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DECLARATIONDEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE
ENVIRONMENT
Declaration on Integrating Climate Change Adaptation into Development Co-operation
4 April 2006 - C(2006)94

THE GOVERNMENTS OF OECD MEMBER COUNTRIES[1]:

CONSIDERING:

1.   That climate change is a serious and long-term challenge that has the potential to affect every part of the globe;

2.   That adaptation to climate change and its adverse effects is of high priority for all countries and that developing countries, especially the Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States, are particularly vulnerable (2/CP.11). The Least Developed Countries are among the most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change and in particular that widespread poverty limits their adaptive capacity (5/CP.7);

3.   That the poor are particularly dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods. Environmental Sustainability is important for economic and human development as environmental "costs" at the global, national and local levels, bear heaviest upon the poor. They are crucial for living conditions worldwide with climate change and environmental pollution being major issues that require the concerted efforts of all governments to tackle. Environmental degradation is not the inevitable cost of economic development;

4.   That responses to climate change should be co-ordinated with social and economic development in an integrated manner, taking into account the legitimate priority needs of developing countries for the achievement of sustainable economic growth and the eradication of poverty;

5.   That both adaptation and greenhouse gas emissions mitigation are required to respond to climate change. These measures are needed within both developed and developing countries, consistent with the ultimate objective and principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC);

6.   That helping vulnerable countries anticipate and adapt to the risks posed by climate variability and climate change contributes to achieving development objectives, including internationally agreed development objectives such as those agreed at the Millennium Summit that are described as the Millennium Development Goals, and in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation;

7.   That adaptation to climate change is not a "stand alone" agenda. It also needs to be integrated into development policy-making and planning, including in the context of national plans, such as Poverty Reduction Strategies;

8.   That responses to address other environmental and development challenges can likewise contribute to building resilience to climate variability and climate change. Adaptation to climate change will also often be synergistic with efforts to combat other global environmental problems, such as desertification and loss of biodiversity;

9.   That environment and development co-operation agencies of OECD countries have considerable expertise to apply to developing coherent approaches to integrating climate change adaptation in development, in collaboration with relevant partners and bearing in mind other international initiatives, such as the Five Year Programme of Work on Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change adopted at the 11th Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the UNFCCC;

10.   That development co-operation agencies of OECD countries have a long experience working with developing country partners on poverty alleviation and on reducing the human and economic losses from natural climate-related disasters. Environment agencies have particular expertise on climate change impacts and adaptation that can be brought to bear in developing country contexts. This combined experience can be harnessed to tackle additional challenges posed by climate change.

DECLARE:

1.    That they will work to better integrate climate change adaptation in development planning and assistance, both within their own governments and in activities undertaken with partner countries;

2.   That in this context, they will work to :

2.1.    Promote understanding of climate change and its impacts within their development co-operation agencies and with partners in developing countries;

2.2.    Identify and use appropriate entry points for integrating adaptation to climate variability and climate change into development co-operation activities, including country assistance strategies, sectoral policy frameworks, Poverty Reduction Strategies, long-term investment plans, technical consultations and sector reviews, as well as strategic and project-level environmental impact assessments;

2.3.    Assist developing country partners in their efforts to reduce their vulnerability to climate variability and climate change, to identify and prioritise adaptation responses, and, where necessary, to help integrate such considerations within a wide range of sectoral interventions and projects, in line with the principles and objectives of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness;

2.4.    Where relevant and appropriate, assist developing country partners in the implementation of their National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs);

2.5.    Develop and apply appropriate tools to address climate risks in development activities and to prioritise responses. Such tools and approaches include screening tools and other methodologies to assess exposure of relevant development activities, long-term development plans, and investments to climate risks, as well as tools to increase the resilience of relevant sectoral activities, decision systems and tools relevant to local planning needs;

2.6.   Improve the relevance and usability of information on impacts of climate variability and climate change, so that it can be used appropriately by development practitioners. This could include improving climate monitoring, developing in-country and regional capacity for analysing and interpreting climate observational data, improving the quality of information on sector and location-specific climate change impacts, as well as the communication of uncertainties associated with climate change projections. This also includes improving information on the costs, distributional and trans-boundary aspects of adaptation activities;

2.7.    Periodically assess progress on integration of climate risks and adaptation in development activities and efforts to strengthen countries' adaptive capacities;

2.8.    Encourage regional initiatives that include common actions on impacts and vulnerability assessment and adaptation options, in order to promote trans-boundary initiatives, encourage South-South co-operation and avoid duplicated efforts.

INVITE THE OECD:

1.    To promote meaningful co-ordination and sharing of good practices on integrating climate change in development co-operation, with the aim of developing guidance for integrating climate change adaptation in the context of development co-operation, in order to facilitate climate risk management and the sharing of tools and experiences;

2.    To review the state of knowledge and conduct new analytical work on economic aspects of adaptation, including, inter alia, adaptation costs, benefits and distributional aspects;

3.    To examine the role of adaptation policies and technologies, inter alia, in agriculture and soil management; water, fisheries, and coastal management; forest management; and disaster risk management in reducing adverse impacts of climate change in a developing country context;

4.    To develop methodologies to monitor progress on integration of climate change risks and adaptation in development activities and on strengthening the adaptive capacities of developing country partners.

Relevant body:
Environment Policy Committee

[1] Including the European Community.
 
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