World Resources Institute WRI

Information for Climate Change Adaptation: Lessons and Needs in South Asia


Ideally, adaptation information will be tailored to meet the needs of individual information users. However, in many cases, information is supply-driven, shaped in large part by the interests of researchers and the limited data available to them. In these cases, it’s oftentimes challenging for users to access, understand, and apply the information available to them. To support effective adaptation over the long term, improved systems for producing, managing, using, disseminating, and learning from information in South Asia are needed. Significant new capacities will likely need to be developed to meet these needs.

This paper served as background for a South Asian regional workshop, which brought together adaptation information users and producers, as well as climate change experts. The workshop aimed to inform likely new investments in the information base for climate adapta¬tion. Convened by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and Development Alternatives, with support from the UK Department for International Development, the workshop intended to identify:

  • priorities for information investment,
  • opportunities for improving information use, and
  • mechanisms for deepening dialogue between informa¬tion users and producers in the region.

This paper aimed to support progress toward these work¬shop objectives by:

  • identifying barriers to effective information pro¬duction, access, and application in the South Asian region;
  • posing a practical vocabulary for characterizing rel¬evant information types;
  • articulating a concise set of uses for adaptation information; and
  • raising a set of critical issues around which to frame workshop discussions.

The paper draws on desk and interview research con¬ducted by WRI from November 2011 through February 2012, as well as feedback obtained from a roundtable event held on the margins of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties-17 in Durban, South Africa.

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