Digital Technologies For Climate Change Adaptation In Asia And The Pacific
Source: UNESCAP, Reliefweb
UNESCAP (The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) just released the working paper “Digital technologies for climate change adaptation in Asia and the Pacific”, which addresses different case studies worldwide in the use of digital technologies for climate adaptation.
The author Cristina Bernal Aparicio is an individual contractor and Siope Vakataki ‘Ofa is an Economic Affairs Officer at the Information and Communications Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction Division (IDD), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
While some countries in the Asia-Pacific region are adapting to climate change, countries with special needs (CSNs) with less resources and capacities face significant challenges implementing adaptation projects. Yet, CSNs are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts, and most in need of adaptation interventions.
Despite this urgency to adapt to the changing climate and the promising solutions that digital technologies offer, the interlinkages between the two sectors at the policy level are not clear. In fact, while significant contributions of digital technologies to mitigate climate change have been widely applied across the region, fewer examples can be found for climate adaptation. Comprehensive evaluations of key enablers for using digital technologies to adapt to climate change remain scarce.
This working paper addresses this gap by assessing the key enablers and commonalities between different case studies worldwide in the use of digital technologies for climate adaptation. Based on the assessment results, policy recommendations for the advancement of climate adaptation in Asia-Pacific countries, particularly CSNs, are provided.
This working paper calls, first, for capacity building to bridge the existing climate change data gaps in CSNs from Asia and the Pacific. Second, given the limitation of global funds, it raises the importance of applying financial alternatives to fund digital climate adaptation projects, such as tax incentives and crowdsourcing mechanisms for key players in climate adaptation. Third, it recommends strengthening governance and institutional capacities to mainstream climate adaptation into digital technology-related policies to advance climate adaptation. Fourth, it raises the need to accelerate the development and implementation of digital climate adaptation projects through multi-stakeholder collaboration to fill human and financial gaps. Last but not least, it requests for the acceleration of climate adaptation in regional platforms that aim at advancing digital development, such as through the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway initiative.
The findings from this working paper raise important messages for future research around the interlinkages between the lack of access and adoption of digital technologies and climate adaptation and vulnerability in CSNs from the region. It also brings to attention the need for the creation of a platform to facilitate technology transfer to more vulnerable and least developed countries.
This working paper was prepared under the guidance of Tiziana Bonapace, Director of IDD, ESCAP and the direct supervision of Tae Hyung Kim, Chief of Information and Communications Technology and Development Section (IDS), IDD, ESCAP. Chang Yong Son, Aida Karazhanova, Quynh Huong Nguyen and Ludovic Joas from ESCAP provided substantive inputs towards the development of the working paper. Rajnesh D. Singh, Regional Vice President for the Asia-Pacific at the Internet Society, Rohan Samarajiva, Chairman, Board of Directors at LIRNEasia, Gayani Hurulle, Research Manager at LIRNEasia and Anju Mangal, Asia-Pacific Regional Coordinator at the Alliance for Affordable Internet provided substantive inputs and feedback to the working paper.
Clyde William Fraisse, Professor and Extension Specialist from the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department at the University of Florida is acknowledged for providing information for one of the case studies selected for this research. The manuscript was edited by Christine Apikul. The graphic design and layout were prepared by Dong Xiao and Yin Qi. Administrative support on the issuance of the working paper was provided by Tarnkamon Chantarawat and Sakollerd Limkriangkrai.
Please cite this paper as: Bernal Aparicio, C. and Ofa, S.V. (2021). Digital technologies for climate change adaptation in Asia and the Pacific. United Nations ESCAP, Information and Communications Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction Division, December 2021. Bangkok.
Available at: http://www.unescap.org/kp
ESCAP / 5-WP / 33 Tracking number
The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is the most inclusive intergovernmental platform in the Asia-Pacific region. The Commission promotes cooperation among its 53 member States and 9 associate members in pursuit of solutions to sustainable development challenges. ESCAP is one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations.
The ESCAP secretariat supports inclusive, resilient, and sustainable development in the region by generating action-oriented knowledge, and by providing technical assistance and capacity-building services in support of national development objectives, regional agreements, and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
ESCAP pursues this objective by carrying out work, in close cooperation with other United Nations entities and intergovernmental organizations.