India - climate change adaptaton into DRR programmes - ActionAid
Climate Change Adaptation
and Disaster Risk Reduction
By: Harjeet Singh
Emergency Advisor – Asia and Americas
Climate change impact
Increase in severity and number of disasters
• More frequent and severe disasters such as floods, droughts, storms,
hurricanes, wildfires etc
• Less access to fresh water
• Coastal erosion and salination of coastal areas due to sea-level rise
• Dry regions to get drier, and wet regions to get wetter
• Crop yields in certain regions including large proportions of Asia and Africa –
impact on food system and increase of hunger risk
• Negative impact on aquaculture and fisheries
• Increased deaths, disease and injury due to disasters
• Increased malnutrition due to food shortages
• Increase of cholera, diarrhea due to lack of clear water
• Spread of malaria
• 500 weather-related disasters are now taking place each year, compared
to 120 in the 1980s. Number of floods has increased six-fold over the
• 95% out of the total 58 million people affected by natural hazards in 2009
were due to extreme weather events.
• Climate variability is already the major cause of year-to-year fluctuations in
production in both developed and developing countries
• In Africa, yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50 per
cent by 2020, and in Central and South Asia, crop yields could fall by up to
30 per cent by 2050 as a result of climate change.
• In South Asia, production of regional staples as millet, maize and rice
could decrease by at least 10%.
• India alone could lose 18 per cent of its rain-fed cereal production.
• Livelihoods of two third Indians come from climate-sensitive sectors such
as farming, fisheries and forestry
Source: FAO, IPCC, Stanford University, CRED
Impacts of 1-m sea level rise
Source : TERI TERI (1996)
Why are we concerned ?
• Hitting the world’s poorest and more vulnerable people first and worst,
who are already experiencing climatic changes
• Devastating effect in poorest countries with limited means to cope and
adapt, who have actually done the least to contribute to the problem
• Therefore reflects and reinforces inequalities and injustice
• Rich countries are the major current and historical polluters
• Rich countries are not doing enough to cut their own emissions and are
not funding and supporting adaptation in developing world
Combating Climate Change
• Mitigation : International community to
agree on an equitable and binding
emission reduction targets
• Adaptation : Poorest and excluded
communities / countries have adequate
resources and capacities to adapt to the
effects of climate change
• Adaptation refers to “adjustments in ecological, social or economic
systems in response to actual or expected stimuli and their effects or
impacts. This term refers to changes in processes, practices and
structures to moderate potential damages or to benefit from
opportunities associated with climate change”
• Adaptation involves adjustments to decrease the vulnerability of
communities, regions, and nations to climate variability and change
and in promoting sustainable development (IPCC 2001).
• Adaptation will be necessary to address impacts resulting from the
warming which is already unavoidable due to past emissions
Development Humanitarian &
Community DRR Community
Development and Adaptation
• Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use that aims to meet human
needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only
in the present, but also for future generations. (United Nations 1987)
• Adaptation is seen as addressing the impacts of climate change, rather than
addressing the underlying factors that cause vulnerability.
• Ability to adapt is dependent on poverty levels, access to resources such as
natural, finance, knowledge, skills and institutions.
• Adaptation should not be seen as a solution to existing development problems, or as
an alternative path towards sustainable development.
• It is new opportunity to revisit some long-standing problems of environment and
development in an innovative way.
• Adaptation strategies can not be mainstreamed successfully in development planning
unless vulnerability reduction is considered as a central component.
• Adaptation strategies muse ensure survival of livelihoods, lives, and cultures
during environmental change, and can thereby be seen to aid progress in
development by enhancing resilience to environmental fluctuations.
• From a policy perspective, adaptation should be seen as an integral and urgent
part of overall poverty and risk reduction strategies that will reduce the levels of
relative or total risk vulnerability as a determinant of risk.
DRR and Adaptation
– Similar aim
– Non structural measures
– Poverty reduction and underlying risk
– Converging political agenda
– Hazard type (Hydro-meteorological)
– Level of significance on existing
– Design limits for structural measures
=>Drawn from "Linking climate change adaptation and disaster risk
reduction" report by tearfund.
HFA 1 - DRR a national and
• Supporting communities to identify and highlight climatic changes
and their impact at various levels.
• Generating awareness among members of local governance
institutions about climate change and its relationship with disaster
and related vulnerabilities
• Interface of climate change community with national platforms and
other institutions for building coherence in policy formulation and
• Identifying sectoral linkages of CCA and DRR and integrating with
policy and planning processes
• Simplification and dissemination of national government’s DRR,
CCA policies and strategy at sub-national, district and local
• Inform political leaders about the causes and impact of climate
change on their constituencies and ways to influence appropriate
policies and programmes at state and national level.
HFA 2 - Identify, assess and
monitor disaster risks
• Identification of vulnerable coastal / urban / mountainous / low lying / drought prone
areas that have recently become more / vulnerable due to the impact of climate
• Orientation of communities on climate change and its relationship with disaster and
related vulnerabilities using audio visual aids.
• Bring in time dimension in vulnerability assessment and planning
• Mapping and documentation of change in weather pattern over decades through
interaction with elderly and scientific data from meteorological department.
• Integrating the dimension of climate change related vulnerabilities in the Participatory
Vulnerability Analysis (PVA) process.
• Documentation of traditional wisdom in weather prediction and community-based
early warning system through intensive discussions with elderly and community
• Linking traditional knowledge with scientific early warning and weather prediction
• Reviewing government’s weather information dissemination system and early
warning system to effective reach the last person.
• Developing indicators of climate change (particularly gradual changes) at the
community level and its implications
HFA 3 - Build a culture of safety
• Developing simple IEC (Information, Education and Communication)
material on climate change in local language and disseminating it widely.
• Conducting local events, quizzes, competitions etc in schools on
environment and climate change to raise awareness about the issue among
children and school administration.
• Liaise with education sector organizations and networks to review the
school curriculum with reference to climate change and advocate for
appropriate curriculum covering various aspects of climate change.
• Developing pedagogy and learning materials for children to enhance their
grasping ability to learn about their local environment and climate change.
• Sharing information with local and national media on impact of climate
change for wider coverage and building public opinion on the issue.
• Training of local authorities, community leaders and volunteers on climate
HFA 4 - Reduce the underlying
• Assessing the impact of climate change on livelihoods and food
security due to climate variability and increased intensity and
frequency of weather related disasters.
• Developing community based measures to reduce the impact of
disasters on livelihoods through adaptation and risk reduction.
• Promoting traditional and sustainable agriculture, fishing, forestry etc
for sustainable ecosystems.
• Policy analysis of social security schemes and other development
programmes covering the increased vulnerability of communities
due to climate change and suggesting appropriate actions.
• Reviewing the development programmes (NREGA, NRHM, SSA,
BN etc) to integrate DRR and climate change adaptation related
• Advocating for convergence among adaptation, DRR and poverty
reduction strategies and policies
HFA 5 - Strengthen disaster
preparedness at all levels
• Promoting disaster preparedness plans developed jointly by community and
local authorities factoring in the climate variability and extreme weather
• Building capacities of communities and promoting women’s leadership to
deal with climate variability and extreme weather conditions including low
impact-high frequency disasters.
• Establishing emergency contingency funds at local level with better access
to and control of local communities.
• Networking with likeminded civil society organizations to advocate for
integration of climate change related analysis in disaster management
policies and programmes of government and international donors.
• Supporting government in implementing disaster management policies and
programmes with incorporation of the concept of climate proofing at all
• Promote social action for asserting and claiming rights through policy
Adaptation as an outcome or process?
• In the world of uncertainty, adaptation cannot
be seen as an outcome but the process to
build resilience to climate variability and
• Adaptation strategies should not just focus on
the specific impacts of climate change, but on
the processes that are necessary to achieve
sustainable adjustment to all factors
contributing to risk.
• Adaptation should not become set of
prescriptive interventions but a process to
invest in people’s knowledge, resources –
natural, financial, human, material etc, skills
and institutions to build their resilience.
• Adaptation needs to be driven by a
community of practice with the approach of
learning by doing for responding to new and
People centered approach to
• Communities are not homogenous.
• Different sections and social groups in a community
have various degrees of vulnerabilities and capacities in
a given situation.
• Poor and vulnerable, especially women, suffer most the
impact of climate change.
• Communities not to be seen as mere victims of climate
crisis but as an active agency of people who are making
efforts to adapt and need further capacity and resources.
• Participation of community is key to influence the
adaptation policy and programme frameworks that would
define how adaptation funding is channelized and spent.