19 Nov 2021

The 5th Asia-Pacific Dialogue Platform: anticipatory action, climate resilience and a call for action

The 5th Asia Pacific Dialogue Platform saw practitioners, scientists, governments and donors take part in a mix of panel debates, thematic sessions and roundtables to discuss the opportunities and challenges for enabling anticipatory action in the Asia-Pacific region.

Held from 19-21 October 2021, the Dialogue Platform focused on the theme ‘Anticipatory action to meet the challenges of the climate change crisis’. As humanitarian actors, we are used to dealing with disasters, but the climate crisis is posing new challenges for everyone. The Dialogue Platform was the perfect place to learn together and identify how the anticipatory action community can deal with the multiple challenges ahead.

Watch video highlights from the event on this playlist

It’s very important that approaches such as Anticipatory Action will help us to have a more proactive outlook to building resilience in the region.

Dr. Riyanti Djalante Assistant Director, Head of the Division Disaster Management ASEAN Secretariat

Humanity is facing great challenges. Our planet is at a critical point in its history. Climate-related impacts are becoming more grave. Collaboration has never been more important.

Ben Churchill Head, Regional Office for Asia and the South-West Pacific, World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

Working towards shared goals

For the second time, the Dialogue Platform was held online. This did, however, offer the opportunity to involve a large number of people. Over three days, 451 people from 54 countries - and many different time zones - logged on to participate. This was twice as many participants as in 2020, reflecting the growing interest in anticipatory action in the region.

During the event, donors demonstrated reaffirmed their growing commitment to anticipatory action. There were also and inspiring examples were shared by regional actors, such as the integration of anticipatory action into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER). 

We want to make anticipatory action an integral part of the design of humanitarian programmes.

Davide Zappa Thematic Expert on Disaster Risk Reduction, Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, Regional Office for East, South East Asia and Pacific region

Get interactive

To make the platform as interactive as possible, there were a wide variety of formats and virtual get-togethers to get everyone involved. This video below presents a selection of the main highlights along with our cartoon gallery summarising the panel sessions. Please click on a cartoon, to see it in full size.

Watch video highlights from the event on this playlist

A call for action

During the Dialogue Platform, the anticipatory action community in Asia-Pacific identified key messages on anticipatory action and the climate crisis, which they shared ahead of the COP26 conference that took place in Glasgow, UK, soon afterwards:

  1. Addressing anticipatory action is a key approach to manage the climate crisis.
  2. Strive for sustainable and government integrated anticipatory action approaches.
  3. Apply multi-risk lens to address compounding disasters.
  4. Expand flexible, coordinated, and predictable financing to scale-up anticipatory action.
  5. Continue to gather collective evidence as to how anticipatory action meets the challenges of the climate crisis.
  6. Prioritise a socially inclusive and gender sensitive approaches to anticipatory action.
  7. Move towards conflict-sensitive anticipatory action approaches.

A recurring theme - not only in this Dialogue Platform, but also in other regional and global platforms for anticipatory action - is the call for scaling up this approach to reach more people and cover more hazards and compounding risks. To do so, there is a growing need to capture synergies and coordinate with other humanitarian, climate and development actors, and especially with governments.

Our work mustn't act in a vacuum; it should link to larger resilience, disaster risk management and humanitarian efforts so that we are part of the continuum, rather than siloed from it.

Catherine Jones Anticipatory Action Lead for Asia and the Pacific, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Gender-based violence becomes further exacerbated during climate emergencies. Anticipatory action can be made more inclusive for women and girls, and marginalized groups.

Pamela Marie Godoy Regional Emergency GBV Coordination Specialist, GBV Area of Responsibility, Asia Pacific

We have almost 10 million people who are forcibly displaced in the [Asia Pacific] region…we really need to be able to take this into account when we’re working in anticipatory action.

Sally James Forced Migration and Protracted Crises Specialist, FAO

The momentum is here…

... and we will use it. Anticipatory action is now at the forefront of the humanitarian agenda, with growing international support and commitment to create the systemic shift needed to act ahead of disasters. The 5th Asia-Pacific Dialogue Platform demonstrated the willingness of actors to continuously exchange knowledge and work together to scale up anticipatory action in this region.

The 5th Asia-Pacific Dialogue Platform was hosted by the Anticipation Hub and jointly organised by the German Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Food Programme and the Start Network. It was supported by the German Federal Foreign Office.

Click below to catch up on the live blog that was updated during the Dialogue Platform. Registered participants can also re-watch the various plenaries and sessions.

Click here to catch up on the LIVE blog and to re-watch..