International response

There has been growing recognition of the need for a global response and international cooperation on adaptation strategies to reduce vulnerability and build resilience in developing countries to meet the challenges of climate change. The Copenhagen Accord,3 which endorses the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol, highlighted the importance of adaptation strategies.

Adaptation strategies not only aim to mitigate risks of possible climate-induced migration, but also include migration as a possible adaptation strategy. Although further research and debate is required to support this strategy, building resilience of countries and communities affected by a changing climate, environmental hazards and structural factors of vulnerabilities are broadly acknowledged, and was reaffirmed by the Cancun Agreements, of the sixteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP16) at the United Nations Climate Conference, held from 29 November until 10 December 2010 in Cancun, Mexico.4

Countries are now looking at how to convert agreements and protocols to measurable progress in locations where the consequences of climate change have been and will be the most severe. Local communities and developmental organizations have a critical role in converting these principles into action. Local governments must encourage community-level participation and push for the adoption of tested and appropriate innovations in order for change to be successful and for the number of successful interventions to grow at the required scale.


3 The Copenhagen Accord, signed in 2009 is a document that delegates at the 15th session of the Conference of Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change agreed to “take note of” at the final plenary on 18 December 2009. For copy of the accord see

4 See