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Panelists in Warsaw Discuss Ways to Link Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies

Link Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies14 November 2013: The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) organized a side event at the Warsaw Climate Change Conference, titled ‘Linking Adaptation and Mitigation to Address Multiple Risks: New Research Findings and Field Examples.' Panelists presented research on ways to connect planning for mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Moderator Markku Kanninen, University of Helsinki, Finland, said mitigation and adaptation have historically been on separate negotiating tracks, but encouraged building connections between mitigation and adaptation strategies, particularly at the local level as those affected by mitigation and adaptation actions are essentially the same people.

Bruno Locatelli, CIRAD-CIFOR, and Giacomo Fedele, CIFOR, presented on adaptation-mitigation integration in forest and agricultural landscapes. Locatelli described the results on a study that noted, among other results, that more mitigation projects explicitly consider adaptation in project design than vice versa. He cited perceived barriers to integration, including different rationales, agendas and budgets, and complexity and transaction costs.

Panelists then presented case studies. Anne-Marie Tiani, CIFOR, said international interest in REDD+ and the perception of forests as mitigation opportunities have limited the integration of adaptation into forest projects in the Congo Basin. She cited barriers including: unclear land and forest tenure; political instability; competition between actors; and lack of capacity and knowledge. She added that integrating mitigation and adaptation would reduce the vulnerability of forest populations, which is necessary for preventing deforestation in the region.

Pak Heru Prasetyo, Deputy Head of President's Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight in Indonesia, noted that REDD+ is a presidential agenda in Indonesia. Susil Perera, IFRC Secretariat, cited the case study of mangrove-planting projects in Viet Nam as projects aimed to reduce the vulnerability of coastal communities from typhoons. He noted the mitigation benefits of the mangrove projects, while stressing the original purpose of the project was to produce disaster risk reduction (DRR).

Shaban Mawanda, Uganda Red Cross, and Julie Arrighi, American Red Cross, described a cook stove project in Uganda. Mawanda highlighted the mitigation and health benefits of energy-saving cook stoves through reduced charcoal and firewood consumption. Arrighi called for ensuring projects meet the needs of local communities, and emphasized that social mobilization of volunteers can lead to more holistic approaches to adaptation and mitigation. She stressed that some of the most vulnerable are also the most capable.  [IISD RS ENBOTS coverage of 'Linking Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies'][IISD RS video coverage of the side event]