Developing adaptive capacity for highly vulnerable and low capacity sectors; a case study

18:00 Tuesday 28 May




Nicholas Pyatt (United Kingdom) 1; Doogie Black (United Kingdom) 1; Tim Reeder (United Kingdom) 1

1 - Trioss

Some of the most climate vulnerable sectors have low adaptive capacity to address their climate change risks. This case study looks at the water sector of the Kyrgyz Republic. It is one of the most climate vulnerable countries. It started with very low adaptive capacity as a result of the individual and collective actions of interdependent sector actors; from infrastructure operators to international financiers. The presentation follows the actions taken to raise adaptive capacity in the sector. Sixteen water infrastructure operators were engaged to enable them to understand their individual adaptation capacity and climate change challenges. The approach drew on the insight of ordinary engineers and managers. They had little understanding of climate change but a strong understanding of current climate impacts and the implications to changes in impact patterns. Support was then provided to take forward the actions that were possible. This phase used a combination of methods and tools, primarily; RAPA (Rapid Adaptation Pathways Assessment), CaDD (Capacity Diagnosis and Development) and executive coaching.

Climate risk varied greatly between operators with very different catchment and infrastructure characteristics. Some had significant vulnerabilities to future climate. Each identified a number of clear adaptation actions through the RAPA process. The capacity of the infrastructure operators to make these changes was very low. The CaDD analysis showed that they generally had adaptive capacity that responds well to external stimuli, with little change likely through internal motivation alone. On the other hand there was little external; direction, pressure or support that would stimulate the identified changes. The sector level picture created by these individual assessments made it clear that, without system level change, the appropriate; direction, pressure or support required by infrastructure operators to deliver effective adaptive action would be insufficient to make the sector resilient.

The actors in the sector that determined adaptation capacity ranged from; regulator, international finance organisations, local and national Government, the land use sector and others. To enable sector level resilience each would need to act in a way that was more individually and collectively beneficial. A Road Map was designed to guide the development of a framework of domestic standards, codes of practice and guidelines that would make clear what actions were required to achieve sector resilience. This approach enabled regulation to reach across organisational boundaries, and incentivised more coherent action by the interdependent actors. With the Road Map introduced, engagement between the actors commenced.