Adaptation futures 2023: ‘We must innovate to secure a resilient future’

Adaptation futures 2023: ‘We must innovate to secure a resilient future’
8 October 2023

By the Climate Centre

The week-long Adaptation Futures conference ended in Montreal Friday after gathering more than 2,000 participants from at least 120 countries in person and online “to share cutting-edge knowledge and solutions that will enable us to collectively confront the new climate reality and shape a resilient future.”

Organizers added that a “new climate reality compels us to intensify our risk reduction efforts, change our practices, update our inadequate public policies, and increase finance for climate change adaptation. Together, we must innovate to secure a resilient future.”

In recent years Canada has experienced some of the most dramatic climate impacts anywhere in the world, and the Canadian Red Cross and its partners were well represented at the conference, participating in several sessions and activities, as the National Society expands its domestic adaptation work.

Most recently in late August, the CRC launched a national appeal to assist people affected by hundreds of new wildfires then raging in British Columbia – the latest chapter in what was already by far the most destructive wildfire season in modern Canadian history.

‘Future infrastructure’

At Adaptation Futures, CRC General Counsel and Chief of Recovery Services Amy Avis spoke on a panel looking at ways to reduce the risk of wildfire, floods and extreme heat in Canada.

The IFRC as well as the National Societies of Germany, Jamaica and Kenya were also represented at the hybrid conference in person or online. 

The Climate Centre was represented by Manon Ebel, a Technical Adviser, and Acting Director Julie Arrighi, who said last week’s worrying new data on the global temperature and the flash-flood catastrophe in Libya last month “show how extreme weather is combining with human factors to create even bigger impacts, as more people, assets and infrastructure are exposed and vulnerable.”

Practical solutions, she added, included strengthened emergency management, improved impact-based forecasts and warning systems, and “infrastructure designed for the future climate”.

On Tuesday, the Quebec government announced a new contribution of 10 million Canadian dollars (7 million euros) to the Washington, DC-based Adaptation Fund, specifically to assist the most vulnerable communities in the world address climate impacts.

Adaptation Futures delegates (photo) engaged in “important conversations about the challenges, best practices and lessons learned from undertaking climate adaptation projects in their communities,” the Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada agency said last week. Northern and indigenous communities are facing some of the harshest effects of climate change, CIRNAC said in a press release for the Montreal conference. “Investing in adaptation measures will help keep them safe, create economic opportunities, and help avoid the steep and rising costs caused by increasingly extreme weather.” (Photo: CIRNAC via social media)