Context Global environmental change and natural hazards not beyond our control, nor are their impacts Sustainable development necessary to reduce vulnerability – development not always sustainable Responding to climate change requires understanding how to manage risk: lessons from disaster risk reduction community (practitioners, experts) Uncertainty about future change is not a limitation – most risk is caused by our exposure and sensitivity to a hazard, not the hazard itself
Evolution of Discourse? El Salvador: 2001 Nicaragua: 2008
Adaptation Process of adjusting to a changing climate, through explicit and planned interventions, or spontaneously as a consequence of inherent flexibility
Disaster risk reduction Interventions, approaches and policy frameworks to avoid or minimise hazard impacts on societies and environment, focusing on reducing vulnerability to hazards Expanded beyond risk management to incorporate lessons into planning: focus on reducing risk, rather than only on reconstructing the previous conditions (disaster accumulation)
Similarities Adaptation about reducing vulnerability to climate hazards; disaster risk reduction about reducing vulnerability to all natural hazards. For both the emphasis is on vulnerability reduction Both long-term processes and are not quick-fix approaches …but in reality both focused more on impacts and their consequences
Similarities Development lies at the heart of both adaptation and disaster risk reduction Community-based adaptation one of the only areas where adaptation is taking place on the ground with close links with similar disaster risk reduction efforts in communities (CBDRM)
Differences Different actors and lack of communication Adaptation can be a response to positive changes; DRR always a response to negative events DRR local issue, whereas climate change is a regional and global issue. This implies differences in levels of intervention, responsibility, impact and relevance
Differences Climate change seen as abstract, disasters seen as real. Most people cannot conceptualise climate change, but have experienced or witnessed at least one disaster Uncertainty in climate change impacts makes understanding it difficult; imagining a disaster is easier
Differences Difference between emergency operations and long-term outlook of adaptation: role of humanitarian relief in disaster operations not consistent with risk and vulnerability reduction approach, nor with long-term outlook of adaptation Disaster risk reduction uses less technical language than climate change science and policy.
Questions Are the practical differences greater than the theoretical/conceptual differences? How far should synergy-building go? Can people on the ground differentiate between the types of risk? Does it matter? How can coping strategies during disaster (eg. drought) be implemented to avoid depleting assets?
More questions Why do governments and other actors not have stronger institutional linkages between adaptation and disaster risk reduction at the implementation level? What are examples of on-the-ground projects that have successfully addressed both adaptation to climate change and disaster risk reduction?
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