UN Climate Summit COP23: Wide support for new global climate adaptation centre

UN Climate Summit COP23: Wide support for new global climate adaptation centre


The Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation (GCECA) launches with speakers including Mr. Erik Solheim, Mrs. Noaka Ishii, Mr. Ovais Sarmad and Mrs. Cora van Nieuwenhuizen. In the opening address, Mrs. Nieuwenhuizen, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management of the Netherlands, underscored the importance of international collaboration and knowledge exchange in order to improve our resilience against the changing climate.

“There are many more examples of adaptation. Like the mangroves being replanted along the coast of Indonesia. Or the way the World Meteorological Organization is using big data to inform African farmers by text message when to plant and when to harvest their crops. All these examples, all this knowledge is worth spreading all over the world. And that’s exactly what the Global Centre will do.” –Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen

Speaking ahead of the launch, Operations Director, Christiaan Wallet linked the demand for GCECA with the Paris Agreement.

“We are grateful that the Paris Agreement has put climate adaptation on a par with mitigation but there is a long way to go. Understanding climate adaptation is crucial if we want to put paper into practice.”–Christiaan Wallet, Operations Director of GCECA

GCECA accelerates climate adaptation by mobilising and convening the global adaptation community to recognize, build and promote excellence among all relevant stakeholder groups around the world. GCECA focuses its activities on those areas where acceleration is most needed: where action is most urgently required and where this is complementary to the work of others.

“The effective engagement of all stakeholders and the management of knowledge for climate adaptation is vital in supporting all adaptation activities”. –Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary UNFCCC

Worldwide knowledge network
The risk of natural disasters and other problems ensuing from climate change is increasing all over the world. GCECA will be supporting countries, organisations, and businesses with knowledge and advice in the field of climate adaptation, in order to better prepare them for tackling the impact of climate change. The centre will amass an ever-expanding network of international partners, among which leading knowledge institutes, businesses, NGOs, local and national governments, international organisations, and the financial sector.

Previously at COP23, GCECA supported the launch of UN Environment’s Adaptation Gap Report and held a side event, with Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre regarding measuring excellence in Climate Adaptation.

Looking beyond COP23, The Centre’s next engagement will be on 31 May 2018, co-hosting a conference in London, with EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development): ” Towards a Resilient Financial Sector: Disclosing Physical Climate Risk & Opportunities”, on physical climate risk management and climate resilience in the finance & business communities.


Acclimatise is one of the GCECA partners. John Firth, CEO of Acclimatise, is the chair of the Preparation Group which has been working over the last nine months to set the GCECA up, develop its work plan, engage with partners, and prepare for launch at COP.  He will also be chairing an Implementation Group which will assist the Centre during its first year of operations.

The other parties participating in the Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation include the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, UN Environment, Japan National Institute for Environmental Studies, Adaptation Fund, Acclimatise, African Climate Policy Centre, CARE International, Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, Centre of Excellence for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, Centro Regional de Cambio Climatico y Toma de Decisiones, Uruguay, Climate-KIC, Climate Policy Initiative, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research/Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, C40 Cities, Delft University of Technology, Delta Alliance, Deltares, ECORYS, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Fundación Avina, Global Environment Facility, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, International Centre for Climate Change and Development, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, International Development Research Centre Canada, Local Governments for Sustainability, Munich Climate Insurance Initiative, Municipality of Groningen, Municipality of Rotterdam, National Institute for Environmental Studies Japan, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, SloCat Partnership on Sustainable Low-Carbon Transport, Stockholm Environment Institute, The Nature Conservancy, Technical University Delft, University of Cape Town / African Climate and Development Initiative, UN Capital Development Fund, UNEP-DTU, UN Environment, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations University, Wageningen University and Research Centre, World Meteorological Organization, World Resources Institute, World Wildlife Fund, 100 Resilient Cities.

The Centre will be hosted by the municipality of Rotterdam and Groningen.



More information: www.gceca.org.

Cover photo by Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport: Impression from the GCECA launch event at COP23.

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