The big question of whether developed nations will get serious about funding climate adaptation in developing countries was at least partially answered by the "Accord" at the recently concluded U.N. negotiations in Copenhagen. Big global warmers -- the U.S. and the OECD nations primarily -- will pony up billions. Exactly how much money and how it will be divided between mitigation (measures to hold temperatures increases to under 2 degrees Celsius) and adaptation (proofing people, ecoysystems, and economies against the destructive impacts of worse weather) is not detailed. But the developing world seems sure to get major help.
There's another big question that doesn't have even that half-answer: Will the unspecified billions that go to adaptation be effectively spent to do their intended work? With adverse weather trends intensifying flooding, drought, and rising sea levels, especially in poor and other developing countries within the equatorial belt, adaptation is urgent -- particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, low-lying parts of South Asia, and among the Pacific island states. Much of the adaptation will require capacity development -- learning and knowledge that must reach broadly through the organizational fabric of government and civil society and foster innovative adaptation. But developing nations and donors alike are having a hard time doing that. The World Bank Institute's new "Capacity Development Results Framework" (published in draft form in June 2009), says bluntly: " ...the results of efforts to develop capacity have persistently fallen short of expectations."
At a June 2009 forum co-sponsored by the WBI, consultant Robert Theisohn said: “You cannot do capacity development for others. Learning is voluntary and capacity development must be home-grown so we need to move from supply to demand, from delivery to acquisition.”
Interestingly, the projects of the 100 finalists at DM2009 were very focused on active as opposed to passive learning -- where participants don't just sit and take notes but become players in change that aims to protect people and natural resources and energize often faltering rural economies. The DM projects would be great models for developing countries that want to start implementing their adaptation plans -- once those pledged funds from developed nations start to materialize.
- East Asia and Pacific
- South Asia
- Middle East and North Africa
- Latin America & Caribbean
- Europe and Central Asia
- Financial Sector
- Culture and Development
- Communities and Human Settlements
- Agriculture and Rural Development
- Information and Communication Technologies
- Private Sector Development
- Public Sector and Governance
- Social Development
- Indigenous Peoples
- Climate Change