Two panel discussions on Demographic Change and Climate Change Adaptation are taking place in Accra.


The opening, which took place on Monday, October 7, 2019, was a High-Level Panel Discussion on Demographic Change and Climate Change – the nexus and resilient communities, while the closing panel will discuss Changing Demographics in a Dynamic World: Policy, Relevance and the Way Forward from the Climate Change Perspective.


The event forms part of the 2019 Summer Academy on World Risk and Adaption Futures― an effort for a just, sustainable and prosperous world―and brings together 30 young and senior professionals and experts active in the field of Climate Change Adaptation, Disaster Risk Reduction and related fields from across the globe.


It is being organised by the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) in collaboration with the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Ludwig Maximillian University (LMU), Munich, Germany and the Munich Re Foundation.


Through the panel discussions, UNU-INRA hopes to help bridge the science-policy gap in ways that contribute to achieving climate resilient sustainable development and advance actionable knowledge, while the Summer Academy aims to help frame decisions about how to manage climate impacts, vulnerabilities and risks in ways tailored to the needs of a changing populace.


Among the speakers are Dr Benjamin Delali Dovie, Institute of Population Studies, University of Ghana; Prof. Dr Matthias Garschagen, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) lead author, Ludwig Maximillian University, Munich, Germany; Dr. Erich Striessnig, International Institute for Applied System Analysis, Vienna, Austria; and Dr. Ebenezer F. Amankwaa, Research Fellow, UNU-INRA.


The others are Dr. Koko Warner, United Nations Secretariat for Climate Change, UNFCCC; Thomas Loster, Chairman, Munich Re Foundation; Paul Desanker, Adaptation Programme, United Nations Secretariat for Climate Change, UNFCCC; and Allison Lassiter, Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania, United States of America.


Delivering the keynote address at the opening on the topic: Demographic Change and Climate Change – the nexus and resilient communities, Dr Benjamin Delali Dovie said demographic change was one of the core factors shaping future exposure and vulnerability to environmental and climatic hazards.


Dr Dovie said across the world, countries strove for resilience and sustainable development, and wanted to know how to address climate impacts and allocate their efforts in ways that safeguarded their quest for climate resilient sustainable development.


To that effect, he said, Risk practitioners and political decision makers needed to consider the expected changes in climatic and social risk factors while trying to assess the level of risk at any particular point of time in future.


He said with purposeful and effective ways to bridge knowledge with action, decision makers would be able to pre-empt human suffering, incorporate climate impacts into planning processes and put appropriate contingency arrangements in place in order not to leave vulnerable groups behind.


Dr Dovie noted that the coupled human-environment system was undergoing a critical change influenced by population and economic growth and that tackling a single component would not provide sustainable solutions because all the changes interacted with one another and at different scales.


He said Climate change was the biggest of the change because it came with many uncertainties and complexities.


There was, therefore, the need, he said, to factor demographic concerns into adaptation mechanisms with targeted policies, adding that timely and appropriate science were required for positive results.


Source: G.D. Zaney, Esq.



Created: 09 October 2019
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