Dr. Thomas Schinko represents IIASA at international research symposium on Aligning the Climate and SDG Agendas organised by Sussex Sustainability Research Programme (SSRP)   

Evidence for Action © SSRP2021

The Sussex Sustainability Research Programme (SSRP) with support from 12 international co-hosts invites the academic and international development community to join and provide evidence on particular policies and measures that can achieve the climate goals and SDGs at the same time. Particular attention will be given to those processes that encourage coordinated and accelerated action for transformative change at local, national and global levels, advance justice and protect rights, and ensure that no one and no country is left behind.  

IIASA Researcher Thomas Schinko will deliver a presentation entitled "Fostering social learning through social simulations towards linking climate adaptation planning with disaster risk reduction strategies: insights from applying the RESPECT role-play simulation".

ABSTRACT: The prevailing supply-driven model of delivering climate information from ‘providers’ to ‘users’ has so far not led to the implementation of climate risk management (CRM) policies and actions at a scale that would be needed in light of growing climate variability and extremes. This science-policy-implementation gap in CRM is often a result from insufficiently clear roles and responsibilities, diverging stakeholder interests and priorities, inexistent or incipient cooperation mechanisms, and a prevailing technocratic and top-down approach that does not sufficiently consider local capacities and limitations. To close this gap, social learning via effective participation processes is regarded key for enhancing understanding between stakeholder groups, reducing conflict, and promoting cooperation towards a more just and effective risk management. This paper presents the RESPECT role-play simulation as one potential stakeholder-focused, transdisciplinary research approach for fostering collaboration across Disaster Risk Management (DRM) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) practice. We discuss insights, opportunities and challenges derived from implementing the RESPECT role-play simulation in two Austrian case-study regions, focusing on flood and drought risk. Based on the analysis of qualitative data gathered during these sessions, we find that role-play simulations hold high potential for fostering social learning in CRM. In particular, they (1) enable diverse societal stakeholders to better understand the interacting dimensions and drivers of climate-related risks, (2) allow a better understanding of each other’s interests and needs in addressing such risks at the individual and institutional level; and (3) engage societal stakeholders beyond traditional policy and decision-making communities in informed and inclusive public debate around challenges and solutions to CRM.

20-22 July 2021, at 10:00-17:45 CEST each day

The symposium will feature 15 prominent keynote speakers and 18 parallel sessions with presented from more than 20 countries. The programme is organised in three streams, so participants may select the sessions most relevant to them:

  • Stream A – Climate Adaptation and the SDGs
  • Stream B – Climate and Environmental Justice
  • Stream C – Sustainable Transformations and the Green Recovery


Background Information

The Symposium will build on recent UN activities in this area (including the 2019 UN Conference and the 2020 UN Consultation), as well as the Global Goals 2020 International Symposium co-hosted by the CISD, SSRP and partners. It will identify specific policies and measures to align and accelerate the two agendas. It will cover not only the green recovery, but also dive deeper into the synergy between climate and environmental justice, linkages between climate and health goals, and the mutual benefits of climate adaptation and development strategies. The Symposium will also provide input to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 1-12 November 2021 which will bring together Heads of State, climate experts, campaigners and stakeholders from around the world to agree on coordinated action to tackle climate change. The COP provides a unique opportunity to inform an important community about how climate policies can be better coordinated with the SDGs, and thereby save resources and achieve accelerated action on multiple goals. With this in mind, the topics to be discussed at the Symposium will be linked with the themes of the COP.