Mainstreaming Environmental Sustainability, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change

Dealing with the impacts of climate change and natural catastrophes is becoming an increasingly high priority for decision makers across the globe. The amount of global GDP exposed to harm by disasters had tripled from $525.7 billion 40 years ago to $1.58 trillion. Moreover, climate change is expected to increase the risk of disasters, and many of the predicted impacts of climate changes are identical to those being currently addressed by hazard managers, particularly in coastal areas and watercourses. Better coordination between adaptation and disaster risk reduction (DRR) planning requires a better understanding of where the linkages lie and how they can be operationalised. And while there is a general agreement globally that both adaptation and DRR should be mainstreamed in development planning, in practice there is a need for better clarity as to what this would entail and how to actually achieve it.

This workshop will discuss similarities and singularities of disaster risk reduction and adaptation to climate change, with a focus on coastal and freshwater habitats. It aims to outline specific disaster and climate related risks faced by societies and economies, illustrating the role that ecosystem and land-use planning play in reducing these risks, and discussing the challenges faces by decision makers in integrating environmental issues in development planning, as well as opportunities to overcome them. The discussion will cover challenges and opportunities of integrating environmental considerations in national planning, public funding and private investment; accounting for co-benefits that support other development objectives and scaling up integrated and ecosystem-based approaches to enable resilient development.

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