Sunday, June 28, 2015

Asia-Pacific trains for disruptions in climate

Business World Online: The US government is setting up a course to train officials in the Asia-Pacific region in the basics of preparing and financing projects to help communities weather climate change, experts from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) said on Friday.

Private citizens and military personnel join hands as they volunteer to re-pack relief goods composed of food clothing and other basic necessities at the Department of Social Welfare and development headquarters in Pasay, Philippines November 18, 2013

Financing needs for climate change adaptation -- efforts to adjust to extreme weather and rising seas -- are estimated at tens of billions of dollars per year in developing countries. But in 2013, only $25 billion in public resources went to adaptation around the world. Rich countries have promised to mobilize an annual $100 billion by 2020 to help poor nations adapt to climate change and develop their economies on a low-carbon path.

The key challenge is channelling money from large donors to small, poor communities that are hardest hit by climate-related disasters, experts said in an online discussion supported by the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network.

Most international funders cannot lend directly to smaller communities, and have to go through national agencies, such as finance ministries, said Peter King who works on USAID’s Bangkok-based Adapt Asia-Pacific project. “Not only do (local authorities) have problems in implementing projects,” Mr. King said. “In our experience they have difficulty in designing projects too.”...

Typhoon Bolaven in Okinawa, 2012, US Marine Corps photo

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