Ecosystem-based adaptation to Climate Change workshop in Fiji

The workshop brought together over 20 people from conservation partner organizations, communities, education sector, provincial and local government and the church network from Fiji. Conservation International (CI) is developing a set of training materials to build capacity for training local stakeholders on Ecosystem-based Adaptation- the 2nd in a series of Training of Trainers product designed to strengthen local stakeholders participation in Climate Change Action.

The goal of the workshop was to familiarize individuals with the course and materials; gain feedback on the course content, manual and toolkit; and understand how the materials can best support their work with communities and other local stakeholders on climate adaptation.

Summary of sessions attended:

There were 6 sessions in total from the community manual, trainers manual and training guide that were reviewed at the weeklong workshop:

Session 1: Understanding ecosystems and the services they provide for human well being

Highlighted the important relationship between people and nature, ecosystem services and what they provide, impacts affecting ecosystem service and mentioned approaches, tools for managing these ecosystems

Session 2: Understanding the basics of Climate Change

In this session was further subdivided into 6 parts: how the earth is formed, the difference between weather and climate, climate variability, climate change with discussions on evidence that it is happening, natural processes hat regulate climate, how human activities cause and continue to contribute to climate change and the consequential impact on the earth and human lives.

Session 3: Climate Change Policies and Action: Working to solve the problem of climate change

Talked about how international agreements on climate can support local efforts to adapt to climate change, how countries are working together to make policies and take action on climate change at the UNFCC, understanding some of the ways indigenous, international and local organizations are working on climate change, discussions on mitigation and adaptation and understand how funding to help communities adapt to climate change is being distributed

Session 4: Climate Change Adaptation: Understanding Climate Vulnerability and Climate Resilience

We discussed the importance of adaptation, how climate change can impact communities, climate vulnerability and factors contributing to it in a community setting, exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity in relation to vulnerability, local and external knowledge and how this can be put towards adaption, identifying tools and approaches communities could us to protect themselves

Session 5: Maintaining healthy ecosystems to adapt livelihoods to climate change

Understanding how ecosystems and their services, how they support livelihoods, how they are impacted by climate change and how they can help communities build resilience and adapt to climate change. We discussed examples from various communities and how they can protect themselves from climate change impacts

Session 6: How to plan for adaptation and take action

In this session we discussed how to prepare and adaptation plan highlighting the importance of community participation in this process. Understanding what a vulnerability assessment is and why it is an important foundation of an adaptation plan. We also discussed the importance of measuring success and revising actions accordingly.

In addition to reviewing the community manual, participants were divided into small groups to brainstorm on activities and games described in the training guide which were designed to really drive home the various messages in the 6 sessions described above. Following each activity feedback was given to the presenting group about the content and relevance of the activity. All suggestions and discussions were recorded by the organizers and will contribute to the final publication due in the next few months.