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World Resources Report 2010-2011

Decision Making in a Changing Climate

World Resources Report 2010-2011: Decision Making in a Changing Climate is a major new resource to help developing country national-level officials make decisions that support communities and economic sectors to become more climate resilient. Based on input from more than 100 experts in 36 countries, the report offers specific, practical strategies and innovative case studies to inform how to integrate climate change risks into national policies and planning. It also provides recommendations in five key public policy areas for developing country government officials and donor agencies: public engagement, decision-relevant information, institutional design, tools for planning and policymaking, and resources.

Executive Summary

Around the world, there is a growing recognition that, no matter what steps may be taken to control greenhouse gas emissions, we need action to prepare for the likely impacts of greater climate variability and climate change. Governments increasingly realize that they need to make hard policy choices today about a world they may face in 20, 30, or 40 years from now—choices that take into account the scale, pace, and complexity of the risks presented by a changing climate.

This edition of World Resources is designed for governments making these difficult choices. The report is based on a broad research program and consultations with experts from more than 30 countries, and that research is publicly available on the WRR web site The report identifies five critical elements that will significantly strengthen the ability of national governments to make effective adaptation decisions:

• Early and ongoing public engagement on climate change issues, to ensure that people appreciate the risks, understand policy decisions, and have a voice in how they are implemented and monitored.

• Information, such as geographically relevant weather data, that is easily accessible, can be shared with those affected, and used effectively to make informed decisions for varying time-scales.

• Institutional design that allows governments to coordinate among agencies and stakeholders at local, sub-national, regional, and international levels, and to prioritize climate risks in planning and policymaking processes.

• Resources—financial, human, ecological, and social—at every level and over time.

• Tools to help governments assess climate risks and vulnerabilities, and decide among policy options. Some tools, such as hazard mapping, may be in place already, but need to be customized to support adaptation planning and policymaking; others will need to be created to meet the challenges and uncertainties that lie ahead.

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