Conclusions

The following major suggestions and conclusions can be drawn.

1. Without adaptation, climate change and climate variability will have a profound impact on water resources across the basins studied in the ADAPT project.

2. Adaptation strategies now mainly target social and economic impacts of climate change, based on sound research of technical components. Therefore, it is recommended to focus more on sustainability in formulating adaptations, since this concept embraces both economic and environmental issues in the long term.

3. Downscaling GCM scenarios for use in regional modelling is still prone to uncertainty. It is recommended to use a variance correction over time (e.g. months) and not mean average annual corrections.

4. Adaptation research on food security should focus on taking advantage of the positive aspects of climate change (enhanced CO2 levels) and minimizing the negative aspects (increased variability).

5. Solutions to alleviate the negative impacts of climate change will be found by: (i) increasing the resilience of communities through targeted discussions between stakeholders, and (ii) strengthening research, knowledge and public awareness on climate change and water resources through learning and communication between researchers and other stakeholders.

6. It proved particularly difficult to consolidate the results from the field, basin and global levels. AMR is an example of a methodology that helps to bridge gaps across scales and between scientists and policy makers. However, the scale aspect still deserves more attention.

7. Adaptation to the impacts of climate change will be realized by strengthening research, knowledge sharing and public participation in fields as policy planning and integrated (impact) assessment.

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