For me, my highlight was starting at Acclimatise and working with such a diverse range of people and projects. From curating infographics, and writing and editing reports, to providing feedback on national climate communication strategies – there’s been a lot on! Getting to grips with climate change and communicating it and its impacts well is only becoming more important. There’s always a tension between mourning and hoping in doing climate change work, and I’m fortunate that the projects I’ve worked on have given me lots of hope. In particular, I’ve really enjoyed the collating information on adaptation and resilience projects happening around the globe as part of the Resilience Shift project. Learning about different engineering techniques and the real world impact they are having on communities and climate change has been so encouraging. Similarly, working with GIZ to help communicate climate change and adaptation techniques to Madagascan farmers has been really rewarding, as this programme seeks to have a direct impact on the livelihoods of farmers, who make up around 80% of the country’s active population, many of whom live in poverty.
- Receiving new contracts with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for the use of Acclimatise’s Aware for Projects tool. AIIB is the fourth multilateral development bank to use our Aware tool.
- Working with a number of external consultants (and colleagues) on the ‘Preparation of Seven Technical Papers for Input to Jamaica’s National Spatial Plan’. This 14 month project aimed to increase Jamaica’s resilience to climate change by mainstreaming climate change into development planning. One of our roles on the project was to complete the climate change sections for each of the seven technical papers that were based around the following themes: Land, Environment, Coastal, Marine Human settlements, Public Utilities and Social Amenities.
The highlight of my year was definitely the trip Chen, Liv and I made to Australia in early December, as part of a project with one of our extractives sector clients. On so many levels, it was ‘another world’… the balmy, hot weather in early December was a welcome relief from the blustery, cold and wet UK, yet the wild fires were (and continue to be) concerning; the luxuries and grandeur of a large corporates office was the other end of the spectrum from my small home office in rural northern England; the post-work drinks and fantastic meals out were poles apart from normal routines of baths and bedtime stories with our toddler; then I guess the obvious 10,500 miles made it feel a long way from home! Oh, and the workshops and meetings went very well – with rich and valuable information to build upon and the profile of physical climate risks successfully raised across the organisation, making for a happy client!
My highlight of last year will definitely be the case study for Resilience Shift. I got to go on field visits to villages in India, and interview community beneficiaries, ground level staff and government stakeholders. While I’ve been on field visits and conducted interviews plenty of times, this was the first time I’ve recorded video interviews with a DSLR camera, tripod and mic, and the equipment only arrived the day before! I learned a lot from the experience, including taking videos, transcribing, assisting with translated subtitles, as well as understanding the different aspects of the case study.
I have now completed 4 months with Acclimatise, but have already learned such diverse things! I have to thank a very supportive and encouraging team for all of it!
For me, the highlight of my 2019 has to be hosting a nature-based solutions event at the InterAmerican Development Bank Pavillion at COP25 in Madrid, Spain, where we launched our publication: Nature-based Solutions: Increasing Private Sector Uptake for Climate-Resilience Infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean.
This year has been so good, but my highlights have got to be working with Robin, John, and Xianfu on a very interesting and challenging EIB project focusing on aligning with the Paris agreement and EU adaptation taxonomy, and celebrating Acclimatise’s 15th Birthday!
My 2019 highlights were:
- Uma joining the Acclimatise team in the Delhi office
- Co-designing and facilitating a global training of trainers programme on comprehensive climate risk management & loss and damage with an inspiring group of participants from 13 different countries
- And our Strategy Days in July – the entire team getting together to talk about our strategy, reflect, and connect at Missenden Abbey.
This year has been a great one for Acclimatise. For me, my highlights consisted of releasing our This New Climate podcast series, a series that investigates some of the toughest problems that humans face as we enter a new era of climate instability, and tell the stories of the projects and people who are grappling with them. Additionally, this year’s team strategy days were very productive and allowed for some great company bonding time, alongside with the development of new ideas and plans for the company moving forward. Also, tackling Adobe InDesign and getting a good grasp of it has been a big achievement/highlight of mine!