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Disaster Risk Reduction in Africa Waters, Winds and Fires A UNDP-ECHO Knowledge Sharing Event on Disaster Risk Reduction Johannesburg, 25-26 th March Dr.

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Presentation on theme: "Disaster Risk Reduction in Africa Waters, Winds and Fires A UNDP-ECHO Knowledge Sharing Event on Disaster Risk Reduction Johannesburg, 25-26 th March Dr."— Presentation transcript:

1 Disaster Risk Reduction in Africa Waters, Winds and Fires A UNDP-ECHO Knowledge Sharing Event on Disaster Risk Reduction Johannesburg, th March Dr Katharine Vincent

2 Why do we need to consider DRR? Between 1991 and 2005: 3,470 million people were affected by disasters 960,000 people died Economic losses were $1,193 billion Between : 76% of all disaster events were hydrological, meteorological or climatological in nature: They accounted for 45% of the deaths and 79% of the economic losses caused by natural hazards

3 DRM vs DRR (Holloway, 2003)

4 Climate change adaptation and DRR – different histories Climate change adaptation Climate-related hazards Origin in scientific theory Future perspective Traditional focus on physical exposure Theoretical application at local level Disaster risk reduction All hazards Origin in humanitarian assistance Historical perspective Traditional focus on vulnerability reduction Practical application at local level The future - will they converge or remain distinct?

5 Risk Def: the likelihood of a detrimental outcome as a result of a particular hazard RISK = HAZARD + VULNERABILITY Expressed in terms of probability Risk is a daily occurrence Needs to be viewed in context: – Environmental risk – Social risk – Historical risk

6

7 Evolution of approaches to vulnerability –1. Natural Hazards 1970s and 1980s – Move away from the assumption that disasters are caused simply by external natural events and that disasters are normal. Positivist approach: objective studying of hazards Vulnerability refers to risk of exposure of an ecosystem to a hazard, biophysical vulnerability top-down approach that assumes humans are passive recipients of environmental change

8 Evolution of approaches to vulnerability 2.Human/Political Ecology Approach Arose out of dissatisfaction with the natural hazards approach Addresses political and structural causes of vulnerability in society Attempts to explain why the poor and marginalised have been most at risk from natural hazards Emphasises the role of economic development in adapting to changing external risk – Class structure, governance and economic dependency

9 Pressure and release model

10 Why I think they should converge: We are often talking about the same phenomena, just using different terms You cannot adapt to climate change without DRR DRR adds a lot of insights to how to adapt to incremental change Focus for convergence should be vulnerability risk assessment and vulnerability reduction Climate change adaptation is the current sexy topic – funding is available and it is high on the political agenda

11 But even if they dont, DRR must consider the effects of climate change... Disaster reduction policies and measures need to be implemented with a two-fold aim: To enable societies to be resilient to natural hazards To ensure that development efforts do not increase vulnerability to those hazards

12 (UNISDR, 2004)


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