World Resource Institute

Commentary on World Resources Report Commissioned Papers on Development in a Changing Climate

By Hon. Dr. Wilbur Ottichilo, Member of Parliament, Kenya National Assembly


Commentaries were commissioned by the World Resources Report to react to the Expert Perspectives series. This commentary responds to Question 3: How can development agencies help vulnerable countries adapt effectively?


The Role of Development Partners in Adaption Planning by Philip M. Gwage

I think the paper could be improved by focusing on on-going climate change development and policy activities and coordination efforts in Uganda, including examples of projects being implemented by UN agency projects, and on how these are being mainstreamed into the country's development strategy.

Changing the Course of Development: UNDP's Role in Supporting National-level Decision-Making Processes in a Changing Climate by Bo Lim and Jennifer Baumwoll

This valuable paper provides well thought out and sound proposals and recommendations for mainstreaming climate change activities into national development policies, strategies and priority setting. Worth particular mention is how the paper effectively demonstrates the linkage between climate change and poverty and how this linkage can be used to incorporate climate change adaption activities into national development processes and further link the same to achievement of MDG's. The paper also rightly stresses that to achieve climate resilience requires developing capacity in political and institutional leadership, as well as increased knowledge and technical support, enhanced financial management and robust accountability and reporting systems.

Learning from Water Wars: Development Assistance for a Changing Climate by Mike Muller

The author appears to have serious reservations about the role of development partners in developing countries and seems to suggest that developing countries should be left to implement what they deem appropriate for their people with minimum intervention and attention to the climate change threat. He further seems not to appreciate the linkage between climate change and poverty. There is a lack of objectivity on a number of issues and assumptions made which undermine his critical analysis.

No Regrets' Approach to Decision-Making in a Changing Climate: Toward Adaptive Social Protection and Spatially Enabled Governance by Dr. Paul B. Siegel

This paper deals - in a very comprehensive manner - with the subject of integrating disaster risk management (DRM) climate change adaptation (CCA) and social protection (SP) as a strategy for improving resilience of vulnerable groups to climate change impacts. The paper vividly articulates the relationship between the basic needs (particularly food security) of vulnerable groups and climate change. The author also introduces an innovative concept of spatially enabled government where ICT/GIS/SDI/GPS technologies can be used to integrate DRM/CCA/SP into territorial planning approaches that aim to build resilience of people and places and strive toward poverty-reducing sustainable growth. The paper helpfully provides numerous websites for more relevant and current information on climate change adaptation and strategies for improving resilience of vulnerable groups to climate change impacts.