Delft, The Netherlands, 07 Oct 2021

Adaptation Academy: Helps Countries Move from Climate Commitments to Action

Promises and commitments won’t fight climate change - unless they result in action. To get from words to climate work that makes a difference, skills are needed. The Adaptation Academy, supported by IHE Delft and partners, aims to strengthen participants’ ability to help their countries fulfil climate obligations.

The Adaptation Academy, part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) Climate Action and Support Transparency Training (CASTT), is designed to enable a systematic and significant change in capacity to meet the ambitions of the Paris Agreement. IHE Delft is a collaboration partner with a focus on Africa and Europe.

IHE Delft recently held an online course for around 30 Academy participants - professionals from mainly African governments, private sector organizations and research institutes. The course helped them strengthen their ability to implement actions to adapt to global warming, and their countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) – that is, the climate actions countries committed to as part of the Paris Agreement.

Course participant Mark Tendo, a water resources engineer from Uganda, said the broader insight into climate change vulnerability assessments he gained during the course was beneficial for his work.

“I am involved in the design of climate adaptation projects in Uganda. We are currently implementing solar powered irrigation systems, so the training made me appreciate the link between energy use and food production,” he said.

Course participant Christopher Manda, an environmental officer in Malawi, said the course’s focus on the water-energy-food nexus made him realize “that there is need for integrated approaches for us as nations to achieve food, water, and energy security, and in the development of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.”

This is a change from current practice, he added: “Over the years, working for a national government institution, I noted that both within public and private sector we tend to work in isolation when developing or implementing climate change adaption and mitigation measures.”

IHE Delft will offer Adaptation Academy courses once a year for five years - once pandemic conditions allow, the courses will be offered in a more intensive, face-to-face setting. “The relevance of climate adaptation is paramount for most countries in Africa, more so than climate change mitigation in general. While greenhouse gas emission contribution from African countries is a lot less than that from highly industrialized countries, the impact of climate change is indiscriminate. For many countries, adaptation is the best hope to alleviate the worst effects of global warming,” said course leader Shreedhar Maskey, IHE Delft Associate Professor of Hydrology and Water Resources.

IHE Delft Rector Eddy Moors, speaking at the UNFCCC event to launch the Adaptation Academy, said he expected the Academy to lead to climate change action. “I’m quite sure that with this collaboration and the peer-to-peer learning that is envisioned within the program, that we will be able as a community to gain new insights and find out that there are new steps that can be made”, he said.

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is financing the Adaptation Academy courses taught at IHE Delft.

About the CASTT Adaptation Academy

The Climate Action and Support Transparency Training (CASTT) Adaptation Academy aims to strengthen technical capacity for adaptation assessments, planning, reporting policy frameworks and coordination across ministries and governance levels to act on climate change. The Adaptation Academy is under the leadership of the UNFCCC secretariat and the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) in partnership with IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Oregon State University, Asian Institute for Technology, and Korea Environment Institute.

About IHE Delft

IHE Delft is the largest international graduate water education facility in the world and is based in Delft, the Netherlands. Since 1957 the Institute has provided water education and training to professionals from over 160 countries, the vast majority from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Also, numerous research and institutional strengthening projects are carried out in partnership to strengthen capacity in the water sector worldwide. Through our overarching work on capacity development, IHE Delft aims to make a tangible contribution to achieving all Sustainable Development Goals in which water is key.

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