Strengthening climate resilience
International agencies, civil society organisations and research institutions have begun analysing the key benefits and trade-offs of converging disaster risk management, climate change adaptation and development agendas. This is reflected in plans for a 2011 Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as well as a growing body of literature on the topic. One particular idea emerging as a result of this coalition is that of ‘climate smart disaster risk management’ – an approach to managing the impact of climate change on disaster risk that includes assessing and acting on the changes to the magnitude and frequency of hazards, preparing for elevated uncertainty, and tackling increasing vulnerability and its drivers.
- Closing the gaps: disaster risk reduction and adaptation to climate change in developing countries
- The International Commission on Climate Change and Development examines adaptation to climate change and its links with disaster risk reduction.The paper argues in poor countries adaptation is inseparable from development, where the capacity to manage risk determines progress. Adaptation is shaped by institutions at the local, national, and international levels; adaptive capacity at the local scale depends on developing capacity for adaptation at wider scales. The authors conclude with a number of recommendations on the way forward.
Climate-smart disaster risk managementClimate change is: (a) increasing the frequency and magnitude of some hazards (e.g. IPCC 2007 suggested that heat waves are becoming more frequent and intense); (b) accentuating existing vulnerability and creating new and patterns of exposure; (c) creating greater uncertainty and more surprise events. As always, care must be taken in generalising, for all these trends are highly variable across regions and countries. More . . .
Tackle changing disaster risks and uncertaintiesAt present, disaster risk managers tend to base decisions on what hazards and disasters have been experienced before in the historical record (whether conveyed through scientific monitoring and analysis or in a more community-based version, from what local people share). More . . .
Enhance adaptive capacityGiven the challenges posed by climate change, it is important that disaster risk management interventions help people to manage and create sustainable changes that will allow them to adapt over time, as well as protect them from disasters. More . . .
Address poverty and vulnerability and their structural causes
Disaster-related risks come not only from direct exposure to natural hazards, such as droughts or hurricanes, but also from the vulnerability of social and economic systems to the effects of these hazards. More . . .