Revalue Ecosystems

Human use and transformation of natural ecosystems is rapidly exceeding our planet’s capacity to sustain the ecological conditions and services people need to survive and thrive. 

The Rockefeller Foundation pursues robust cross-sector approaches and market-based solutions that account for the significant, yet often overlooked, value of ecosystems in development decisions and harnesses them as an asset for smart development, economic and social progress, and long-term resilience. For one example, click below to see how the city of Surat, India, is working with the Foundation’s Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network to mitigate the negative effects of climate change—and see the breadth of work in the Revalue Ecosystems focus area.

Next

Surat’s Climate Change Resilience Journey

The city of Surat is the most flood-prone city in the Indian state of Gujarat. In 2006, rains were so intense that floodwaters caused $4.5 million in damage and affected 3.5 million people.

But things are changing. Since joining The Rockefeller Foundation's Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) in 2008 and 100 Resilient Cities in 2013, the city has worked to develop an innovative strategy that equips them to better prepare for—and bounce back from—future floods. Click below to learn about how Surat is becoming a more resilient city.

EARLY FLOOD WARNING

COOL ROOFS

URBAN HEALTH

ENGAGING STAKEHOLDERS

 

Back

Early Flood Warning System

One of the most pressing concerns Surat addressed in its resilience strategy addressed was how to protect residents, many of whom are very poor, in the path of the dam's overflow. With ACCCRN's help, Surat formed the Surat Climate Change Trust, a group composed of stakeholders from across the city's business and civic life to design and implement an end-to-end early warning system. The system draws from hydrological modeling on an almost real-time basis and communicates potential risks to vulnerable communities. Now, residents in these communities receive notice at least four days before floodwaters come, giving them enough time to protect their property and evacuate if necessary. The new modeling information will also help the city better plan for building future homes.

Back

Next

Cool Roofs

Floods aren't the only climate-related risk that the people of Surat face: as in many places around the world, extreme heat has become a looming threat, negatively affecting workforce safety and productivity, as well as general public health. Surat is working to develop low-cost methods for managing this challenge, including a Cool Roof Project that uses simple technologies like thermatile, Chinese mosaic, and broken earthen pots to increase insulation and ventilation, bringing down both temperatures and household costs associated with electricity and water.

Back

Next

Urban Health

ACCCRN also helped the Surat Municipal Corporation access SMS-enabled near real-time health data, enabling the city’s health department to anticipate and prevent the spread of potential disease outbreaks. A new climate and urban health research center, the first of its kind in the region, is conducting cutting edge research on climate and health issues, which will help inform more effective health services in the face of climate change.

Back

Next

The resolution was passed, putting gender on the agenda of future conferences, paving the way to create greater gender balance in the bodies of these influential delegations. Christiana Figueres called it the “Doha Miracle.”

Troika+ continues to listen to and advocate on behalf of women whose livelihoods are most impacted by the consequences of climate change. During the Commission on the Status of Women in 2012, Troika representatives attended a session to listen to the concerns of rural women from Sudan, Ghana, Nepal and Bangladesh who were struggling to access renewable energy options, from cookstoves to solar lights, for their homes and workplaces. The Troika+ women promised these concerns would be heard, ensuring women’s voices – both at the highest levels of development and in the communities hardest hit by climate – are reflected in future climate action.

Back

Engaging Stakeholders

Surat's government has taken real steps to reorganize itself around resilience strategies. The City has dedicated part of its budget to resilience-related activities and involved decision-makers at the highest levels. In March, just before monsoon season begins, Surat's major stakeholders gather with other district collectors, personnel from the three state irrigation departments, private industry players, academics, and officials from the Central Water Commission to consider essential questions: What has changed in the past year? What new farming operations or factory facilities have come online? What new factors might affect the flow of water into the dam and along the river's route? They are then able to change approaches, if needed, to prepare for the season to come.

Back

Return to Revalue Ecoystems