World Resource Institute

WRR 2010-2011: Expert Perspectives

Effective decision making that helps societies around the world adapt to a changing climate will require answers to a number of complex, unresolved policy questions.

World Resources 2010 commissioned short papers from thought leaders and prominent practitioners that seek to answer, or inform, these key questions. Four or Five experts give their perspective on each question, drawing on lessons they have learned and opinions they have drawn from firsthand research and/or decision making in the field. A separate group of experts act as commentators on each set of commissioned papers. Both authors and commentators were drawn from developing and industrialized countries and from a range of backgrounds including national and local government planning, risk analysis, climate adaptation policy and ecosystems conservation.

We hope the exchange - all of which can be accessed on this website - provides significant input to the adaptation policy community, especially in the developing world. It also informs the policy guidance in the WRR summary report.

Key Questions

Question Description
Question 1 Does climate change require new approaches to making decisions? Is the way we currently plan for the future and react to unexpected change sufficient to accommodate the uncertainty, scale, long lead time, and complexity associated with climate impacts?
Question 2 How can we balance today's pressing needs with long term risks? How can public officials, especially in low income countries, address today's short- term pressing needs while preparing for tomorrow's climate-related impacts and surprises?
Question 3 How can development agencies help vulnerable countries adapt effectively? What are appropriate roles for development agencies in supporting national-level decision-making processes for a changing climate? Specifically, how can they promote planning and policies that are robust, durable and sufficiently flexible to respond to and prepare for the many challenges posed by climate change, including its uncertainties, long-term impacts and surprises?
Question 4 Must we fundamentally change course to conserve ecosystems in a changing climate? Do we need to adopt a fundamentally different approach to conserving ecosystems and their services in a changing climate?
Question 5 How can information for adaptation decision making be collected and disseminated?
Question 6 What types of information are needed for adaptation decision making?
Question 7 How can we address both today's development challenges and tomorrow's climate risks?
Question 8 How can national-level governments learn from the private sector and encourage investment and decision making to promote the public good in a changing climate?
Question 9 How can civil society best support, and hold accountable, national-level governments in their efforts to integrate climate change risks into planning and policy-making processes?