Approaching GAIN Index 2012 Release, Open Consultation Provides Valuable Feedback

IMG_0801

From left, Vicky Arroyo, Georgetown Climate Center Executive Director; GAIN Founding CEO Dr. Juan José Daboub; Shannon Herzfeld, Archer Daniels Midland Vice President; and Jon Riberas, Gonvarri Steel Industries

The Global Adaptation Institute (GAIN) has already implemented feedback following two meetings September 12 for the Open Consultation process of the GAIN Index 2012, and is on track for the October 15 launch at Princeton University. 

IMG_0489“We take suggestions on our open-source GAIN Index 2012 seriously,” said GAIN Founding CEO Dr. Juan José Daboub.  “This navigation tool is user-friendly and we appreciate knowing what will best serve the private and public sectors and also enable an environment for adaptation investment.” 

GAIN started the day at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in a session with SAIS students, professors and representatives from the U.S. Department of State, NGOs and others.  Following, the team moved to a private sector luncheon along with GAIN Advisory Council Chairman, the Honorable José María Aznar, former President of Spain.

SAIS Open Consultation

Dr. Daboub opened the meeting with a challenge: We need to accelerate investments in adaptation around the world. How? Raise the level of awareness by measuring what matters to those coping with the challenges of climate change, urbanization, population shifts and economic growth. 

There is a gap in financing, especially in developing countries: $30 to $100 billion USD per year is required in developing countries for adaptation. Currently, only $1 billion USD is allotted by the public sector. Investment must come from the private sector, but there should be clear rules and predictability to help companies better manage risk – the premise for the founding of GAIN in December 2010.

IMG_0505GAIN works with 22 of the top 25 scientists from around the world on its Index and the development of pragmatic solutions to build resilience. Presenting the GAIN Index 2012 was Dr. Bruno Sánchez-Andrade Nuño, GAIN Director of Science & Technology.

“Adaptation is not optional,” he said. “Not implementing adaptation or doing bad adaptation will accrue significant cost in the future. The trends for physical disasters shows that those are increasing.”

Dr. Sánchez-Andrade Nuño explained the growth of the GAIN Index through user-base metrics at index.gain.org. GAIN is proud to have created an open-source index through open data available from credible resources such as the World Bank and United Nations. 

The GAIN Index measures a country’s vulnerability and readiness to build resilience – for example through absorbing investments for infrastructure, technology and more.

“We received a consistent message to implement two new indicators – ecosystem services and urbanization,” he said. “We looked at, for example, the percentage of the population of people living in city slums and the growth of the population living in cities as compared to the rest of the country.”

A multitude of data indicators exist that help to measure global resilience, but we are still learning, said Dr. Sánchez-Andrade Nuño.

“We want to be pragmatic and scalable to be able to address vulnerability and readiness challenges in the future,” he said.

IMG_0585

GAIN staff and advisors and students from Johns Hopkins University-School for Advanced International Studies

Metropolitan Club Luncheon with President Aznar

Representatives from the private sector including ADM, AECOM, Baker & McKenzie, CH2M Hill, ERM, Gonvarri Group and Sheppard Mullin joined in the discussion of building global resilience to climate change, urbanization and economic and population shifts.

IMG_0680Dr. Daboub welcomed President Aznar and congratulated him on his leadership in Spain from 1996 to 2004 when the country experienced high growth rates.  Visit the GAIN Index’s Spain Profile to learn more about the country in the Green Quadrant (adaptation challenges still exist, but these countries require the least help).

“We are currently in the final stages of the Open Consultation and have acquired much valuable feedback,” President Aznar said. “It will be important to the development of the Index, and we thank you for your help.”

Private sector participants shared insight as well as applicable solutions as to how the Index can benefit planning and risk assessment.

“I am pleased to be here and would like to congratulate this group for the work that has been done to really bring some new thinking to an issue which is very much able to be solved,” said Shannon Herzfeld, Archer-Daniels Midland Vice President.

IMG_0774Recently, GAIN received a grant made possible through the John Templeton Foundation to complete an adaptation research project throughout Mexico with support from the Tecnológico de Monterrey.  Dr. Daboub and President Aznar thanked Daniel Green, John Templeton Foundation Program Manager, for the support from the Foundation on the pilot project, which has the potential to be an example for other countries in building global resilience.

Dr. Daboub closed the event with a preview of the GAIN Index 2012 premise and highlighted a few additions for this annual update including ecosystem services and urbanization.

“We want to be able to measure what matters with quantitative and qualitative data, but also create an incentive to enable an environment for public policy,” Dr. Daboub said.

_______

To participate in the GAIN Index 2012 Open Consultation process, please download the Summary of Changes and the Comparisons Spreadsheet HERE. Email any feedback or questions to Dr. Sánchez-Andrade Nuño at brunosan@gain.org.

In advance, thank you for your input in the Open Consultation process that will help to save lives and improve livelihoods by encouraging adaptation. 

Photos above, from top:

1. From left, Vicky Arroyo, Georgetown Climate Center Executive Director; GAIN Founding CEO Dr. Juan José Daboub; Shannon Herzfeld, Archer Daniels Midland Vice President; and Jon Riberas, Gonvarri Steel Industries

2. Dr. Juan José Daboub, GAIN Founding CEO

3. Dr. Bruno Sánchez-Andrade Nuño, GAIN Director of Science & Technology

4. GAIN staff and advisors and students from Johns Hopkins University-School for Advanced International Studies

5. From left, Jon Riberas, Gonvarri Steel Industries; President and CEO; former President of Spain José María Aznar, GAIN Advisory Council Chairman; Dr. Juan José Daboub, GAIN Founding CEO

6. From left, former President of Spain José María Aznar, GAIN Advisory Council Chairman; and Daniel Green, John Templeton Foundation Program Officer