Atlantic Basin Initiative-Johns Hopkins University-SAIS
September 13, 2012

Adaptation was an important topic of discussion on September 13th at SAIS during the Atlantic Basin Initiative conference. Following a panel that included the participation of Jose Maria Aznar, former President of the Government of Spain, Juan José Daboub, founding CEO of the Global Adaptation Institute shared the Institute’s vision on the importance of adaptation in a changing world where it is the most vulnerable populations who bear the biggest threats.

Issues like health, education, food, energy, recognizing the power and increasing frequency of natural disasters and climate change are all crucial issues to human development. There are only 2.2 physicians per 10,000 in Africa, compared to a ratio of 33 in Europe and 28 in the case of the United States. 1.7 million deaths annually are caused by unsafe water. 777 million people have limited access to food. These statistics make these issues increasingly pressing challenges on the global agenda.

Dr. Daboub drew from his experiences as former Minister of Finance of El Salvador and Managing Director of the World Bank to address the fact that initiatives that are left solely in the hands of bureaucratic entities are neither the most efficient nor the most successful. He called for a more pragmatic approach that can pave the way towards human development, or, as he called it, the condition that allows people to take their destinies into their own hands.

Between 30 - 100 billion dollars are needed in order for countries to adapt and be more resilient in the face of these global issues. This challenge can be approached pragmatically by focusing on increasing participation from the private sector through investments in adaptation. Dr. Daboub mentioned the key role that the Atlantic Basin Initiative could play in raising awareness on the risks that half of the people in the Atlantic Basin countries face, concretely in the fronts of health access, water conditions and food distribution. Tackling these issues in a pragmatic way could help improve the countries’ readiness conditions and reduce the vulnerability of those with less economic redundancy.
3 photos · 29 views