The sixth session of the Africa Regional Platform and the fifth High-Level Meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) took place in Balaclava, Mauritius, from 22-25 November 2016.
On 5 December 2016, the first meeting of the Sustainable Insurance Forum convened in San Francisco, US, and launched an international network of insurance regulators and supervisors to promote cooperation on critical sustainable insurance challenges, such as climate change.
On 11 November 2016, Palestine submitted to the UNFCCC Secretariat its National Adaptation Plan (NAP).
8 December 2016: According to recent findings of the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Atlantic, Eastern and Central Pacific 2016 hurricane seasons, which ended on 30 November 2016, were all above-normal, with 15 named storms in the Atlantic including seven hurricanes (wind speeds of above 119 km/h).
According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), in 2016, the Eastern Pacific hurricane basin produced 20 named storms, compared to the long-term average of 16.5, and included ten hurricanes, four of which became major. The Central Pacific hurricane basin saw seven tropical cyclones, all of which became named storms and included three hurricanes, two of which were major. [NOAA Press Release] [WMO Press Release] [WMO Webpage on Tropical Cyclones]
With weather extremes at above-average level, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and resilience efforts take on increasing importance. This Update provides an overview of recent adaptation news relating to DRR, in particular on the African continent, as well as on efforts to implement adaptation measures domestically.
Africa Regional Platform Advances DRR
The sixth session of the Africa Regional Platform and the fifth High-Level Meeting on DRR took place in Balaclava, Mauritius, from 22-25 November 2016. The sixth session of the Africa Regional Platform, convened from 22-24 November, focusing on enhancing understanding of disaster risk, improving disaster risk governance, increasing national and regional resilience, enhancing disaster preparedness, and linking the Sendai Framework for DRR to Africa through an African programme of work.
The fifth High-Level Meeting on DRR, held on 25 November, adopted the outcomes of the Platform. Ministers and high-level representatives agreed the Programme of Action for Implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR 2015-2030 in Africa, and the Mauritius Declaration on the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR in Africa.
The Programme of Action includes specific targets on: increasing the number of countries with DRR in their education systems; increasing integration of DRR in regional and national sustainable development and climate adaptation frameworks; expanding the scope and number of sources for domestic financing in DRR; increasing the number of countries with risk-informed preparedness plans; and substantially increasing the number of regional networks for knowledge management and capacity development.
The host country, Mauritius, allocates 2% of its gross domestic product (GDP) to DRR, approximately US$230 million annually. [IISD RS Coverage of the Meeting] [Meeting Website: Sixth Session of Africa Regional Platform and Fifth High-Level Meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction] [Programme of Action for the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR 2015-2030 in Africa] [Mauritius Declaration on the Implementation of the Sendai Framework in Africa] [Sendai Framework for DRR 2015-2030] [Opening speech by Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for DRR and Head of UNISDR Robert Glasser] [UNISDR Press Release on Ending the “Tyranny of Ignorance” on Disaster Risk] [UNISDR Press Release on Africa “Speaking with One Voice” on DRR] [UNISDR Press Release on Outcomes of the Meeting] [UNISDR Press Release on Mauritius’s DRR Investment]
Publications Address Resilience, Climate Risk Protection Gap
Several recent publications have focused on resilience. Titled ‘Arctic Resilience Report 2016’ and published by the Arctic Council, the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and partners, one such report uses the concepts of resilience and social-ecological systems to provide a holistic view of the Arctic. [Arctic Resilience Report 2016] [SEI Publication Landing Page] [Arctic Council Arctic Resilience Report Webpage] [We ADAPT Press Release]
The World Disasters Report, themed ‘Resilience: saving lives today, investing for tomorrow,’ was issued by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). It identifies the need to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable and at-risk communities by investing in resilience in order to save lives and money. [World Disasters Report: Resilience: Saving Lives Today, Investing for Tomorrow] [IFRC Publication Landing Page] [Climate-ADAPT November 2016 Newsletter]
Titled ‘Resilience scan April-June 2016: A review of literature, debates and social media activity on resilience,’ a report by the UK Overseas Development Institute (ODI) summarizes writing and debates in the field of resilience during the second quarter of 2016, focusing primarily on developing countries. [Resilience Scan April-June 2016: A Review of Literature, Debates and Social Media Activity on Resilience] [ODI Publication Landing Page] [We ADAPT Press Release]
ClimateWise, a global network of 29 insurance industry organizations convened by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, issued two reports: ‘Investing for Resilience’ and ‘Closing the Protection Gap: ClimateWise Principles Independent Review 2016.’ The reports warn of the urgent need to address the growing US$100 billion annual climate risk “protection gap.” [Closing the Protection Gap: ClimateWise Principles Independent Review 2016] [Closing the Protection Gap: ClimateWise Principles Independent Review 2016 Landing Page] [Investing for Resilience] [Investing for Resilience Landing Page] [ClimateWise Press Release]
Power of Business Harnessed for DRR
On 5 December 2016, the first meeting of the Sustainable Insurance Forum convened in San Francisco, US, and launched an international network of insurance regulators and supervisors to promote cooperation on critical sustainable insurance challenges, such as climate change. Co-hosted by the California Department of Insurance and UN Environment, the inaugural meeting of the Forum approved the Forum’s first year work programme for 2017, which includes a focus on disclosure, access to insurance, sustainable insurance roadmaps, climate risk, DRR and capacity building for supervisors. [UNEP Press Release]
The role of business in DRR was also recognized through a three-year extension of the Get Airports Ready for Disaster (GARD), a partnership between UNDP and global logistics company Deutsche Post DHL Group.
The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies (ARISE) and Peru created an ARISE-Peru national chapter to harness the power of the private sector to reduce the impacts of natural and manmade hazards. The formalization of ARISE-Peru was carried out through the signing of an agreement between UNISDR, via its Regional Office for the Americas, and the National Society of Industries of Peru (SNI), which will serve as the national focal point for the Alliance. [UNISDR Press Release] [ARISE Website]
The role of business in DRR was also recognized through a three-year extension of the Get Airports Ready for Disaster (GARD), a partnership between the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and global logistics company Deutsche Post DHL Group.
The project, funded by the Government of Germany, has benefited over 600 people in 36 airports across 18 countries since 2009. As of December 2016, GARD has been implemented in Armenia, Bangladesh, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Macedonia, Mauritius, Nepal, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Turkey. [UNDP Press Release]
In other adaptation news, a number of countries advanced their domestic efforts to mainstream adaptation in domestic policies, and some publications focused on national adaptation action.
Palestine Submits NAP, Publications Draw Lessons from Community-Based Adaptation
On 11 November 2016, Palestine submitted to the UNFCCC Secretariat its National Adaptation Plan (NAP). Palestine’s NAP includes: an assessment of historic trends in climate; identification and prioritization of vulnerabilities; future climate scenarios; identification and prioritization of adaptation options; future developments required for Palestine’s institutions to be able to participate in climate modelling research; an outline of the process for future monitoring and evaluation; and information on the next steps. [Palestine’s NAP] [UNFCCC NAP Central]
A report, titled ‘Climate Adaptation: The State of Practice in US Communities,’ written by Abt Associates with funding from The Kresge Foundation, was released in November 2016. Based on a study of 17 communities, the publication seeks to identify: what motivates communities to take adaptive action; what communities are doing to adapt; how communities are implementing adaptation actions; and what communities are achieving through adaptation. [Climate Adaptation: The State of Practice in US Communities] [CAKE Press Release]
Guatemala convened the second National Congress on Climate Change in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, from 5-7 October 2016, where climate change adaptation featured prominently on the agenda. Participants discussed, inter alia, ‘Project AVE: Adaptation, Vulnerability and Ecosystems’ addressed in a presentation by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) titled ‘Communities with Natural Intelligence: The Approach of Ecosystem-based Adaptation.’ [IUCN Press Release]
Other recent publications address agricultural water management under climate change and the social and gender differentiation of capacities to adapt and innovate. [Climate Change and Agricultural Water Management in Developing Countries] [Understanding Adaptive Capacity and Capacity to Innovate in Social-Ecological Systems: Applying a Gender Lens] [WorldFish Press Release on Chapter from Climate Change and Agricultural Water Management in Developing Countries: Aquaculture Adaptation to Climate Change in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta] [WorldFish Press Release on Understanding Adaptive Capacity and Capacity to Innovate in Social-Ecological Systems: Applying a Gender Lens]