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Disaster risk management

Climate change is already affecting the frequency and severity of heat waves, droughts, flooding events and storms in many parts of the world. Amplified by increasing levels of exposure and persistent vulnerability, the increasing hazard risk is resulting in higher human and economic losses from disaster events. The impact of losses is felt by governments and communities alike.

Unless climate-related disaster risk management is integrated into plans for economic growth, expanded agricultural production, urban settlements and infrastructure for example, countries will face ever more serious economic and livelihood losses and interrupted development progress. Efforts to make countries more resilient to climate-related disasters and to scale up short- and long-term disaster risk management strategies are urgently needed.

We are committed to enhancing the effectiveness of disaster risk management in climate compatible development policies and practices, from local to international scales.

In support of this goal, CDKN funds a large body of research, technical assistance and knowledge management work on different aspects of climate-related disaster risk management, across Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. We are working to:

1. Increase the availability, accessibility and use of information on disaster risks and management strategies for decision makers in developing countries.

2. Understand and shape how national systems for managing disaster risks are adapted to the impact of climate change.

3. Improve the integration of disaster risk management in effective climate compatible development at national level and especially within powerful parts of government.

4. Encourage more coherent climate-related disaster risk governance across ministries, civil societies and private sector bodies.

Examples of the breadth of projects relating to disaster risk management include: a series of policy outreach events and sets of thematic and regional briefings to bring key messages from the IPCC's Special Report on Extreme Events to policy and practice audiences; a research project working with the Ahmedabad municipal government in India to reduce the health impacts of extreme heat events, resulting in the government's launch of a Heat Action Plan; and support to the El Salvador government in developing a National Climate Risk Management framework, enhancing the government's management of and response to climate-related disasters.

See a full list of CDKN's projects on climate-related disaster risk management,

To help achieve the Climate-Related Disaster Risk Management Theme goals, CDKN is also funding targeted research addressing key knowledge gaps, and conducting a series of learning events and activities. A Latin America & Caribbean-based project is investigating the drivers and barriers to the use of climate and disaster risk assessments by local and national governments, and holding a series of national and regional workshops with stakeholders to discuss this issue in late 2013. In June 2013, CDKN convened project partners and other key stakeholders in Bangkok to promote collaboration and to share experiences of what it takes to integrate disaster risk management in key sectors across government. With the new international framework for disaster risk reduction due to be signed in March 2015, CDKN is also supporting governments and other stakeholders to navigate and understand key issues for this key global agreement.

Resources produced as a result of these efforts include:

- A CDKN Guide on Risk-informed decision making: an agenda for improving risk assessments under HFA2

- A CDKN Guide on What it takes to mainstream DRM in key sectors

- A CDKN Policy Brief on how the new international disasters framework should address gender equality

- A CDKN/ ODI infographic-supported Guide for Decision Makers on the Future Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

- A CDKN blog series inviting perspectives from international experts on elements of the new global agreement for disaster risk reduction

CDKN's Climate-Related Disaster Risk Management Theme is led by Tom Mitchell, and ODI Research Fellow Emily Wilkinson is this theme's Technical Advisor. Please contact Theme Coordinator, Amy Kirbyshire in the first instance for more information.


CDKN Highlights

Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience

Focusing on the risk of climate change on development in Sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia, and South Asia, this report, Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience, provides a scientific analysis of the likely impacts on agriculture, water resources and coastal vulnerability that will be felt under various warming scenarios up to an increase of 4°C. [more...]

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