The frequency of the news is only matched by its direness.  It feels like every day we hear more about how climate change is getting worse.  The Arctic is melting faster than ever before, temperatures are breaking new records at a rapid pace and more than 90% of reefs in and around the Great Barrier Reef are being bleached by a warming world.

So this week’s Adaptation Futures conference which takes place in Rotterdam in the Netherlands – a country which is itself below sea-level and has historically had issues with water - is imbued with real urgency.  Policy-makers, climate and development practitioners, academics, civil society and active citizens are coming together to inject even more momentum into making climate-resilient communities, cities and countries the new normal. 

As the conference organizers’ point out in their welcome note: “If we want a healthy planet with healthy people, urgent solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation are needed. Following the success of the Paris Agreement, the Adaptation Futures 2016 Conference is an important opportunity to renew focus on our collective responsibility to act and put adaptation into practice.”

And the Climate Investment Funds will be there, sharing our lessons of transformation from the CIF’s programmatic approach.  As project-based activities alone have limited potential to affect national or sector-wide transformations, many countries are now adopting a programmatic approach that links strategic planning with investments. In our Rotterdam session, three countries will share lessons on what has worked and what has not - and what would they do differently – as they work to mainstream resilience into development planning and investment. The presenters will clearly articulate how a programmatic approach has helped them shape investment plans and priorities across key economic sectors and with the participation of diverse stakeholder groups.

The three countries who’ll be sharing their lessons – Zambia, Tajikistan and St Lucia – all have different national contexts and are implementing different climate-smart solutions.  But all of them are benefitting from hydrometeorological and climate services (HCS.)  These are a fundamental pillar of building climate resilience - a key enabler of a broad range of adaptation decisions, such as disaster relief management systems, early warning systems, advice to male and female farmers, and design of infrastructure and insurance products. Private companies and businesses also need and rely on the data provided by climate services to make investment decisions related to climate risk mitigation for their operations.

Approximately $190 million, or 17 percent of PPCR resources, is earmarked for enhancing climate services in participating PPCR countries. Every regional national plan for climate resilience that has been prepared and endorsed under the PPCR (20 so far) includes investments to strengthen these services.  You can learn more about the CIF’s work on climate services in our factsheet Investing in Climate Information and at Adaptation Futures this Tuesday from 1.30pm to 3.15pm in the Beurs Lounge.  You can also follow this session at @CIF_Action and the whole conference at @confAF2016

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