On February 6th the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment signed a Statement of Intent together with global partners of the new project 'Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation in The Netherlands'. UNESCO-IHE is one of the parties involved in the establishment of the Centre, aiming to contribute with its expertise in capacity development.
The Netherlands, together with Japan and UN Environment, will lead the establishment of a Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation in The Netherlands. The main goal of the Centre is to address the growing need for support among countries, institutions and businesses for dealing with climate change adaptation issues, as natural disasters and economic disruptions for instance.
The Dutch Minister for the Environment, Sharon Dijksma said: “Many around the world are hit hard by global warming. The ground-breaking Paris Climate Change Agreement puts climate change adaptation on par with mitigation. Failure of dealing adequately with climate change will increase a multitude of risks such as natural disasters, social and economic disruptions and increasing political tensions. Many people are looking for good practices and guidance with regard to climate change adaptation. I am convinced the Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation can help addressing these challenges.”
Ibrahim Thiaw, deputy chief of UN Environment also added that “Even with the Paris Agreement on climate change, our planet is heading for a global warming of around 3°C. Our survival depends on learning to live on a hotter planet with more extreme weather, erratic rainfall and rising sea levels. This Centre is a welcome step, but other countries need to follow this example and urgently invest in climate adaptation.”
Chris Zevenbergen, Professor of Flood Resilience of Urban Systems at UNESCO-IHE contended that: “the investments in climate adaptation globally will be huge in the coming decade. To absorb these investments capacity development will play a crucial role”.
The historic Paris Climate agreement has made the first step in making climate change adaptation a top global priority. The Centre follows this initiative with contributing to building a climate resilient world.
The Centre aims to support those that struggle to put climate adaptation effectively into practice, in all parts of the world. It plans to collect lessons from recently executed policies, programmes and projects and use those to develop guidance to accelerate climate adaptation. The resulting pool of global knowledge and the analyses of the methods and strategies that are effective versus the ones that are not will be used to support countries, communities and companies to successfully integrate climate adaptation into their investment decisions. In that way, every new road, every construction, every crop field becomes an opportunity to become more resilient.
Parties that are involved in the establishment of the Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation include: UN Environment; National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan; Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency PBL; Acclimatise; Delta Alliance; Global Environment Facility; Municipality of Rotterdam; Deltares; European Investment Bank; Kingdom of Morocco; Munich Climate Insurance Initiative; Netherlands Water Partnership; Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT); S&P Global; SNV Netherlands Development Organisation; Stockholm Environment Institute; TU Delft; UNEP DTU Partnership; UNESCO IHE; Wageningen University and Research; World Resources Institute; World Meteorological Organization; NAP Global Network.