Learning Exchanges

Sharing cutting-edge solutions to those who most need them

Adaptation practitioners across the world deal with similar challenges, and therefore face-to-face information exchanges are acknowledged as an effective method of learning. The knowledge and expertise of the GAN Secretariat and its partners allow it to identify key emerging issues in adaptation.

In 2016-17, GAN carried out 4 pilot Learning Exchanges in which practitioners shared their experiences of developing techniques for resilience. In southern Africa, four Mozambican cities had a Learning Exchange with the eThekwini municipality in South Africa. The Mozambicans were able to share detailed solutions with their South African counterparts to tackle erosion, catchment management and sea level rise, while the South African experts reciprocally imparted engineering and ecosystem-based solutions for resisting coastal erosion. Another exchange occurred between two grassroots organisations working with impoverished communities in India and Malawi. The results included the valuable transfer of information on technologies for locally produced, organic-based fertilizer that can produce healthier crops, significant cutbacks in costs and reduced water use.

Additionally, in 2017 GAN supported another 4 learning exchanges in Latin America through REGATTA. In conjunction with the Chilean Ministry of Environment and the Mexican Centre for Research in Food and Development, participants from Mexico revealed an innovative participatory methodology to assess vulnerability to climate change. In turn, participants from Chile shared their unique framework for strengthening community governance. Learning exchanges were also conducted between adaptation practitioners in Colombia and Honduras, and included: i) Sharing planning tools for adaptation, ii) implementing ecosystem-based adaptation measures, and iii) learning processes aimed at the inclusion of gender and generational change.

The Global Adaptation Network will be seeking to build these learning activities into the work of the UN Environment and other partners, so these exchanges can be more widely used as a tool for sharing knowledge on how to undertake adaptation action.