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International Cooperation

EPA's Role in International Climate Adaptation and Resilience

EPA provides analytical tools and expertise to broad-based international partnerships focused on local and regional level efforts to adapt, build resilience and develop more sustainably.

Current Work


UNEP Global Adaptation Network (GAN)

Community members take part in a GAN learning exchange on building local resilience, Malawi, Africa.

The Global Adaptation Network (GAN) of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) builds climate resilience in vulnerable communities, ecosystems and economies by translating complex data into simple, results oriented information that can be used by communities to help them lead their own climate adaptation actions. 

EPA partnered with the UN GAN Secretariat and steering committee members to initiate and launch a series of pilot “Learning Exchanges” to help local communities build climate resilience and adapt to climate change. The program facilitates exchange of adaptation information between local communities.  Between 2016-2017, exchanges took place between:

GAN Learning Exchange: Building resilience through ecosystem-based approaches in Pemba, Mozambique.
  • four cities in Mozambique and South Africa; 
  • faith-based organizations in India and Malawi; 
  • members in Latin America of REGATTA (UN Regional Getaway for Technology Transfer and Climate Change Action for Latin America and the Caribbean), one of the GAN’s regional networks;
  • the Mexican Center for Research in Food and Development and the Chilean Ministry of Environment, and 
  • adaptation practitioners in Colombia and Honduras.

Since 2018, the GAN has taken significant steps to share the results of these and other adaptation-related activities via its updated web platform.

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Durban Adaptation Charter (DAC)

Meeting of Local African Leaders and Officials hosted by the Durban Adaptation Charter Secretariat, the City of Durban, South Africa and ICLEI Africa.

The Durban Adaptation Charter for Local Governments (DAC) was the outcome of a local government convention held in Durban, South Africa, in December 2011.  By signing the DAC, elected officials agreed to take actions to adapt to climate change and build resilience. To date, approximately 1000 elected local and urban government officials from developing country cities and municipalities have signed the DAC. In 2012, EPA and several international partners began efforts to transform the DAC to an action-based platform that will facilitate the sharing of knowledge, tools, information and experiences between developing country cities, and between developing and developed country cities, and facilitate trainings on adaptation and resilience. 

City officials from Durban, South Africa, showing members of the Durban Adaptation Charter, and other interested parties from a number of African cities, how to build local and urban resilience through forest restoration.   

Notable DAC accomplishments to date include:

  • Sharing of adaptation measures and management practices, through city-to-city exchanges between Durban, South Africa; Nacala, Quelimane and Pemba in Mozambique; and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. 
  • Development of a Durban-based local climate adaptation compact (Central KwaZulu-Natal Climate Change Compact or CKZNCCC) to coordinate regional adaptation and resilience activities.  The Durban compact was modeled after the SE Florida Regional Climate Change Compact. In early 2019, CKZNCCC members agreed to work together to implement several community-based river management projects.
  • In 2017 the Mozambican cities of Nacala, Pemba, Quelimane, Mocimboa da Praia and Ilha de Moçambique formed the Compact of Northern Mozambique Coastal Cities, modeled after Durban, South Africa’s CKZNCCC.
  • In 2019, the South African Province of Mpumalanga declared its intention to establish its own regional climate compact modeled after the CKZNCCC.
  • Discussions are currently underway between Durban, South Africa; Lusaka, Zambia; Harare, Zimbabwe; and Windhoek, Namibia regarding the development of climate compacts in these cities modeled after the CKZNCCC in Durban.

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EPIC (Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities)

The EPIC-Network (EPIC-N) pairs communities with university experts, utilizing a collaboration model to find sound solutions for specific adaptation needs. Originally based in North America, in 2017 EPA presented the EPIC model to cities and universities in developing countries through trainings funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the UN Global Adaptation Network (GAN). 

As a result of the EPIC model introductory training in Cape Town, South Africa for officials from southern African cities and universities, a new regional network for EPIC Africa was formed.  EPIC projects are now underway in Lusaka, Zambia; Nairobi, Kenya; Durnam, South Africa; and Nacala, Mozambique.

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OECD Joint DAC-EPOC Task Team on Climate Change and Development

EPA participated in the Joint Development Assistance Committee-Environment Policy Committee (DAC-EPOC) Task Team on Climate Change and Development Co-Operation of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), to assess the effectiveness and cost of climate resilience and adaptation measures.

The following reports on resilience adaptation were produced as part of this cooperative effort:

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Contacts

For additional information on EPA's international climate adaptation programs, contact:

Anthony Socci, PhD
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of International and Tribal Affairs (2670R)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460