Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation: Understanding Framework Roadblocks

Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation: Understanding Framework Roadblocks

Climate change is the greatest environmental challenge of our time. In response to natural hazards and disaster-related risks, many initiatives have been developed with the aim of building resilience across the globe at the local community, regional and national levels.

Tonkin + Taylor is proud to be at the leading edge of developing climate change resilience. Our specialists are leading best practice in climate risk assessments, climate change adaptation (CCA) planning, and disaster risk reduction (DRR). This includes developing coherence in climate change and DRR for sustainable development. 

However, major challenges remain – problems with the multiple frameworks being a significant one.

Integrating climate change, disaster risk and sustainable development is crucial to building and sustaining resilience. However, established frameworks such as the Paris Agreement, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development currently lack effective coordination and collaboration between them. This has resulted in duplicate activities, risk-related data gaps that hamper decision making and incomplete or ineffective planning and policy development.

Understanding the problem is half the solution and Tonkin + Taylor is leading the research. On behalf of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), Tonkin + Taylor has undertaken an extensive analysis across 10 climate-vulnerable countries to identify the roadblocks. These include analysis of climate change-related documents from Benin, Ethiopia, Fiji, Guyana, Kiribati, Malawi, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Uganda.

As a result, Tonkin + Taylor’s research across these target countries identified problems stemming from the lack of metadata standardisation; restrictions on data-sharing between entities; and lack of systematic data collection in differential vulnerability domains such as natural environments, human economy, and built environments etc. 

Better data enables better decisions. Shedding light on climate response challenges, however, has also enhanced the quality of risk-related data government agencies can use to develop their national adaptation plans. 

Led by Bapon Fakhruddin, Technical Director at Tonkin + Taylor with DRR Consultants Benjamin Sims and Neeraj Shankar, the 10-country study has enabled the UNDRR to provide more targeted and effective technical support to current and future national adaptation planning. That means better, more effective resilience planning and climate change action. It also assists policymakers at the country level and supporting organisations to enhance climate-resilience efforts at the regional and global level. But what is an effective, practical approach?

DRR and CCA Integration offer an effective way forward. Defined as six distinct measures and activities, bringing together DRR and CCA activities provides a comprehensive and coherent approach to:

  • Reduce vulnerabilities to climate change
  • Build resilience of people, systems and societies by managing risks and adjusting to climate change
  • Enable opportunity for sustainable development

While challenges remain, Tonkin + Taylor is proud of our ongoing contribution towards bringing improved coherence in climate change resilience across the globe.