PROVIA has recently undergone an exercise to identify priorities in research, communication and training for 2014-15. The criteria against which potential activities were evaluated to assign priority are:
- Do the topics match the PROVIA objectives (as listed above)?
- Do the topics advance understanding of VIA amongst the research and practitioner communities?
- Will these deliver useful outputs for decision makers working in VIA in developing countries?
- Will these deliver useful outputs on timescales of 2-3 years?
- How many topics can feasibly be undertaken given the available resources?
- Is the budget available from PROVIA commensurate with the cost of undertaking the work?
- Does PROVIA have the expertise to manage and/or undertake this work?
A. Research activities: advancing policy-relevant research on VIA
- Monitoring and evaluation: Develop indicators as a basis to monitor progress in adaptation as proxy for
measuring adaptation impact; these indicators should permit measurement of levels of vulnerability (e.g., number
of people residing in flood plains) and of progress in adaptation and resilience building (number of houses
insulated, number of councils actively involved in adaptation planning). PROVIA Research Topic A.1.2
- Limits to adaptation: Identification of situations where impacts exceed the capacity to adapt through
incremental and/or transformational change; where current “best practice” no longer works and more radical
responses are required. Identification and detection of VIA thresholds and tipping points; reviewing and applying
current vulnerability indices to identify hotspots; avoiding surprises. A.1.3
- Historical case studies: Evaluate examples of past interventions as a guide to the future, exploring climate related
stresses and how the affected (individuals, civil society and the different tiers of government) have coped. PROVIA priority activities for 2014 and 2015: To include case studies of investments by the public and private sectors. Identification of examples of good
practice: construction of case studies and promotion of these good practice examples through the web page.
Evaluation of the extent to which past good practice examples (mainly around responses to extreme events) can
be used to inform our thinking on adaptation. Case studies of maladaptation and unintended consequences;
case studies of transformational change. A.2.2; A4.3
- Model intercomparison: Conduct a comparison of models used in VIA research; utilize the results to improve
the capacity of the research community to identify effective response and adaptation strategies. Advise on next generation
of modelling for VIA. C.6
- Scenario development: Provide organizational support for evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses
of existing scenarios, especially the recent RCP and SSP scenarios, using a workshop approach. Support for
development of a new generation of global and regional scenarios of climate change vulnerability, impact and
adaptation as part of the current worldwide effort on climate change scenario production. C.5
- Evaluation of strategies to communicate climate change science to policy and decision makers and
practitioners. Understanding the knowledge requirements of this community (demand-led knowledge generation
and communication); knowledge to support implementation. Matching knowledge needs to knowledge
availability; understanding uncertainty and strategies for decision making under uncertainty. A.4.2
B. Engagement activities: coordinating and facilitating dissemination and practical applications of research
- Biennial PROVIA Climate Adaptation Futures conference: ensure this conference occurs and is successful
by identifying a host partner, working closely with them in steering committees, and participating to showcase
- Communication of findings from the IPCC WGII Fifth Assessment in association with the Working Group II
TSU, adding value where PROVIA has a role to play.
- Develop a series of Policy Briefs to underpin and facilitate regular reporting to policymakers and civil society
of the latest results from the VIA community, including especially PROVIA products. These could be in the form
of an annual/semi-annual Climate Change Science Compendium providing a review of important new scientific
literature on the state of knowledge about VIA. Briefs could also be produced on key emerging science papers –
providing a summary for policy makers and practitioners in accessible language.
- Dialogue meetings: Organize a series of regional and national science-policy dialogue meetings with
policymakers and other stakeholders around the “Research Priorities on VIA” Report.
- Advisory role: Provide advice and scientific information to the UNFCCC and other international and national
bodies and institutions in climate change (including, for example, advice to UK DECC on country-level impact
- Liaison with international and national organisations relevant to PROVIA mission and activities, including
UNFCCC, WCRP, GCOS, UK DECC, EU Horizon 2020.
C. Development and training activities
- Extension of activities on PROVIA VIA Technical Guidelines: Dissemination and training workshops for
application of the Guidelines in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) (funds are available for this activity).
- VIA-related training workshops: Co-organize workshops for developing country scientists and practitioners,
in close cooperation with international organizations such as START and GAN (Global Adaptation Network) and
regional organizations such as APN.
- Mentoring program for young researchers: Support a mentoring program for young researchers from
developing countries in the area of VIA research. This would be carried out in close cooperation with START and
the UNEP-sponsored GAN.