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Reducing poverty and hunger in Asia. Climate change in the context of Asia: pro-poor adaptation, risk management, and mitigation strategies

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G. Yohe
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With a focus on Asia, this paper looks at climate change, particularly in terms of pro-poor adaptation, risk management, and mitigation strategies. It also discusses what can be done from an international perspective in moving forward the fight against climate change. Developing countries, such as those of Asia, are more vulnerable and less able to adapt to the changing climatic conditions. Much can be done with international support at the national level to foster local adaptation initiatives. Three such actions are:

national adaptation action plans - all countries should have national adaptation plans that take a broad strategic view of future development paths
financing for national adaptation plans - a common concern of developing countries is that their participation in multilateral environmental agreements imposes high costs, and
establishing international capacity building and advisory services.

Concluding points noted include:

policies focused on mitigating the effects of climate change, if carefully designed, can create a new development strategy that encourages the value of pro-poor investments by increasing the profitability of environmentally sustainable practices
challenges and opportunities are not quite as clear when it comes to adaptation; however, there is no single definition of what it means to adapt to a stress, and there are no firm quantitative measures for adaptive capacity
it is widely accepted that the underlying determinants of a high capacity to mitigate and adaptĀ  include routine access to resources, strong social and human capital, and access to risk-spreading mechanisms
the only way to learn what works, where, and why is to try in the most difficult circumstances where action can actually begin to help the most vulnerable.