Climate Change - Science and Policy Dialogue

20 Jun 2012

imageClimate Change Session. Photo credit: UNDP Samoa MCO.

The learning session entitled, “Climate Change – Science and Policy Dialogue” took place in UNDP Samoa MCO. This learning session was organized taking advantage of the visit of two researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK): Dr. Diego Rybski and Ms. Tabea Lissner (PhD candidate). UNDP project  coordinators from the government of Samoa and personnel from FAO, UNESCO and UNDP were invited to attend.

The objective of the meeting was to enhance the dialogue between scientists and policy makers in the area of climate change adaptation. Three main focus areas were covered: a) the analysis of impacts and adaptation options to sea level rise, b) the development of climate risk indices, and c) the applicability of Cost-Benefit Analysis to the selection of adaptation options.

The first presentation, “Climate Impact Index,” was presented by Ms. Tabea Lissner, and it focused on the application of multi-sector climate impact indices to decision making processes on the definition of adaptation strategies. The second presentation, “On the Estimation of Damages Due to Costal Floods,” was presented by Dr. Diego Rybski. He showed how to forecast the sea level rise using samples of the Baltic Sea regions and methods to design coastal protection infrastructure. The last presentation, “Cost-Benefit Analysis of Climate Change Expenditure,” was introduced by Mr. Marco Arena, an intern of UNDP. He presented different CBAs of 3 climate change related projects focusing on the economic impact of climate change and on the role of CBAs in project management.

At the end of the session there was an interesting debate between researchers, UN staff and project coordinators discussing the role of scientific evidence in decision making processes. One of the ideas that emerged was the gap that still exists between science and policy and the need for more collaboration.