This week, I will attend the first-ever Global Adaptation Network (GAN) Forum in Panama City. The event will draw adaptation experts, practitioners and policymakers from across the globe to share ideas on how to build and successfully move forward adaptation knowledge through bilateral collaboration and the power of networks.
I will represent MC-4 in Panama along with Loyola Marymount University’s Dr. Jeremy Pal. Dr. Pal is an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering and contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report released in 2007. His research interests include: hydro-climatology; water resources; agriculture; flood and drought; sustainable development; climate prediction, change and variability; and earth system modeling. He has also written numerous peer-reviewed research papers and co-organized several internationally recognized conferences. Needless to say, I am fortunate to able to appear with him on behalf of MC-4 at the upcoming GAN Forum.
Representing MC-4 at this event will allow me to make inroads with global leaders working on climate change adaptation and other thriving networks. In particular, we will connect with and learn from the active Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN), which has already established five robust sub-regional centers: Central Asia, South Asia, South East Asia, North East Asia and the Pacific. Securing a relationship with groups like APAN is essential so that we can lay the foundation for MC-4’s work over the next few years, stimulate the development of new partnerships and publicize our accomplishments on an international scale.
As I prepare for Panama, I am struck by the deep impact of networks working to propel climate change adaptation to the forefront of local and regional political agendas throughout the world. I have collaborated with several MC-4 members over the past few weeks to put together the CityAdapt Newsletter and learned about the truly impressive and expansive scope of projects that they engage in. The following is a list of some of the topics that our network members are addressing with their work:
- The connections between public health and climate change adaptation such as health impacts from heat exposure
- Mediterranean cities’ adaptation policy and planning
- Adaptation data management and comparisons across regions
- The role of low impact development (LID) and green infrastructure in climate change adaptation planning
- Sharing best practices across regions so that governments can effective use each others’ experiences
- The connections between climate change adaptation and natural hazard mitigation plans
- Connecting fragmented city spaces via corridors
- Mapping and assessing urban tree canopy
Throughout the year, MC-4 will continue to be represented at events and I encourage you to think about how we can connect what we are doing in each of our respective regions to the global conversation on climate change adaptation.
About the Author: Laurel Hunt is the Secretary of the Mediterranean City Climate Change Consortium (MC-4) Secretariat. She is also the Programs and Communications Manager at the Loyola Marymount University Center for Urban Resilience (CURes) and the Managing Editor of Cities and the Environment (CATE) Journal. Laurel has a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles. The emphasis of her graduate studies was on climate change adaptation, regional environmental sustainability and community-based participatory planning.