Convergence of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation

Convergence of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation

Incentivising convergence of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation

Development faces a growing threat from climate change. Yet despite the significant overlap, the respective agendas of disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) have been left to evolve independently up until now. Referring to the Bali Action Plan, the 2009 Copenhagen climate change negotiations and DFID’s evolving strategy as well as its forthcoming evaluation of DRR, this DFID White Paper explains how DRR is a crucial part of climate change adaptation, especially among the vulnerable communities.

The objectives of the study are to:

  • establish if, why, and how DRR and adaptation policy should converge
  • identify the internal and external constraints, and incentives for convergence 
  • identify mechanisms for joint funding and programming of DRR and adaptation 
  • identify gaps to be addressed.
The paper states that despite sharing similarities and overlaps, there has been limited integration of DRR and adaptation; however, they are increasingly converging in the following ways:
  • in international agreements, government statements and policies and joint activities
  • in financial mechanisms
  • at the national level
  • in knowledge and practice
  • through other efforts via negotiations by experts, integrating climate information in humanitarian programmes.
The authors highlight the following obstacles and incentives to adaptation and DRR convergence:
  • there is poor communication between disaster management and climate change departments
  • the Hyogo Framework of Action which is used for justification is not legally binding outside the DRR community
  • donor governments are opposed to further integration of DRR and humanitarian assistance language in negotiation texts
  • there are obstacles in multi- and bi-lateral institutions, financing mechanisms, at the national scale and in sharing knowledge, experience and guidance.
Finally, the paper puts forward the following recommendations for DFID:
  • support the DRR community to engage in climate change negotiations more effectively
  • integrate DRR and adaptation in the guidance and delivery of respective funding mechanisms 
  • promote closer convergence of DRR and adaptation teams in bilateral, multilateral and civil society organisations 
  • support the generation of integrated knowledge, experience and guidance 
  • incentivise convergence in national governments and co-ordination mechanisms.
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