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Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
THU4.2: “Making the Connection” – Practical experiences on linking disaster disk reduction, climate change adaptation and ecosystem management
Time: Thursday, 30/Aug/2012: 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Session Chair: Eva Maria WUTTGE, GIZ
Location: Flüela

Session organized by GIZ


“Making the connection” – practical experiences on linking disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and ecosystem management

Eva Maria WUTTGE

GIZ, Germany, Federal Republic of

Within an overall global context of increased land degradation, urbanization, scarcity of resources and population growth, disasters further exacerbate existing poverty and inequality and reverse development gains. In addition, due to climate change - leading to more frequent and severe weather events such as storms, floods and droughts - communities and ecosystems are confronted with a “new” stress factor.

As a consequence, the complex nature of risk demands for holistic and solution-oriented approaches to sustainably reduce vulnerabilities and increase resilience of affected populations. While the tendency has been to treat different disciplines in isolation, the experience of risk reduction over the last few years has reinforced the need for more integrative approaches within the broader context of poverty reduction and sustainable development.

In particular, three disciplines are strongly interconnected due to the same and/or overlapping challenges and opportunities: Disaster risk reduction (DRR); Climate change adaptation (CCA); and Ecosystem management

But so far they have been functioning too often in disconnect: At stake is effective use of resources, as continued isolation results in duplication of efforts on the ground and damaging competition! In establishing integrated approaches not only will global policies be put into action by bringing together best practices to address multiple and converging challenges simultaneously, but also a more rapid learning process for adaptation will be facilitated.

The conceptual links between the three areas have already been established – much has been published over the last few years. Therefore, the aim is not to repeat the need for these links, which is well-known, but to demystify the concepts by breaking it down into concrete action. What does climate-sensitive disaster risk reduction mean when it comes to project activities? What do we mean exactly when we talk about ecosystem-based climate-risk reduction? Which measures have proven to be effective and what is needed to have integrative approaches? Which challenges do we face, e.g. institutional obstacles, lack of resources/ knowledge/ time?

The aim of the session is to give participants a much more concrete idea about what linking up different disciplines – disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and ecosystem management - actually means when put into practice. The focus will lie on experience from developing countries.

By the end of the session, participants will have developed a better understanding of: (1) how links were established in different project activities (tools and methods); (2) what has worked/ what has not worked and why; (3) what challenges occur and which experience exists in overcoming these

The overall approach is solution-oriented. The main target groups are practitioners and project managers from the three disciplines. Short presentations, focusing on answering the three points listed above, will provide project examples from different regions. Enough room will be given for discussions to foster peer-exchange.

Proposed session outline - Agenda

Welcome and brief overview of agenda


Presenter: Thomas Piesch/ Head of Division “Recovery and rehabilitation, WFP, crisis unit”, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Conceptual Overview

Presenter: PD Dr. Joern Birkmann / United Nations University - Institute for Environment and Human Security, Head of Section “Vulnerability Assessment”

Title: Linking Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation: New Challenges and New Insights from the IPCC SREX report and own Studies

Approaches and experiences from ongoing work that can inform integrated approaches

• Presenters: Mr Joao Ribeiro / General Director of the National Disasters Management (INGC) of Mozambique & Mr Elias Massicame/ Cooperation Officer, INGC

Title: TBD

• Presenter: Mr Ali Raza Rizvi/ Programme Manager Southeast Asia, IUCN

Title: Enhancing Community Resilience for Climate Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction – A Case Study from Cambodia

• Presenter: Mr. Tran Kim Long/ Deputy Director General of the International Cooperation Department in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam

Title: Integrated Management of the Mangrove Forest Ecosystem for Improved Climate Resilience in Vietnam


Mozambican Experiences with Disaster Risk Reduction & Climate Change Adaptation


INGC Mozambique


Linking Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation: new challenges and new insights from the IPCC SREX report and own Studies


UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSITY Institute for Environment and Human Security

Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) are interconnected thematic areas which both deal with common themes and address similar issues such as the impact of extreme weather events on vulnerable people as well as aim to reduce this vulnerability. However, both communities often still operate in parallel without sufficient exchange and collaboration.

An important milestone in the recent past was the development of the IPCC SREX report that brought together researchers from climate change, climate impact assessment as well as vulnerability reduction and disaster risk management. The report underscores that DRR is today an important task that will need to receive even more attention in the light of climate change

Adaptation to recent and expected Climate Changes implies three tasks in particular: first adaptation to gradual changes, such as changes in average temperature and sea-level rise, secondly reducing and managing the risk linked to extremes weather related events, such as cyclones, floods etc. Thirdly, address the shifts of climate zones which might subject some regions to risks which previously had not been experienced. Challenges in terms of linking DRR and CCA encompass particularly institutional issues, problems related to risk identification and mismatches of different response strategies and measures to extreme events and creeping changes as well as in the development of validation criteria to monitor the linking of DRR and CCA.

The paper outlines particular challenges in terms of linking DRR and CCA with regard to different temporal, spatial and functional scales. Specific challenges for present approaches in DRR will be illustrated, such as new challenges for early warning and risk and vulnerability assessment. The paper concludes that a more adaptive disaster risk management is needed in order to address the challenges of climate change and climate variability more efficiently.

Enhancing community resilience for climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction – a case study from Cambodia


International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Several coastal communities in Cambodia, facing predicted sea-level rise coupled with poverty and degrading ecosystems, are at high risk from climate related changes and other disasters. IUCN and its local partners are implementing a 4-year EU funded project aiming at designing ecosystem-based adaptation and risk reduction pilot activities providing opportunities for other communities in the coastline to learn from each other. Koh Kapik, a fishing village of 1,100 people, is only accessible via boat. Assessment studies of the area indicate increasing mangrove deforestation, coastal erosion, high winds and frequent occurrence of storms for the past decade. There is significant increase in sedimentation causing the two kilometer primary access, to and from the village, via a creek almost impossible, forcing the villagers to use the open sea. This route, longer and unsafe due to strong tides, has resulted in the villagers spending more on fuel, damages to boats, and accidents; thereby, making access to markets, freshwater, health, education, etc. hazardous and expensive. This has also exposed the community to disasters; as in case of strong storms, the nearly impassable creek is the only escape route for the villagers. Hence, the local communities ranked creek rehabilitation as a top priority during the Vulnerability Assessment exercise. Further, a cost-benefit exercise pointed out the high return on investment for this activity due to resulting monetary and other benefits including risk reduction. IUCN is now facilitating the rehabilitation of the creek through ecosystem-sensitive planning. The area has been surveyed; the dredged sediment will be properly disposed and the mangrove replantation undertaken at appropriate sites to minimize future sedimentation. Possibilities of sustainable financing mechanisms are also being explored to develop a fund to be used for maintenance and conservation purposes.

Integrated management of the mangrove forest ecosystem for improved climate resilience in Vietnam

Tran Kim LONG

Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam

Vietnam is located in the tropical monsoon area - one of the five storm prone areas in the Asia Pacific region and is seen as one of the 5 countries in the world that are most vulnerable to sea level rise. Over the past 5 years, on average, disasters have resulted in the deaths of 400 people and caused economic losses of between 1 -1,5% of GDP. Therefore, the Government of Vietnam has paid great efforts to climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) while improving environmental management and community resilience. Under the Government’s political guidance, a comprehensive institutional and policy framework has been set up at both national and sub-national level and an integrated approach has been applied which includes coordinated interdisciplinary and participatory processes, where local communities are seen as the driving force. In particular, the natural protection function of mangrove forests can be used in CCA and DRR but mangroves are threatened by human impacts and by the impacts of climate change. The project “Management of Natural Resources in the Coastal Zone of Soc Trang Province” is testing innovative approaches to integrated management of mangrove forest ecosystem for improved CCA and DRR. The approach recognizes that planting alone is of little use and that newly planted mangroves must also be protected from human impacts such as destructive fishing methods. Innovative planting techniques which mimic natural regeneration, such as planting in high densities close to established trees, have been tested. Bamboo wave breakers and T-shaped fences which reduce erosion and stimulate sedimentation are used as a prerequisite for mangrove rehabilitation in erosion sites. Three years of co-management implementation has shown that co-management is an effective way of maintaining and enhancing the protection function of mangrove forests and at the same time providing livelihood for local communities.

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