour. Green economy is effective manner to grow healthy economy for any country. Blue Green economy is developed in Sri Lanka and need to be discussed in this forum. Adaptation measures are implemented at local and global levels. However, it cannot be achieved without international collaboration’ added.

Presenting key note address, Susil Premajayantha, Minister of Science, Technology and Research, Sri Lanka, said his nation has 70% greenery and termed it as green island. Explaining about Sri Lanka, Premajayantha added that costal area grows coconut mainly and 50% forest is in central area. `Ocean area or blue area has enough resources. Four rivers flow in central part of Sri Lanka. Mahaweli is longest river in Sri Lanka and its development is very important for us. Existing technologies, effective policies can bring change. Decision makers can implement more economic policies for sustainable life style. Consumers should choose sustainable food and commodities to ensure food security and contribute to mitigate climate change. Networking on financial and technical aspects to tackle climate change and to ensure sustainable development is need of the hour’ he stressed.

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