15.6.5 Enabling Policies, Programmes and Measures
Several critical factors, which may be part of pathways within countries to
varying degrees, are suggested to be integral components of any international
coastal-adaptation technology transfer (BCSD, 1992):
- Technologies must be adjusted, oriented and made appropriate for local
conditions in the host country. For example, the Japanese government designed
and constructed a seawall to protect the shoreline fronting Nuku'alofa, the
capital of Tonga, against erosion (Mimura and Pelesikoti, 1997). Despite the
superior design and effectiveness of the structure, the project was not extended
and duplicated because the host government had neither the funds, the physical
capacity to produce the necessary raw materials nor the technological expertise
to build another such seawall. Another example involves the copying of a Northern
European harbour design, including a device to reduce ice pressure, which
was installed in its entirety in a tropical country (UNFCCC, 1999).
- Technology transfer must involve long-term partnerships and be linked to
training and human-resource development. In the case of the first application
of CoreLoc (Case Study 21), the researchers were not
involved in planning and construction of the breakwater units. Results were
more satisfactory in subsequent deployments when the researchers were able
to work with local operators during project implementation. Furthermore, engaging
local operators in the development of technology generates skills necessary
to provide feedback required to continue the innovation process.
- Institutional regional or global networks are powerful mechanisms for fostering
all aspects of coastal-adaptation technology transfer, including assessment
of needs, information exchange, training and technical assistance, capacity
building and technology development. Examples are the above-mentioned GEF-funded
projects (PICCAP and CPACC) as well as the training and outreach activities
of the Coastal Resources Center of the University of Rhode Island (USA).
In addition, Kozmetsky (1990) and Heaton et al. (1994) have identified a number
of mechanisms that would be particularly important in the development and implementation
of science and technology policies to be responsive to global economic trends.
All of these are applicable to enabling and accelerating coastal-adaptation
- the creation of strategic alliances;
- the development of innovative financial arrangements;
- leveraging international standards on environmental management;
- establishing technology "intermediaries".
The creation of new strategic alliances is a way to leverage scientific and
technical talent, share financial resources and risks and extend access and
delivery of new knowledge and technologies to other countries. These alliances
may be intra- or intersectoral, but work best when participants share similar
strategic goals, mutually understand and respect their respective cultures,
and understand short- and long-term expectations. The PICCAP approach, for example,
involves the appointment of a national coordinator and country teams in each
of the ten participating countries. This strategy helps to ensure that technical
support is provided in a socially and culturally sensitive manner, that project
outputs are compatible with regional environmental and development strategies
and priorities and that regional institutions are strengthened for future activities
Development of innovative financial mechanisms may include linking ODA to foreign
direct investment (BCSD, 1992), tax incentives for joint ventures in technology
development and tax exemptions of income derived from technology transfer (Midlock,
1990). Chapter 5 presents a comprehensive overview of
opportunities to overcome financial barriers to climate-related technology transfer.
Private-sector demand for adaptation technologies could be enhanced and refocused
by international standards on coastal management. International standards allow
companies to measure environmental performance, establish best practices across
industries and establish a degree of accountability through certification, thus
improving a company's worldwide competitive advantage (Heaton et al., 1994).
For example, the ISO 14000 Series Standards Environmental Management System
(EMS) provides a framework that responds to the short-term changes in coastal
environments brought about by development pressures as well as the long-term
changes resulting from natural forces. Adoption by countries could provide mechanisms
necessary to integrate vulnerability assessment with existing coastal-adaptation
As stated, NGOs can play an important part as intermediaries and knowledge translators
in the technology-transfer process. As intermediaries, they can identify sources
of currently available and emerging technologies, facilitate investment arrangements,
and provide management, technical and other assistance to developing countries.
As knowledge translators, NGOs can ensure that technology transfer is designed
to create adaptive capabilities within the receiving country to adapt technology
rather than simply to encourage its passive acceptance after transfer. NGOs
can provide the foundation for the long-term relationship needed to replace
casual or short-term connections between technology providers and users. Finally,
they are particularly suited to link technology transfer to training and human-resource
development and to public awareness raising.