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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Environmental Change and Society
Board on Environmental Change and Society
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Climate Change Adaptation Investments and Measuring Effectiveness


Purpose of the seminar:

Adaptation is one of two main strategies for managing the risks of climate change. Yet there is still little agreement on the definition of what counts as adaptation, and little effort to track and monitor the effectiveness of different types of climate adaptation efforts. How adaptation is defined and measured will also vary according to level of governance, international and domestic contexts, and scale of implementation. This seminar will focus on the issue of how diverse agencies are identifying adaptation investments and tracking their value. Collectively we aim to explore the state of science and practice, and to identify priorities for co-production of research involving both scientists and practitioners to support effective public and private sector investments in adaptations that will increase resilience to climate change.

The seminar had two panels of experts involved in the application of policies and programs at international, national and local levels. The panelists provided opening remarks, which were followed by audience discussion.

Categorizing Adaptation (Panel 1)
1. How are adaptation investments being distinguished from other forms of investments in program portfolios; e.g., What are the
    criteria that are being used to distinguish an adaptation investment from investments in more general community or
    economic development? Is this important to do from an agency perspective?

Measuring Adaptation and Adaptive Capacity (Panel 2)
2. How are agencies (public, civil society, etc.) evaluating the effectiveness of adaptation investments and what are the
    challenges in doing so?
3. How does monitoring the effectiveness of adaptation affect investment decisions?
4. What are the opportunities for incorporating research and evaluation into adaptation planning and implementation?

BECS Fall Board Meeting

December 8-9, 2016

A number of other topics were addressed on the afternoon on December 8th and the morning of December 9th:

• Social sciences and humanities research on achieving transformational change, including discussion of the IPCC 1.5 C
  special report and ongoing work coordinated by the International Social Sciences Council–this was a follow up to discussion
  at BECS’ spring meeting on insights and needs from the social and behavioral sciences to support the bottom-up Paris
  climate accord
• Risk Framing for the National Climate Assessment–this discussion built on the spring workshop convened by BECS at
  the request of the US Global Change Research Program
• USGCRP Social Sciences Task Force–members of the task force described progress and strategies for advancing
  contributions of the social and behavioral sciences to global change research and decision support

For more information, contact Toby Warden, BECS director

 Archived Webcast


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