Climate Change Adaptation and the Law: DLA Piper and UNESCO Collaborations
DLA Piper and UNESCO are pleased to present a report and educational toolkit on climate change and the law in the Pacific.
The report documents the outcomes of a series of workshops presented by DLA Piper, the Centre for Asia Pacific Pro Bono and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The workshops took place in Suva, Fiji and Apia, Samoa in 2013.
The workshops provided lawyers with the tools needed to understand climate change law, allowing them to act as leaders in developing effective legal solutions to the problems of climate change in the Pacific. Attendees were from East and West Samoa, Fiji, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.
According to Denis Chang Seng, Programme Specialist for Natural Sciences UNESCO 'It became apparent through the workshops that the legal frameworks needed to support and promote climate change adaptation are still missing in the Pacific. It is clear that enforcing existing legal instruments is still a challenge, which accords with what we know from the Hyogo Framework 2005-2015 review.'
In the face of such need and positive response to the workshops, DLA Piper and UNESCO have published a report on climate change in the Pacific. The report not only includes the abstracts from the various presenters, but also reflections on the issues facing communities in the Pacific in regards to climate change and comments by participants during the workshops. A copy of the report and toolkit can be found here.
Following on from the findings of the workshop, a number of regional and UN organisations are developing a new tool for a joint strategy for climate and disaster resilience and development, more information can be found here.
DLA Piper and UNESCO are also currently in discussions regarding future projects on loss and damage in relation to climate change. Mark Baker-Jones, Special Counsel at DLA Piper and Climate Change Law expert said 'Loss and damage from climate change can either occur from long-term changes such as sea level rise affecting, for example, coastal communities, or short-term extreme weather events such as bushfire or cyclones, leading to disasters and emergencies. The place of the law in relation to either of these types of events is in the provision of legal frameworks that incorporate and give effect to adaptation and mitigation actions. This may include amendments to existing legislation or the introduction of new legislation such as that governing land-use planning, or building codes. These measures will act to implement safeguards prior to these events occurring with the aim of ultimately reducing or avoiding the loss and damage.'
'We were delighted to partner with DLA Piper to present the workshops in the Pacific and produce this report. We are looking forward to working with DLA Piper again to address some of the pressing climate change issues that Pacific Island Countries are now facing. The support and expertise provided by DLA Piper is incredibly valuable to our work.' - Denis Chang Seng, UNESCO.
Please direct all media enquiries to:
Cate Martin, Pro Bono Counsel Asia Pac Catriona.Martin@dlapiper.com
'Given the significant human impact climate change is already having in the Pacific, we felt compelled to use our extensive pro bono and legal experience to develop workshops that could promote an awareness and understanding of the law relating to climate change adaptation for lawyers in the pacific.'