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    <p style="text-align:center"><span style="font-size:32px"><strong>Engaging Civil Society Participation</strong></span></p><p style="text-align:center"><span style="font-size:32px"><strong>in Climate Adaptation</strong></span></p><p><br /><br /></p><p>A Reboot the Earth Hackathon Challenge</p><p><strong> </strong></p><p><strong>Problem Statement</strong></p><p>Climate change is an imminent and global threat. Around the world, populations and countries are already experiencing its devastating effects. Over the past 20 years, total global damages from climate-related disasters have climbed by more than 11 percent per year to more than $300 billion in 2017. This will only worsen as climate change impacts increase in severity and frequency over time. Global action has mainly been concentrated on reducing emissions and slowing climate change. Although this is promising and necessary, focusing only on mitigation will likely be insufficient. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that even the most ambitious Paris Agreement target of limiting global average temperature rise to 1.5°C will bring new vulnerabilities and widespread damages that will result in a huge economic and human toll. Some conditions are now inevitable, but any cascading effects can be managed. <strong>Accelerating climate adaptation at a global scale is a critical piece of the puzzle, </strong>and we should invest in a massive effort to adapt now, adapt smartly, and adapt fairly.</p><p> </p><p>Adaptation is the process of adjusting human systems and societies to the current and expected effects of climate change. It provides an opportunity to improve the resilience of social, economic and environmental systems. Technologies related to it are already available and being implemented in some cases, but they need to be mainstreamed and supported by more urgency, innovation, and scale. Given the rapid and mass digitalization taking place around the world, technology has an integral role to play in climate adaptation.</p><p> </p><p>The imperative to adapt exists at every level of society. There are decisions that are dispersed and autonomous at the community and individual level, which should be reinforced by institutions, both public and private. Germany itself has identified the need for such actions in relation to agriculture, forestry, fisheries, coastal and marine protection, water management, transport, construction, trade and industry, energy, tourism, finance, human health and the cross-cutting issues of civil protection and of spatial, regional and urban planning. (<a href="https://www.bmu.de/fileadmin/bmu-import/files/pdfs/allgemein/application/pdf/das_gesamt_bf.pdf">Deutsche Anpassungsstrategie an den Klimawandel</a>). Their framework for adapting to the impacts of climate change lays the foundation for a medium-term, step-by-step process at assessing the risks of climate change, identifying the need for action, defining appropriate goals and implementing adaptation measures; technology can aid in this iterative process of both reactive and anticipatory adaptation.</p><p>Climate intelligence, or a robust understanding of the scope of the problem in order to accurately predict impacts, is necessary for effective adaptation and investment. Part of this also includes ensuring that the same data is widely available to the public. Technology that allows for widespread collection and delivery of information to and from vulnerable areas and populations is crucial for a community’s capacity to adapt.</p><p> </p><p> </p><p><strong>The Challenge for Participants</strong></p><p>Adaptation action starts with understanding the risks, making them visible, and enforcing action. This is both a technical and a societal process. <strong>Our</strong> <strong>challenge is to provide a technological solution that reduces vulnerabilities through participatory action in a way that improves disaster preparedness and government accountability as well as empowers community members to take action to build resilience and self-sufficiency</strong>. This technological solution should link citizens with local governments and enable them to easily report problems to appropriate offices or entities as well as coordinate appropriate solutions. Examples of such problems that could be monitored include pest early-warning, drought and heatwave early-warning, flood mapping, and infrastructure vulnerability.</p><p> </p><p>The desired outcomes from proposed solutions are the improvement of adaptive capacity and the enhanced awareness of the environmental and infrastructural vulnerabilities by the local government and population. This is multi-purpose: encouraging active engagement between civil society and government, crowd-sourcing the collection of data on existing local risks and vulnerabilities to climate change, and as a tool for disaster risk management and recovery in the case of extreme events. This technological solution should empower local actors to develop, implement and monitor local adaptation actions.</p><p> </p><p><strong>What kind of specializations & areas of expertise needed to solve this challenge?</strong></p><ul><li>Data Scientists</li><li>Network Security Specialist</li><li>Reviewers & Disaster Risk Assessment Specialists</li></ul><p style="text-align:left"><span style="font-size:32px"><strong> </strong></span></p><p style="text-align:left"><span style="font-size:32px"><strong></strong></span></p>
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