Climate adaptation and resilience online events launch

Dry field

Credit: Taglass / GettyImages

UKRI is pleased to announce that the COP26 adaptation and resilience events series will kick-off with a UK-hosted global launch on 3 June 2021.

UKRI, together with our COP26 delivery partners for climate adaptation and resilience in the UK and overseas, will hold a series of online events starting in June.

This is to mark the run-up to the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021.

Collaborative international efforts

The aim of the events will be to showcase research that is collaborative, locally led and globally relevant and aligned to the UK COP26 presidency’s adaptation and resilience theme. Events will be online and co-hosted with COP26 delivery partners based in different countries and regions across the globe.

The events will feed into the COP26 conference by bringing together global communities, businesses, researchers from a range of disciplines and local, regional and national-level policymakers to support solution-driven discussions.

We will focus on sub-themes within the adaptation and resilience research landscape, based on the challenges faced by the host countries and regions. Together we will:

  • foster open dialogues between key stakeholders around how climate risks and their impacts are understood and managed
  • showcase the collaborative international efforts we are supporting to enhance adaptation and resilience in a wide range of locations impacted by climate change.

June 2021 global launch

UKRI is now inviting the community to register to attend the UK-hosted global launch on 3 June 2021, 12:30 to 15:00.

The kick-off event will look at the need to generate global commitment for locally led, but globally connected, adaptation research funding and practice that enables sustainable and inclusive development in the face of climate change.

The kick-off event will include:

  • keynote talks from prominent members of the UK and international climate adaptation and resilience community
  • UK and internationally led examples of adaptation and resilience research
  • introductions to recent UK-led initiatives focused on adaptation and resilience research
  • reflections and feedback around the pre-event consultation, focused on core questions that will frame events series.

Event agenda


Welcome and setting the scene (Professor Christopher Smith, UKRI International Champion).

High level statements from:

  • Dr Debra Roberts, IPCC Co-Chair WGII
  • Professor Gideon Henderson, Chief Scientific Adviser, UK Government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Dr Madhavan Nair Rajeevan, Secretary to the Government of India Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES)
  • Dr Huang Jing, Director General, Administrative Centre for China’s Agenda 21 (ACCA21), Ministry of Science and Technology
  • Dr Dorsamy (Gansen) Pillay, Deputy Chief Executive Officer for the Research and Innovation Support and Advancement (RISA) of the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa
  • Professor Saleemul Huq, Director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) in Bangladesh, IPCC Lead Author
  • Marie Staunton, Strategic Coherence of ODA-funded Research (SCOR) Board Chair.

Read more about high level statement speakers (PDF, 208KB).

Adaptation and resilience research showcase

We will showcase a selection of collaborative, locally led and globally relevant research aligned to the UK COP26 presidency’s adaptation and resilience theme, including:

  • resilience of the UK food system – Dr John Ingram, University of Oxford
  • collaboration across disciplines and countries: investigating drivers of biodiversity change – Professor Thomas Meagher, University of St Andrews
  • the use of technology as a catalyst for strengthening stakeholder collaboration in building disaster resilience – Professor Terrence Fernando, University of Salford
  • climate information for adaptation: insights from Africa and India – Professor Declan Conway, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
  • climate adaptation in China: building resilience for endangered species and vulnerable ecosystems – Professor Jianguo Wu, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (CRAES).

Introduction to recent UK-led initiatives focused on adaptation and resilience research:

  • UKCDR UK-funded research on climate change and international development review findings – Laura Scott, UK Collaborative on Development Research (UKCDR)
  • adaptation research alliance – Dr Rosalind West, UK Government Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

Reflections on pre-event consultation and general Q&A

Event facilitators (Realise Europe Ltd) and Dr Sarah Webb, Associate Director NERC International.


The kick-off event will finish at 15:00.

Pre-event consultation

UKRI has convened an expert group of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) lead authors to develop a set of core questions to help frame discussions across the series of events. This will ensure that we deliver coherent messaging at COP26.

These questions are being shared in advance of the kick-off meeting to allow the community to input thoughts via an online forum (XLeap) in advance of the event. Points raised within the XLeap online forum will be synthesised and feed into the kick-off event. This will mark the start of a global conversation around the core question set, which further events in the series can build upon going forwards.

Core questions framing the COP26 adaptation and resilience series:

  • what research is needed to respond to the adaptation gap?
  • how to evaluate the feasibility of adaptation options and outcomes for resilient and sustainable development?
  • what examples are there of transformative adaptation research enabling action through addressing social justice, capacity building and governance?
  • how can research funders, universities and data managers best champion inclusive, urgent and solutions-oriented adaptation research?

Space is limited for the kick-off event, so please register now to secure your place. Though please note, the event will be recorded.

Register to join the event (Zoom)

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Please aim to enter the same email address for registering as you will use on the day.

This will take you to XLeap, which provides you with the opportunity to participate, comment and add questions before and during the event. It’s open now, so please click the link to join the pre-event interactive discussion.

If you have any questions or issues either registering for the event or joining the forum, please contact our event facilitator, Steve Bather:

Post kick-off

The series of international events that follow the kick-off will be co-hosted by in-country partners. They will produce video summaries and written lessons to build momentum and enable a co-produced message to be presented at COP26, bringing local voices from these regions and the UK directly into the conference.

Further details around these events will be provided on this webpage in due course.

Last updated: 2 June 2021

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