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Greening Governance Seminar Series: Transformative Adaptation to Build Resilience in a Changing Climate

As climate change impacts intensify, many countries will need to undertake long-term, systemic transformative adaptation actions – and will require finance to support such significant changes. But what exactly does this look like, and when are such approaches needed? Leading resilience experts explain.

Oranges are the new coffee, or at least they are in parts of Costa Rica, where rising temperatures have led some farmers to abandon the heat-sensitive beans in favor of fruits better suited for warmer weather. And these former coffee growers are not alone.

Agriculture is one of the sectors most vulnerable to climate change, and many farmers around the world are now contending with intensifying impacts. Rising sea levels are drowning Bangladeshi fields in salt water; extreme droughts are decimating livestock populations across Ethiopia; and wildfires have charred orchards throughout western America.

Relying solely on incremental adaptation strategies that seek to maintain existing production systems, such as introducing drought-resistant seeds or micro-irrigation, will no longer be enough to build resilience in every situation. Feeding the world’s growing population, making adaptation investments that reduce vulnerability over the longer term and reducing escalating risks of conflict over scarce resources will increasingly require broader, more systemic shifts in agricultural production – transformative adaptation.

But what exactly is transformative adaptation, and how can it best be planned, funded and implemented? Join leading resilience experts from WRI, the World Bank and Tetra Tech as they dive into what this new approach is, how to identify situations that warrant such significant changes and strategies for effective, widespread implementation.


Rebecca CarterDeputy Director, Climate Resilience Practice, World Resources Institute @WRIGovernance

Arame TallSenior Climate Specialist, Climate Change Group, World Bank, @ArameTall3

Richard Choularton, Director, Agriculture and Economic Growth, Tetra Tech, @RChoularton

Stefanie TyeResearch Analyst, Climate Resilience Practice, World Resources Institute, @tyestefanie

About the Series

WRI's Greening Governance Seminar Series bridges the divide between the governance and environmental communities to identify solutions that benefit people and the planet.

  • Why do some environmental policies succeed in one country but fail in another?
  • What will it take to transform the Paris Agreement’s ambitious commitments into actionable policies?
  • How can decision-makers engage a range of stakeholders, from average citizens to Fortune 500 companies, to build support for policies that protect natural resources and the communities that depend on them?
  • How can governments sustain this environmental action across election cycles?
  • Many of the answers to these questions are, at heart, issues of governance.

Increasing public participation in environmental decision-making can deepen civil society’s commitment to climate change mitigation and yield more equitable, effective policies. Enhancing government transparency equips communities with the information that they need to engage in these policy-making processes. Strengthening accountability frameworks helps ensure that governments make progress on their Paris Agreement emissions reduction targets. In short, good governance can improve climate and environmental outcomes.

Yet the governance and climate communities continue to work in silos, conducting research and implementing programs that remain largely divorced from one another.

WRI’s Greening Governance Seminar Series seeks to bridge this divide by bringing together leading experts from both fields to discuss the intersection of their work, the most pressing environmental governance issues at hand, and solutions that benefit people and the planet.

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