Exploring Technology Transfer for Climate Change Adaptation

I’m about to embark on a busy summer- in the next month and a half I will visit four countries in two continents, and hopefully conduct some really interesting research on technology transfer for climate change adaptation. I will be conducting fieldwork in Ethiopia, Colombia, and Peru, where I will be looking at the role of technology transfer in ongoing (or recently completed) adaptation projects.  Although there is strong consensus in the international community that technology transfer is critical to the international strategy for climate adaptation, there is very little evidence of the role that technology transfer is playing in projects on the ground.

For this project, I am collaborating with the Global Environment Facility (the GEF), which is responsible for managing several funds under the climate Convention.  The case studies we chose are among the more than 100 adaptation projects that the GEF has funded to date.  The three cases we choose represent a wide variety of approaches to adaptation, and a broad range of climate challenges.  The Ethiopia project focuses on coping with drought. The project is highlighted here  on the Adaptation Learning Mechanism website.  The Colombia project includes components on montane ecosystems, hydropower, health (dengue and malaria prevention) and fresh water access and sea level rise on the coast. It holds the distinction of being the first “on the ground” adaptation project funded by the GEF.  The Peruvian project is part of a regional Andean project including Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia addressing glacial melt, and looks at early warning and monitoring systems, as well as water management and small-scale irrigation systems.  You can read about the project partner CARE’s role in the project here.

In late June I will take a break from fieldwork to attend the Rio+20 Conference in Brazil.  This historic conference marks the 20th anniversary of the Rio Conference on Sustainable Development.  The original Rio Conference still holds the status of the international event at which the most heads of state were present in one place.  Although this event is not expected to be as momentous, it is still an important opportunity for the international community to reflect on progress on sustainable development made in the past 20 years and begin to chart a course moving forward.  A delegation from Tufts and Fletcher will be attending, and we will be hosting a side event panel discussion on “From Burden-Bearing to Opportunity-Sharing: Reframing Environmental Negotiations.”  I will be speaking on the panel on resilient development, adaptation and water, along with other panelists looking at energy services and health.

Look forward to updates throughout the summer- It’s sure to be an adventure!

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