Audience and objectives of this study
This Study is mainly for national and local government departments responsible for adaptation. It summarizes basic approaches common across multiple sectors, with the following three objectives:
- to indicate various approaches to adaptation, based on the latest scientific knowledge and level of uncertainty;
- to indicate the basic factors of adaptation measures common to all sectors, relating to the consideration, planning, and implementation of adaptation measures; and
- to raise awareness about adaptation and its necessity.
Approaches to adaptation based on latest scientific knowledge
- Short-term adaptation measures: It is essential to initiate and encourage — to the extent possible and as soon as possible — urgent response measures to prevent or mitigate short-term impacts that have a high likelihood of arising from climate change already occurring today.
- Medium- and long-term adaptation measures: Response measures are necessary to enhance adaptive capacity in a way that contributes to prevention and mitigation of impacts, by assessing the risks of impacts that may occur in the medium and long term, and by controlling the impacts, reducing vulnerability, and strengthening resilience.
- Adaptation measures in each sector: These are measures implemented with the intention of adapting to predicted impacts in specific sectors, but it is essential to use an integrated approach to evaluating the risk-reduction effects, costs, and so on. (Examples include new construction and functional improvements of embankments to cope with sea level rise and storm surges; "soft" measures such as improvements in tsunami and storm surge hazard maps; and strengthening of measures to prevent outbreaks of contagious diseases such as dengue fever.)
- Integrated adaptation measures, infrastructure enhancement measures: These measures involve a more unified approach to carry out in a more integrated way measures that would typically be done separately; they also involve enhancement of basic "infrastructure" — technologies, programs, financing, human resources, and so on — that are typically needed by regions and sectors. These should be advanced with a systematic and consistent approach. (Examples include identification of issues that require cross-sectoral approaches)
- Awareness-raising (improvement of conditions to promote adaptation measures): Raise the awareness and understanding of the overall population and government personnel responsible for adaptation measures. Regarding the need for adaptation it is also important to identify the responsible organizations at the national and local government level, and to have the involvement and collaboration of all players. These efforts should be initiated and encouraged to the greatest extent possible and as soon as possible.
- Information consolidation (improvement of conditions to promote adaptation measures): Institutional arrangements and methodology development for the purposes of gathering, storing, managing, and utilizing basic information relating to the target areas and sectors are the basis for consideration and implementation of adaptation measures. These efforts should be initiated and encouraged to the greatest extent possible and as soon as possible.
- Research and technological development: Promotion of the development of monitoring and prediction technology ; development of individual adaptation technologies that will be necessary in the short-term; and development of adaptation technologies that in the medium- and long-term will improve the resilience of local society as a whole.
Basic Factors of Adaptation Measures Common to All Sectors
At the initial stage of adaptation initiatives, the following points deserve special attention.
- The impacts of climate change are already evident in each sector, so it is urgent to strengthen existing response measures in each sector and take short-term adaptation measures. It is essential to simultaneously consider plans and programs for medium- and long-term adaptation measures, while assessing the future risks of climate change, utilizing the latest scientific research.
- Effectively utilize existing information at the initial stage of assessing the risk of climate change impacts.
- Release the results of risk assessments to the public at an early stage, and broadly promote a shared awareness of those risks.
- Within government agencies as well, establish structures to promote initiatives, and give adequate priority to adaptation initiatives within plans, programs, and measures.
- It is essential to initiate as early as possible urgent efforts to prevent or mitigate short-term impacts that are already evident, but also to give consideration to adaptation measures where socioeconomic benefits are clearly superior in terms of cost (no-regrets adaptation measures, win-win adaptation measures).
Steps for Specific Initiatives
This Study presents two "tracks" of steps for the planning and implementation of adaptation measures.
First are the standard steps that should be conducted in any case. These are steps that can be implemented if a certain amount of information has already been accumulated on climate change and its local impacts ("A-track" steps for planning and implementation of adaptation measures). Many local governments, however, are not in a situation where they can apply those steps without modifying them. Therefore, we provide a second set of steps to begin with in situations where adaptation measures are being taken for the first time. These are more basic steps that have been simplified from the "A-track" steps, to facilitate initial efforts for adaptation measures utilizing currently available information ("B-track" of the first five steps). It is envisioned that local governments intending to launch adaptation initiatives will first implement the initial B-track steps and then shift to the A-track steps. It is also expected that the climate prediction information at the local level required for these actions will become available with advances in research. This Study describes A-track steps in detail, but only gives cursory attention to the "B-track" steps by listing them in the flow indicated below.
Committee on Approaches to Climate Change Adaptation
The Committee on Approaches to Climate Change Adaptation — established in 2010 under an initiative of the Ministry of the Environment Japan, and chaired by Professor Nobuo Mimura of Ibaraki University — has released a study report titled "Approaches to Climate Change Adaptation," which indicates various approaches to adaptation for national and local government departments, based on current domestic and international activities. This committee is comprised of scientists in the area of climate change, experts from major sectors, and responsible persons from national and local government departments in Japan. The report is especially for national and local government departments responsible for adaptation to climate change.
|(Chairperson) Nobuo Mimura||Center for Water Environment Studies, Ibaraki University||Professor and Special Assistant to the President|
|Hiroshi Ando||Global Warming Countermeasures Section, Department of Environment, Saitama Prefecture||Manager|
|Seita Emori||National Institute for Environmental Studies||Chief of Center for Global Environmental Research (CGER)(Climate Risk Assessment Research Section)|
|Takahiro Ochiai||Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute||Director of Conservation of Water and Soil Division|
|Kuga Hitoshi||Nagano Environmental Conservation Research Institute||Group Leader of Global Warming Countermeasures and Senior Researcher of Recycling Society Division|
|Mitsuru Tanaka||Hosei School of Policy Sciences||Professor|
|Kaoru Nakata||National Research Institute of Fisheries Science, Fisheries Research Agency||General Manager of Marine Productivity Department|
|Toshihiro Hasegawa||National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences||Senior Researcher of Agro-Meteorology Division|
|Yasuaki Hijioka||National Institute for Environmental Studies||Senior Researcher of Social and Environmental Systems Division (Integrated Assessment Section)|
|Koh-ichi Fujita||River Department, National Institute for Land and Infrastructure Management||Research Coordinator for Watershed Management|
|Takao Masumoto||Research Team for Global Warming and Environment & Head, Lab. of Hydrology and Water Resources, National Institute for Rural Engineering, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization||Team Leader|
- Wise Adaptation to Climate Change[PDF 1,171KB]
- Synthesis Report on Observations, Projections, and Impact Assessments of Climate Change "Climate Change and Its Impacts in Japan" [PDF 8,491KB]