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Adaptation means anticipating the adverse effects of climate change and taking appropriate action to prevent or minimize the damage they can cause, or taking advantage of opportunities that may arise. It has been shown that well planned, early adaptation action saves money and lives later. Examples of adaptation measures include: using scarce water resources more efficiently; adapting building codes to future climate conditions and extreme weather events; building flood defenses and raising the levels of dykes; developing drought-tolerant crops; choosing tree species and forestry practices less vulnerable to storms and fires; and setting aside land corridors to help species migrate.
Adaptation is about what can be done in order to effectively cope with the happening impacts of climate change. By taking the appropriate action, it can prevent or minimize the damage that the changes of the climatic condition caused (UNFCCC; 2015 and European Commission; 2016)
Example of adaptation measures include: improving the performance of water resource utilization; adapting the building codes in accordance with future climate conditions and extreme events; developing of the drought-tolerant crops, and building the flood control infrastructure (European Commission, 2016).
Elements of adaptation
Adaptation activities span five general components:
- Observation of climatic and non-climatic variables;
- Assessment of climate impacts and vulnerability;
- Implementation; and
- Monitoring and evaluation of adaptation actions.
To enable knowledge sharing and learning, active and sustained engagement of stakeholders including national, regional, multilateral and international organizations, the public and private sectors, civil society and other relevant stakeholders, and effective management of knowledge are also important aspects of adaptation. Adaptation to the impacts of climate change may be undertaken across various regions, and sectors, and at various levels. For more details, please access http://unfccc.int/adaptation/items/7006.php#Observation
- UNFCCC. 2014. Adaptation. http://unfccc.int/adaptation/items/4159.php
- European Commission. 2016. Adaptation to climate change. http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/adaptation/index_en.htm
- Adaptation, Elements of Adaptation, UNFCCC http://unfccc.int/adaptation/items/7006.php#Observation
- Adaptation to Climate Change, Climate Change Action, European Commission, http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/adaptation/index_en.htm