Adaptation and Loss and Damage Update: Focus on Linkages between Disaster Risk and Poverty, Health-Climate Nexus
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Over the last two weeks, numerous local and regional initiatives have contributed to the enhancement of disaster risk reduction (DRR).

These initiatives focused on a host of issues, including: the role of the private sector in DRR; the role of technology in urban resilience; early warning systems and forecast services; interlinkages among resilience and poverty; and disaster resilience financing, to name but a few.

Recent publications and initiatives also gave prominence to the health-climate nexus and gender-responsive adaptation.

22 November 2016: While the Marrakech Climate Conference was taking place and addressed various adaptation-related issues, numerous local and regional initiatives contributed to the enhancement of disaster risk reduction (DRR).

These initiatives focus on a host of issues, including: the role of the private sector in DRR; the role of technology in urban resilience; early warning systems and forecast services; interlinkages among resilience and poverty; and disaster resilience financing. Recent publications and initiatives also gave prominence to the health-climate nexus and gender-responsive adaptation.

Initiatives, Publications Bring into Focus the Role of Technology in DRR, Interlinkages among Disaster Risk and Poverty

The third and final session of an Open-ended Intergovernmental Expert Working Group on Indicators and Terminology Relating to DRR convened in Geneva, Switzerland, from 14-18 November 2016. A detailed set of benchmarks for success developed as a result is expected to be submitted to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) for approval in early 2017.

Following adoption of the Sendai Framework for DRR, the UNGA established, in its Resolution 69/284 of 3 June 2015, the Working Group to develop indicators to measure global progress on the Sendai Framework’s seven targets. [Webpage of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Expert Working Group on Indicators and Terminology Relating to DRR] [Third Session Webpage] [Draft Report of the Third Session] [UNISDR Press Release on the Opening of Third Session] [UNISDR Press Release on the Closing of Third Session] [Sendai Framework for DRR] [UNGA Resolution 69/284]

Initiatives of the past few weeks brought into focus issues such as the role of the private sector in DRR, the role of technology in urban resilience, and early warning systems and forecast services, among others.

The role of the private sector in DRR was highlighted during the Second Business Conference on the theme, ‘Connecting the Dots: Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development,’ organized by the Mona School of Business and Management in Kingston, Jamaica, from 9-11 November 2016. Conference participants identified the need for public-private partnerships (PPPs) that build resilience in critical infrastructure. The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) urged governments, businesses and communities in island countries to work together to curb the damaging impacts of climate change-associated hazards.

Promotion of DRR and resilience building in business education is part of the work of the UNISDR Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies (ARISE). [UNISDR Press Release] [ARISE Website]

The role of technology in urban resilience was addressed at the ‘K-Safety’ conference, convened by the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Public Safety and Security on 17 November 2016. Participants focused on harnessing hi-tech to support disaster prevention, forecasting and response, and building resilience at the community level. [UNISDR Press Release] [UNISDR Making Cities Resilience Campaign Webpage]

Other recent initiatives related to DRR include: the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) initiative allocating US$12 million to improving early warning systems and forecast services in Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and small island developing States (SIDS) in the Pacific; a message from a Thai DRR journalist urging the media to move beyond simply describing events by seeking to help their audiences to better protect themselves from various hazards; and Uganda integrating DRR in the school curriculum. [UNISDR Press Release on Thai Journalist Championing DRR] [UNISDR Press Release on CREWS] [WMO Press Release on CREWS] [UNISDR Press Release on Uganda Integrating DRR in School Curriculum]

Several recently issued publications enhance knowledge on the various aspects of DRR. A World Bank and Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) publication titled ‘Unbreakable: Building the Resilience of the Poor in the Face of Natural Disasters’ explores linkages between disaster risk and poverty. [Unbreakable: Building the Resilience of the Poor in the Face of Natural Disasters] [Publication Overview] [World Bank Press Release]

The ‘Climate and Disaster Resilience Financing in Small Island Developing States’ report by the World Bank, the GFDRR and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) addresses critical challenges in climate and disaster risk financing in SIDS. [Climate and Disaster Resilience Financing in Small Island Developing States] [World Bank Press Release]

A World Bank progress report on the implementation of its Africa Climate Business Plan (ACBP) titled ‘Accelerating Climate-Resilient and Low-Carbon Development’ addresses the ACBP three clusters: strengthening resilience; powering resilience; and enabling resilience. [Accelerating Climate-Resilient and Low-Carbon Development: Progress Report on the Implementation of the ACBP] [Publication Landing Page] [World Bank Press Release]

‘Novel Multi-Sector Partnerships in Disaster Risk Management: Results of the ENHANCE project’ details the outcomes of the four-year ENHANCE project, the core objective of which was to develop novel ways to enhance society’s resilience to natural disasters. The project focused on ten case studies spanning the European continent, and addressed a range of risks and hazards. [Novel Multi-Sector Partnerships in Disaster Risk Management: Results of the ENHANCE Project] [Publication Leaflet] [ENHANCE Press Release] [ENHANCE Publication Webpage] [Climate-ADAPT Press Release]

The Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) project published its November 2016 issue of ASSAR Spotlight, focusing on learning experiences and outlining project outputs for the second half of 2016. [ASSAR Spotlight on Learning] [University of Cape Town Press Release] [We Adapt Press Release]

Publications Highlight Gender-Responsive Adaptation, Research Collaboration to Explore Health-Climate Nexus

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) brought spotlight to gender-responsive adaptation in a series of publications: ‘Filling Buckets, Fueling Change – Ensuring Gender-Responsive Climate Change Adaptation’; ‘Equal Access to Water: Improving gender relations around water access, use & governance in six countries’; and ‘Women. Food. Climate. Achieving food & nutritional security in six countries through gender-responsive approaches.’ [Filling Buckets, Fueling Change – Ensuring Gender-Responsive Climate Change Adaptation] [Equal Access to Water: Improving Gender Relations Around Water Access, Use & Governance in Six Countries] [Women. Food. Climate. Achieving Food & Nutritional Security in Six Countries Through Gender-Responsive Approaches]

On 14 November 2016, global experts launched ‘Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change,’ a multi-disciplinary research collaboration between academic institutions and practitioners around the world, to address the different aspects of the relationship between health and climate change. Specifically, the Lancet Countdown aims to track the health impacts of climate hazards; health resilience and adaptation; health co-benefits of climate change mitigation; economics and finance; and political and broader engagement. [Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change] [CGIAR Press Release] [Climate-ADAPT Press Release]

Projects Help SIDS Adapt to Climate Change, Increase Crop Yields in Morocco

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) announced a US$1.5 million project, funded through the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund for Food Security, which will support Cabo Verde, Comoros, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritius, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Seychelles in their efforts to make their agriculture more resilient to climate change. [FAO Press Release] [FAO’s Africa Solidarity Trust Fund for Food Security Webpage]

A Global Environment Facility (GEF) Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) project helped the agricultural community in the Moroccan town of Settat adapt to climate change through financing the purchase of direct seeding machines enabling small farmers to seed without laboring the soil. [GEF Press Release]

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