The conference begins

Rachel Berger, Practical Action, addresses the conference on governance and community-based adaptation to climate change. Photo: Tallash Kantai/IISDToday the conference sessions began. After initial welcome speeches, I was the first presenter, on the issue of how to ensure that governments plan adaptation with, and for the benefit of, their most vulnerable communities. Other presenters in the session spoke on linked aspects of the institutions necessary to enable adaptation, and how to involve communities. It seemed to go down very well, and I have been asked to chair a discussion group with people who want to discuss the theme further.

In the afternoon, Bhatiya presented on experience in Sri Lanka in implementing a process of community planning, in a session on linking community based work with policy making, and he described how the successful experience of a couple of programmes of work have led to policy change in Sri Lanka, and even modification of the recently amended Disaster Management Act.

One of the great benefits of these conferences is the opportunity in coffee and meal breaks to talk to people about their work, and to share experiences. One of the people I met works on advocacy for equitable access to water in Tanzania – Water Witness International. Building people’s capacity to fight for their rights for development is going to very important for adaptation, and Practical Action will benefit from building alliances with organisations that are experienced in this area.

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