From LCAW and Bonn, to local solutions: June’s Race to Resilience roundup

By Race to Resilience | July 6, 2023

June witnessed incredible progress in the Race to Resilience (RTR). From impactful conversations at London Climate Action Week to innovative initiatives for resilient infrastructure, the continued efforts of global actors are once again proving that the race to a sustainable and resilient future is well and truly on.

Bonn SB58: Launch of the SAA Task Forces

During the Bonn Climate Change Conference, known as Bonn SB58, the Sharm-El Sheikh Adaptation Agenda (SAA) launched six Task Forces. The Task Forces, which will convene Marrakech Partnership members, UN agencies, RTR partners, and other global and local stakeholders, aim to accelerate the implementation of the SAA’s impact systems in various areas, including Food and Agriculture, Water, Oceans, Human Settlements, Infrastructure, and Finance. The objectives of the task forces are as follows:

  1. Encourage non-state actors and governments to implement the SAA.
  2. Identify necessary partnerships to deliver on each outcome.
  3. Facilitate discussions to inform progress tracking.
  4. Develop a shared narrative on adaptation system transformation.
  5. Inform the first SAA Implementation Report.

London Climate Action Week: Adaptation & Resilience building momentum

London Climate Action Week was a hub of critical conversations around climate adaptation and resilience, highlighted by several key events:

One of the key events, “Catalyzing Action for Climate Adaptation & Resilience – Making the Business Case,” was co-hosted by Resilience First, a partner of the Race to Resilience (RTR), in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, PWC, WSP, and other organizations with distinguished participants including H.E Razan Al Mubarak, the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28 and RTR Ambassadors Gonzalo Muñoz and Feike Sijbesma. The event emphasized the imperative for business leadership in adaptation and resilience, particularly in the run up to COP28. It also explored ways to shape the SAA and advance RTR. The event underscored the importance of private sector commitment and leadership in driving a just transition. The SAA was highlighted as a significant opportunity to catalyze action for business resilience.

Another notable event was the “Cities Dialogue: Adapting Urban Infrastructure to a Changing Climate,” co-hosted by RTR partners ICSI + Cities RtR (ICLEI + GCOM), with participants including RTR Global Ambassadors Sheela Patel and COP25 High-Level Champion, Gonzalo Muñoz. The event stressed that resilient urban infrastructure should integrate nature-based solutions and prioritize inclusivity from the design stage. Furthermore, it emphasized the critical need for substantial financial support to enable local governments to incorporate, scale, and replicate adaptation and resilience solutions.

Sheela Patel (left) participating at a London Climate Action Week event.

Another event, “Private Sector Resilience and Adaptation in the Face of Climate Uncertainty,” was hosted by RTR partner GRP and Marsh McLennan, which leads the Insurance Accelerator Initiative. The event underlined the importance of collaboration towards establishing common frameworks for measuring resilience building and standardization, aligning with the core objectives of the RTR campaign. RTR was recognized as a community dedicated to sharing knowledge and best practices on adaptation and resilience, while also fostering a collective narrative on the urgency of climate action and the pursuit of climate justice. Marsh McLennan announced its collaboration with The Atlantic Council and the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions to mobilize 3,000 insurers in integrating climate financial products into their portfolios.

The “Insurance Development Forum Adaptation and Resilience Summit,” hosted by IDF, a partner of the RTR, with participation from RTR partners ORRAA and GRP, highlighted the potential of the London re/insurance market, combined with the strengths of the global resilience community, to drive action in resilience and adaptation. The focus was on leveraging financial innovation and insurance solutions to safeguard individuals and assets, particularly in vulnerable regions of the global south

Additionally, Sheela Patel and leader of the Roof Over Our Heads (ROOH) initiative, met with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to exchange experiences on driving locally-led climate adaptation efforts. This followed on from a meeting hosted by Arup, with the participation of COP25 and COP26 High-Level Champions, Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Muñoz. The closed session was focused on discussing opportunities for stakeholders such as the infrastructure and finances sector to engage with ROOH.

Partners’ updates

H.E Razan Al Mubarak took part in a recent Regions4 General Assembly. Regions4, a key RTR partner, boasts over 70 subnational governments that have pledged to take action in building the resilience of more than 300 million people. H.E Razan Al Mubarak emphasized the importance of prioritizing people and nature through nature-based solutions, climate justice, and inclusivity. These actions are driving economic protection, creating new investment opportunities, reshaping societies around sustainable development principles, and directly contributing to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity.

In a strong effort to increase the ‘Adaptation Ambition Loop’, several RTR partners have made formal submissions to the Global Goal on Adaptation. Sanitation and Water for All, along with their partners, highlighted the role of water, sanitation, and hygiene services in ensuring water security and global adaptation. Their submission can be accessed here. Additionally, the Adaptation Research Alliance (ARA) and their partners submitted a Compilation of Illustrative Targets and Indicators for the Global Goal on Adaptation, which can be read here.

Build Change, an RTR partner, recently launched a new web-series titled “Resilient Housing Across the Americas.” The series features engaging one-on-one conversations with leaders from various countries and industries, discussing the future of housing. The first episode, featuring Mayor Mitch Roth of Hawaii County, is already available here:


The Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) has opened a new cycle of the Emergent Learning Fund. This fund provides USDN network members with the opportunity to apply for support in relationship-building, planning, development work, or regional/community collaborations to seek federal funding. For more information, click here.

Another significant partner event was the Efficiency for Access 2022-2023 Grand Finale, which marked the culmination of the fourth year of the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge. Fourteen universities from Bangladesh, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Senegal, Sweden, Uganda, the UK, and Zimbabwe participated, with students dedicating a year to creating innovative designs for off-grid energy solutions. These designs aim to accelerate clean energy access in their respective communities. Watch the Grand Finale below:


Lastly, RTR Knowledge partner International Institute for the Environment and Development (IIED) launched SAGE version 2.0, a tool designed to enhance governance and equity in nature conservation. More information about this valuable tool can be found here.

Solution stories of the month

Every week, RTR highlights impactful initiatives that are making a difference in building resilience and combating the challenges of climate change. Discover our June Solution Stories below:

Turning money into mortar: Transforming the housing landscape in disaster-prone Philippines

In 2014, Build Change embarked on a remarkable journey to strengthen homes in the Philippines. Through the infusion of engineering expertise, innovative technology, and creative financing solutions, they have successfully constructed over 4,000 resilient buildings. Notably, this program has empowered women, who constitute 95% of the borrowers, and achieved an impressive repayment rate exceeding 99%. To learn more about this transformative project, read here.

How oysters are helping protect Apalachicola’s vulnerable shoreline

RTR partner, the International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructures (ICSI) showcased, in its recent report, the implementation of an innovative project by member WSP in Franklin County, Florida, US. By creating engineered oyster reefs spanning up to 20 acres and salt marshes covering up to 30 acres, they are effectively attenuating wave action and safeguarding the vulnerable coastline and critical infrastructure from erosion. This project not only provides protection but also delivers ecological uplift through oyster repopulation, habitat enhancement, and improved water quality. Read the full story here.

Building coastal resilience in Portsmouth: A city under siege by the sea

The coastal city of Portsmouth, UK, faces a constant battle against rising sea levels and climate change-induced flood risks. To combat this imminent threat, Portsmouth has launched the Southsea Coastal Scheme, the largest local authority-led coastal defense project in the country. This ambitious initiative focuses on strengthening the resilience of North Portsea Island and Southsea regions, which are particularly vulnerable due to their unique topographies and aging defense systems. By implementing this comprehensive coastal resilience plan, Portsmouth is taking decisive action to protect its communities and critical infrastructure. To learn more about this crucial project, follow this link.

RTR welcomes six new MAG members

The Race to Resilience’s Methodological Advisory Group (MAG) has welcomed six new experts: Nurul Alam from Bangladesh, Portia Hunt from the UK, Patricia Villarroel from Chile, Ankan De from India, Tariq Al-Olaimy from the Kingdom of Bahrain, and Revathi Sharma Kollegala, also from India. The MAG is a technical advisory body that advises the development and refinement of the RtR Metrics Framework, ensuring the credibility, transparency, and robustness of the RTR campaign.

New members of the MAG committee meet the rest of the team. They are on a Zoom call, smiling at the camera.

The induction to the MAG took place on 21 June led by the Race to Resilience Technical Secretariat (Priscilla Berrios and Roxana Bohorquez) and MAG Co-leads (Anand Patwardhan, Emilie Beauchamp and Ana Maria Lobo-Guerrero). The new MAG members were introduced to the Metrics Framework and its enhancement process planned for 2023.

RTR Ambassadors news

Our Global Ambassador, Emma Howard Boyd, is playing a crucial role in leading the London Climate Resilience Review. This independent review, commissioned by Sadiq Khan, aims to assess and enhance London’s preparedness in the face of potentially devastating climate impacts. Boyd, who also serves as the Chair of the Green Finance Institute, brings her expertise and commitment to driving climate resilience.

The London Climate Resilience Review is actively seeking evidence from individuals, organizations, businesses, and communities. This presents a unique opportunity for stakeholders to contribute their insights and perspectives to shape the city’s resilience strategies. If you have valuable evidence or responses to share, you can submit them until Saturday, 2 September, 2023. To learn more and participate in the review, please visit this link.

By engaging with the review, individuals and organizations can actively contribute to building a more resilient and climate-ready London, setting an example for cities worldwide.



Race to Resilience

INTERVIEW: Sheela Patel on transforming the urban poor from invisible and informal to recognized and resilient

Climate Champions’ Global Ambassador Sheela Patel outlines her vision for the Roof Over Our Heads campaign designed to help women leaders from informal settlements to advance resilient, low carbon and affordable homes and solutions for their urban communities thereby advancing the overall climate resilience of their cities.

Race to Resilience

Empowering Jamaica’s climate resilience through innovative green finance

Partner: YAPU Solutions Implementer: COK Sodality Co-operative Credit Union  Country & Region: Jamaica, Caribbean SAA Impact Systems: Human Settlements Impact / Beneficiaries: Members of COK Sodality Co-operative Credit Union, which includes over 275,000 individuals, encompassing Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and low-income households across Jamaica.  Jamaica, an island nation celebrated for its breathtaking landscapes […]