Opportunities for integrating climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in development planning and decision-­making: examples from Sub-­Saharan Africa

Opportunities for integrating climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in development planning and decision-­making: examples from Sub-­Saharan Africa

Can African Development plans consider disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation?

This paper analyses nine climate change adaptation mainstreaming projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, analysing whether collaboration of Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is taking place. It also examines the rationale for the coordination and mainstreaming of CCA and DRR, based on trends in climate variability and extreme events, disasters and their economic implications, and on overlaps between CCA and DRR. It notes that the burden of climate change (including variability, extreme events and associated disaster risk) falls disproportionately on the poorest and most vulnerable populations within developing countries. 

The paper also notes that the recognition of inter-linkages between CCA and DRR in key frameworks and approaches has not yet translated into systematic integration or functional linking of DRR and CCA in the context of development efforts on the ground.

From the case examples the paper illustrates that there is a recognition at national and sub-national levels in the countries of the linkages between climate related risks, poverty, development and the need for mainstreaming to reduce current and future vulnerabilities and realise development goals in the face of a changing climate. In most cases this is reflected through priorities in key national policies and strategies such as poverty reduction strategies, national development plans and strategies, environmental policy frameworks and disaster risk management policies.

To support functional linking of CCA and DRR in the context of development, the report gives the following recommendations:

  • there is a need to promote systematic analyses of CCA and DRR mainstreaming activities at all levels to identify cases where CCA and DRR integration has been successful, as well as opportunities and challenges for enhancing this integration
  • encourage systematic information sharing and coordination of ongoing and planned climate risk management activities between CCA and DRR bodies, focal points, policy makers, donors and other relevant stakeholders
  • advocate for incorporation of DRR in planned and ongoing CCA projects and programmes
  • support joint CCA and DRR mainstreaming projects to make the case for functional linking and showcase resource effectiveness.
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