As State representatives and numerous stakeholders from around the world convene for the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the UNFCCC, the need for effective communication between scientists, politicians and the public at large is a clear as ever.
The 2016 International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR 2016) celebrated on 16 October was marked by a number of events that brought DRR into the limelight.
Gender-inclusive climate adaptation strategies have been examined in a series of recent publications.
4 November 2016: As the world prepared for the Marrakech Climate Change Conference, which is convening from 7-18 November 2016, the past weeks saw a flurry of adaptation- and loss and damage-related activities, including those on disaster risk management (DRM) and disaster risk reduction (DRR), urban climate resilience, climate change migration and gender-inclusive adaptation strategies.
As State representatives and numerous stakeholders from around the world convene for the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the UNFCCC, the need for effective communication between scientists, politicians and the public at large is a clear as ever. In its bulletin titled ‘(Un)natural Disasters: Communicating Linkages Between Extreme Events and Climate Change,’ the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) emphasizes the importance of eliminating possible confusion about the linkages between human-induced climate change and extreme weather events. In order to enable sound advice on adaptation planning as well as on mitigation options, the bulletin reviews advancements in event attribution science, and offers suggestions for improvement in communication. [Publication: (Un)natural Disasters: Communicating Linkages Between Extreme Events and Climate Change] [Publication Landing Page] [WMO Press Release]
DRM, Climate Insurance Reduce Climate Vulnerability
On 23 September 2016, partners of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Initiative on Climate Resilience, A2R (Anticipate, Absorb, Reshape), agreed to move ahead with plans to help meet the needs of the world’s growing population affected by climate change. At its first meeting held in New York, US, on 24 September 2016, the Leadership Group of the UN-led platform discussed the need: for measurable targets for each of the A2R three pillars; and to ensure a high profile for A2R’s role in promoting the importance of climate resilience at COP 22 in Marrakech.
The A2R multistakeholder partnership was launched by world leaders during the Paris Climate Change Conference in 2015. Members of the A2R Leadership Group include Germany, Egypt, Morocco, Samoa, the World Bank, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Global Resilience Partnership, Red Cross and Red Crescent Climate Center, Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and UN Environment. The Leadership Group is charged with implementing the vision embedded in the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Sendai Framework for DRR and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). [UN Environment Press Release] [A2R Website] [Agenda of the First A2R Leadership Group Meeting] [UN Sustainable Development Website]
The Insurance Development Forum (IDF) – a public-private partnership (PPP) among the leaders of the UN, the World Bank and the insurance sector – has adopted a risk management strategy seeking to harness insurance to promote economic recovery and resilience to climate hazards and disasters among the most vulnerable.
First announced at the Paris Climate Change Conference in December 2015 and officially launched in April 2016, the IDF aims to contribute to achieving the G7 ‘InsuResilience’ target of providing the most vulnerable people in developing countries with increased access to direct or indirect insurance coverage against the impacts of climate change and related natural catastrophes by 2020. [UNISDR Press Release] [IDF Website] [Sendai Framework on DRR] [Paris Agreement on Climate Change] [The Vulnerable 20 (V20) Website]
Recent regional efforts to step up DRR encompass a host of initiatives. European DRR developments include: the Seventh Annual Meeting of the European Forum for DRR (EFDRR) held in Helsinki, Finland, from 3-5 October 2016; and the inscription by the ministerial conference of the European and Mediterranean Major Hazards Agreement (EUR-OPA) of the Sendai Framework for DRR into a four-year regional plan of action. A UN Development Programme (UNDP)-supported project ‘Technology transfer for climate resilient flood management in Vrbas River Basin’ in Bosnia and Herzegovina has contributed to the mitigation of flood effects in the Balkans. [UNISDR Press Release on Seventh Annual Meeting of the European Forum for DRR] [Seventh Annual Meeting of the European Forum for DRR Website] [UNISDR Press Release on Turkey Succeeding Finland as EFDRR Chair] [EFDRR Seventh Annual Meeting Outcomes] [UNISDR Press Release on Linkages among Disaster Risk, Climate Change and Development at EFDRR Seventh Annual Meeting] [UNISDR Press Release on Council of Europe Etching Sendai Framework for DRR into Regional Plan] [EUR-OPA Major Hazards Agreement Website] [UNDP Press Release on VRB Project]
Mongolia’s DRR efforts in the cities of Ulaanbaatar, Darkhan and Erdenet focused on urban resilience. [UNISDR Press Release on Mongolia’s DRR Efforts]
A number of DRM events took place in the Pacific. The Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management (PPDRM) conference, organized by the UNISDR and the Pacific Community (SPC), convened in Suva, Fiji, from 24-26 October 2016 under the theme ‘Build Back Better.’ The Second Pacific Islands Climate Outlook Forum (PICOF/2) that took place in Nadi, Fiji, from 17-18 October 2016 issued a regional climate and tropical cyclone outlook for 2016-2017 focusing on the impacts of the 2015-2016 El Niño. A Pacific RoadMap for Strengthening Climate Services (PRCS) workshop, held back-to-back with PICOF/2 in Nadi, Fiji, from 19-21 October 2016, also contributed to DRM in the Pacific. [UNESCO Press Release on PPDRM Conference] [UNISDR Press Release on PPDRM Conference] [PPDRM Snapshot] [WMO Press Release on PICOF/2] [WMO Press Release on Fiji Hosting PICOF/2] [PICOF/2 Regional Statement on the Impacts of the 2015/16 El Niño and 2016/17 Climate and Tropical Cyclone Outlook for the Pacific Islands] [PRCS Snapshot]
Other climate resilience-related initiatives of the past weeks have included social media outreach by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), and research on ways to support the victims of climate change-related loss and damage.
On 3 November 2016, the UNDESA hosted a Facebook chat to discuss the findings of the UNDESA World Economic and Social Survey 2016: ‘Climate Change Resilience: An opportunity for reducing inequalities’ and respond to questions from the public. [Publication: World Economic and Social Survey 2016: Climate Change Resilience: An opportunity for reducing inequalities] [Publication Landing Page] [UNDESA Press Release]
The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) released a publication titled ‘Identifying the policy space for climate loss and damage’ laying out a framework for identifying risks beyond adaptation and defining the policy space for loss and damage, including international support and action that is additional to support on adaptation or DRM. [Publication: Identifying the policy space for climate loss and damage] [IIASA Press Release] [Climate-ADAPT Press Release]
Regional and national climate change adaptation efforts of the past month have also enhanced climate resilience. Citizens from around the Mediterranean have contributed to the drafting of four River Basin Adaptation Plans for the management of their local river basins: Tordera in Spain; Pedieos in Cyprus; Rmel in Tunisia; and Vipava in Slovenia. [Tordera River Basin Adaptation Plan 2016] [Pedieos River Basin Adaptation Plan 2016] [Rmel River Basin Adaptation Plan 2016] [Vipava River Basin Adaptation Plan 2016] [BeWater Press Release] [Climate-ADAPT Press Release]
A US$4.7 million adaptation project launched in Lao People’s Democratic Republic on 14 September 2016 seeks to help communities in and around the Xe Champhone and Beung Kiat Ngong Ramsar Sites to address the impacts of climate change. The FAO and local government partners will jointly implement the project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). [Ramsar Press Release]
International Day for Disaster Reduction 2016: ‘Live to Tell’
The 2016 International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR 2016) celebrated on 16 October was marked by a number of events that brought DRR into the limelight. A panel discussion, co-hosted at UN Headquarters by Bangladesh, Switzerland, UNISDR and UNDP, reflected on the theme of the 2016 edition of IDDR ‘Live to Tell.’ [UNISDR Press Release on Meeting on IDDR 2016] [IDDR 2016 Website] [UN IDDR 2016 Webpage]
Issued on IDDR 2016, a report titled ‘Poverty & Death: Disaster Mortality 1996-2015’ reveals that after earthquakes and tsunamis, climate-related disasters cause the largest number of deaths, with 90% of disaster deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries. [Publication: Poverty & Death: Disaster Mortality 1996-2015] [UNISDR Press Release] [UN Press Release]
Urban Adaptation Efforts Enhance Climate Resilience in Cities
The Urban Adaptation Support Tool provided by the Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, and hosted on Climate-ADAPT, has published additional guidance on how to take mitigation into account in adaptation planning and implementation from the very beginning, and new links to examples of local adaptation strategies in various cities and towns across Europe. [Climate-ADAPT September 2016 Newsletter] [Urban Adaptation Support Tool: How to address the inter-relationships and co-benefits between adaptation and mitigation?] [Urban Adaptation Support Tool: Where do I find good examples of existing adaptation strategies and action plans in urban areas?]
On 12 October 2016, Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy and the Mayors Adapt initiative held an event themed ‘Supporting local climate solutions – Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy in practice: adaptation in the spotlight’ in Brussels, Belgium. [Mayors Adapt Press Release] [Meeting Agenda] [Climate-ADAPT September 2016 Newsletter]
The report from the Third Open European Day 2016, organized by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and the European Environment Agency (EEA) in Bonn, Germany, on 5 July 2016, takes stock of the experiences shared at the event and synthesizes the main findings resulting from the discussions, highlighting emerging themes and challenges, and giving some recommendations on the way forward. [Publication: 3rd Open European Day 2016 Conference Report] [Climate-ADAPT Press Release]
Publications Explore Climate Change Migration, Gender-Inclusive Adaptation Strategies
The Climate Law and Governance Initiative has published the second paper in its Climate Law and Governance Legal Working Paper Series titled ‘Development Implications of Climate Change and Migration in the Pacific.’ In light of the challenges and risks posed by climate change-induced human displacement in the region, the paper explores perceptions of the migration process in Fiji, Australia and New Zealand – the main receiving countries. [Publication: Development Implications of Climate Change and Migration in the Pacific] [Climate Law and Governance Working Paper Series Webpage]
Gender-inclusive climate adaptation strategies have been examined in a series of publications, including ‘Women. Food. Climate. Achieving food & nutritional security in six countries through gender-responsive approaches’ by Climate Adaptation UNDP, as well as a special issue of the Gender, Technology and Development journal comprising papers by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and others on: ‘Closing the Gender Gap in Agriculture’; ‘Role of Mobile Phone-enabled Climate Information Services in Gender-inclusive Agriculture’; ‘Connecting Women, Connecting Men: How Communities and Organizations Interact to Strengthen Adaptive Capacity and Food Security in the Face of Climate Change’; and ‘Climate Change, “Technology” and Gender: “Adapting Women” to Climate Change with Cooking Stoves and Water Reservoirs.’ [Publication: Women. Food. Climate. Achieving food & nutritional security in six countries through gender-responsive approaches] [Publication: Closing the Gender Gap in Agriculture] [Publication: Role of Mobile Phone-enabled Climate Information Services in Gender-inclusive Agriculture] [Publication: Connecting Women, Connecting Men: How Communities and Organizations Interact to Strengthen Adaptive Capacity and Food Security in the Face of Climate Change] [Publication: Climate Change, “Technology” and Gender: “Adapting Women” to Climate Change with Cooking Stoves and Water Reservoirs] [CCAFS Press Release]