AdaptaClima: Brazilian Knowledge Platform on Climate Change Adaptation
Launched on December 7th, 2017 and supported by European partners, the AdaptaClima platform makes available various materials on adaptation to climate change, such as studies, tools and methods, in a participatory system where users share their contents. The proposal is to disseminate quality information to decision makers from the different segments of the economy and society that struggle to reduce vulnerabilities related to climate change.
The platform will provide collaborative and interactive information and material on adaptation to climate change and encourage the connection between providers and users of knowledge around this agenda.
The development of AdaptaClima platform was coordinated by the Brazilian Ministry of Environment (MMA, acronym in Portuguese), implemented by the Center for Sustainability Studies of the São Paulo Business School of Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV- EAESP) and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), with support from the British Council through the Newton Fund.
Climate change is a reality and its impacts and consequences in Brazilian society and economy are becoming widely known. The creation and implementation of adaptation strategies at global, national and local levels is urgently needed. One of the challenges for investments and adaptation actions in Brazil is access to assertive, applicable and reliable information. Knowledge is a necessary resource for people and organizations, at different stages, to carry out their strategies and make informed decisions for the construction of adaptive capacity in a community, organization or territory. AdaptaClima was created with the aim to fill this knowledge gap and in direct contribution to the first objective of the Brazilian Adaptation Plan, launched in 2016, which provides, among its goals, an “online platform for knowledge management in adaptation created and available to society”.
AdaptaClima will bring information in different formats on specific topics; publications and tools by region and by sector indicated by the users themselves; interactive climate data interface to support decision making in adaptation; materials to support step-by-step the development of adaptation strategies; as well as access to a network of professionals.
“The decision-making process by public and private managers requires a reliable base of knowledge”, explains Celina Mendonça, project manager of MMA. “AdaptaClima intends to be this base, permanently updated on the thematic of climate change adaptation. With the platform, the Brazilian Ministry of Environment, with the invaluable partnership of FGV and IIED, fulfills its role of democratizing reliable information for the whole society.”
Development of the platform
The development of AdaptaClima went through several stages during a two year participatory project (2016-2017). It included 8 workshops, 6 webinars, remote consultations, online tests, meetings and interviews with approximately 60 organizations with relevant activities on the agenda in Brazil and 15 reference stakeholders in Europe, selected for their role in creating and supporting existing adaptation platforms. Overall the process involved 65 organizations in Brazil and 19 in the United Kingdom.
The project was outlined based on the notion that one of the main challenges for advancing the adaptation agenda in Brazil is access to, and understanding and application of, information. This was highlighted during the elaboration of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP), thus an online platform was established as a goal within the NAP´s first (communication and dissemination of information) objective. Since the beginning of the project, it was clear that a participatory process would be crucial for the platform to attend the real necessities of the diverse stakeholders involved in the agenda, as well as to share up to date and relevant material and information. It became clear on learning from the UK partners’ experience that participation should be a key pillar for AdaptaClima. Other initial learning was that an useful and dynamic web platform is only the “tip of the iceberg” in the sense that it also needs the support of a cohesive and active network and a consistent governance structure.
Thus, the project involved a highly participatory and intense articulation process involving public, business, civil society, financial, academic and international organizations. The great diversity of sectors and groups involved presented a challenge to making decisions on how to develop the platform, as these sometimes needed to consider opposing contributions from the participants. Moreover, it was also tough to encourage balanced and effective participation of these groups. To address this, the project team had to:
- invest significant efforts in workshops and meetings facilitation;
- organize bilateral or smaller groups meetings, in-between the workshops, in order to build strong partnerships with some organizations that could play the role of supporting and co-facilitating the collective process;
- promote webinars in-between the meetings and workshops to keep the group warmed and close;
- take the governance as crosscutting subject that was discussed in almost all events; and
- guarantee a constant and transparent communication related to all steps and decisions.
Particularly for the facilitation of the workshops, the team applied a design thinking framework and tools; these were highly useful and determined the success of those events. For drawing the process as a whole, a broad theoretical and practical approach was required and social learning was studied, discussed and applied to promote the group cohesion, strength and maintain the engagement.
“the joint construction of the platform, together with the partner organizations was a process rich in learning and fundamental so that AdaptaClima can meet the needs and interests of the different players who have been working to reduce vulnerabilities and strengthen resilience in Brazil and abroad.” –Mariana Nicolletti, project manager for FGV
In Europe, 15 organizations were involved as reference stakeholders for their role in creating and supporting existing adaptation platforms:
- 2020 Climate Group
- Adaptation Scotland/Sniffer
- Climate Challenge Fund
- Climate and Development Knowledge Networn (CDKN)
- Climate Knowledge Brokers Group (CKBG)
- Climate UK/London Climate Change Partnership
- Environment Agency
- Environmental Change Institute at Oxford
- Grantham Institute
- Institute of Development Studies
- International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
- Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh
- UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP)
The complete list of partner organizations can be found at: http://www.gvces.com.br/adaptaclima-stakeholders/?locale=en