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Maurice Onyango: Climate Smart Disaster Risk Management - an approach for climate compatible development
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Maurice Onyango: Climate Smart Disaster Risk Management - an approach for climate compatible development


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  • Bringing these areas together, we have come up with 5 main areas to consider: Make climate-smart disaster risk management a priority Assess changing risk and vulnerability patterns Use knowledge of climate impacts on different parts of society and of changing disaster risks and uncertainties to reduce exposure of peopple’s livelihoods Increase public awareness of climate change and disaster risks Reduce exposure of physical environment to changing risks
  • These characteristics are nothing new, but perhaps integrating uncertainty and accepting non-equilibrium are newer to the socio-economic disciplines in contrasts to ecological and technological innovations. The ten characteristics of resilience in promoting adaptive capacity also share characteristics with first and third pillar and so have pulled out 4 key charactertics under the Enhancing Adaptive Capacity Pillar. -Creating Flexible and Effective Institutions Promoting Learning Adopting a multi-level perspective Considering greater uncertainty High Levels of Diversity : ecological diversity; stakeholder diversity; livelihood diversity; diversity in planning, response and recovery activities ( Folke 2006; Holling 1973; Resilience Alliance, Carpenter et a. 2001). II. Flexible, Effective Institutions which III) Accept non-equilibrium : institutions must be seen as legitimate, inclusive and effective in delivering goals. Furthermore they must be flexible and reflect the needs of the local community, provide opportunities for learning and experimentation (Folke 2006, Rockerfeller 2009; Ostrom 2009, Dover and Handmer 1992; Osbahr 2007). Similarly, institutions must Accept Non- Equilibrium as disturbances may cause change in the relationship between components of the system (Folke 2006). IV. Cross Scalar Perspective: interconnectedness between various components of the system through networks which transcend scale (Nelson 2007). V. Integrating Uncertainty : through a memory of past disturbances (shocks/stresses) and the existence of protocols that determine action in the face of disturbance (Holling 1973). VI. Ensuring Community Involvement: participation in decision making, ownership of resources and use of indigenous and local knowledge (Manyena 2006; Mayunga 2007; Ostrom 2009; Nelson et al. 2007; Dover and Handmer 1992; Berkes 2007, Osbahr 2007). VII. Promoting Learning : iterative processes and organisational learning that promote adaptive capacity. Consider a range of plausible hypotheses about future change in the system, weigh range of possible strategies and favour actions that are robust to uncertainty (Gunderson and Holling 2001). VIII. Promoting Equity : gauging, sharing and distributing risk from disturbances (shocks/stresses) (Nelson et al. 2007). IX . Social values and structures : moral and ethical standards regarding how to behave in groups, norms of reciprocity, sufficient trust lead to lower transaction costs in reaching agreements and lower costs of monitoring ( Ostrom 2009). X. Preparedness, Planning and Readiness : accepting that change and disturbances will occur and preparing and planning for failure through system failure scenarios (Rockefeller Foundation 2009).
  • We have boiled down addressing poverty, vulnerability and their causes into four Main components: Promote Equitable Economic systems Promote Access to education and health care Promote access to structures, power and accountability Promote Sensible Carbon Stewardship
  • Research carried out in Cambodia, India and Sri Lanka tested the CSDRM approach at regional, sub-national and local levels and in trans-boundary and post-conflict settings. Cases were chosen because they reflected at least one of the three pillars of the CSDRM approach in context of multiple, changing hazards. in Cambodia, the climate-smart DRM efforts of the Mekong River Commission are investigated. profiles of the Orissa State Disaster Management Authority and the ‘Watershed Plus’, or Western Orissa Rural Livelihood Programme (WORLP), provide learning on different ways to tackle CSDRM at state level. Finally, post-disaster housing reconstruction in the conflict-affected District of Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, provides inspiration on how it is possible to work ‘climate-smart’ despite a climate information vacuum. Fieldwork in Cambodia, India and Sri Lanka has demonstrated that, despite challenges, government and non-government actors are already making real efforts to manage disaster risks with a ‘climate-smart’ approach. The institutional basis is there. Making the final shift to CSDRM, it seems, is largely reliant on an increasingly collaborative and strategic approach to traditional DRM, both at an individual and institutional level. The case studies highlight the flexibility of CSDRM as an analytical and evaluative tool at different scales: Integrating climate scenarios, whether at the regional, sub-national or local level, requires access to climatological information and data. This can be fraught with challenges and can be highly political. Making connections with independent intermediaries – such as universities - that can process climate data and interpret findings at various levels is a way to overcome this challenge. There are numerous entry points for a CSDRM approach. Building on existing programmes and policies offers opportunities to identify champions for the approach and to create tools and procedures that are grounded in local realities.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Climate Smart Disaster Risk Management - an approach for climate compatible development An overview Africa Adapt symposium Addis Ababa
    • 2. Introduction
      • This paper explores the synergy between climate change adaptation, disaster risk management and development approaches.
      • It recognizes that climate change is affecting the frequency and severity of some natural hazards across East and Horn of Africa, compounding people’s vulnerability and exposure; and is creating greater uncertainty.
      • East and Horn of Africa are more attuned to dealing with slow onset disasters such as drought. However, recent examples as flooding in parts of Sudan in July 2010 demonstrated that disaster trends appear to be changing, and with this, recognition that the impacts of climate change on disasters are more varied than was perhaps anticipated.
    • 3.
      • A recent study in Kenya estimated that the annual cost of climate change impacts will be in the tune of USD 1 to 3 billion by the year 2030 (Kenya climate change strategy)
      • A holistic Climate Smart Disaster Risk Management (CSDRM) approach is needed that tackles changing disaster risks and uncertainties, enhances adaptive capacity and addresses poverty and vulnerability and their structural causes
    • 4. Twelve components under three pillars
    • 5. What is Climate Smart Disaster Risk Management (CSDRM)?
      • CSDRM is:
      • an integrated social development and disaster risk management approach that aims simultaneously to tackle changing disaster risks, enhance adaptive capacity, address poverty, exposure, vulnerability and their structural causes and promote environmentally sustainable development in a changing climate .
      The CSDRM approach builds on DRM, climate change adaptation and development concepts and approaches with the purpose of accelerating progress on the HFA and efforts to promote disaster-resilient communities .
    • 6. A consultative process…. More than 500 practitioners, policymakers, scientists and academics from climate change, disasters and development communities are engaged in CSDRM.
    • 7. Three Pillars of CSDRM
    • 8. Pillar I: Tackle Changing Disaster Risk and Uncertainties 1a: Strengthen collaboration and integration between diverse stakeholders working on disasters, climate and development 1b: Periodically assess the effects of climate change on current and future disaster risks and uncertainties 1c: Integrate knowledge of changing risks and uncertainties into planning, policy and programme design to reduce the vulnerability and exposure of people’s lives and livelihoods 1d: Increase access of all stakeholders to information and support services concerning changing disaster risks, uncertainties and broader climate impacts
    • 9. Pillar II: Enhance Adaptive Capacity Cont
      • High Levels of Diversity
      • Flexible and Effective Institutions
      • Cross Scalar Perspective
      • Integrating Uncertainty
      • Ensuring Community Involvement
      • Promoting Equity
      • Accepting Non- Equilibrium
      • Promoting Learning
      • Preparedness, Planning & Readiness
      • Social Values and Structures
      2a: Strengthen the ability of people, organisations and networks to experiment and innovate 2b: Promote regular learning and reflection to improve the implementation of policies and practices 2c: Ensure policies and practices to tackle changing disaster risk are flexible, integrated across sectors and scale and have regular feedback loops 2d: Use tools and methods to plan for uncertainty and unexpected events
    • 10. Pillar III: Address Poverty, Vulnerability and their Structural Causes 3a: Promote more socially just and equitable economic systems 3b: Forge partnerships to ensure the rights and entitlements of people to access basic services, productive assets and common property resources 3c: Empower communities and local authorities to influence the decisions of national governments, NGOs, international and private sector organisations and to promote accountability and transparency 3d: Promote environmentally sensitive and climate smart development
    • 11. Lessons from in-depth field research
      • Case studies in Tanzania using local and scientific knowledge on seasonal climate Forecasting for community adaptation to climate Variability and change in drought-prone villages of Manyoni and Chamwino districts, showed the importance of integration of DRR, CCA and sustainable development.
      • This project used integrated scientific and indigenous technology as a key source of information on adaptive capacity.
    • 12.
      • Combining knowledge from different sources, analysed and downscaled meteorological information, identified and conducted participatory assessments of local knowledge on climate and weather forecasting, as well as climate risk assessments of the likely impacts of climate change on agriculture.
      • Using this information, community-based adaptation strategies were implemented to address and respond to vulnerabilities created by the changing climate. eg training to strengthen the capacity of communities and local institutions to respond to the future disaster scenarios and supporting vulnerable communities to influence and engage in decision-making processes on adaptation strategies
    • 13. Application of the Approach
      • The Approach seeks to guide planning and evaluation of existing DRM policies, projects or programmes, as well as inform advocacy.
      • The Approach is not a ‘checklist’ - but offers guidance on how to evaluate current interventions and identify how to change practice and policy for better development outcomes.
      • This should be applied in a ‘ dynamic and hands-on manner’ to enable local governments and authorities to integrate multiple dimensions / considerations (pillars) to make their initiatives adaptive to the changing climate.
    • 14.  
    • 15. Useful resources – the SCR Discussion Papers
      • The Resilience Renaissance? Unpacking Of Resilience for Tackling Climate Change and Disasters . Bahadur, A.; Ibrahim, M. and Tanner , T.
      • Assessing Progress on the Convergence of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation . Mitchell, T., Van Aalst, M. and Villanueva, P.
      • Greening Disaster Risk Management: Issues at the Interface of Disaster Risk Management and Low Carbon Development . Urban, F. , Mitchell, T. And Villanueva, P.
      • Integrating Climate Change into Regional Disaster Risk Management at the Mekong River Commission . Polack, E.
      • Building Climate Resilience at State Level: DRM and Rural Livelihoods in Orissa . Hedger, M., Singha, A. and Reddy, M.
      • Post-Disaster Housing Reconstruction in a Conflict-affected District, Batticaloa, Sri Lanka: Reflecting on the Climate Smart Disaster Risk Management Approach . Ibrahim, M.
    • 16.
      • To contact us email - [email_address]
      • For more information and free downloadable versions of the Approach
      • see the Strengthening Climate Resilience website -
    • 17. Thanks from the SCR consortium!