In integration we consider how disasters and climate change affect development prospects. Development agencies require to make these issues part of their decision making processes to make sure that the best long term outcomes are achieved. Integration is a precondition for an organisation that set their goals to achieve sustainable development outcomes. Put simply, it is good development practice.
Approach to integration is to jointly consider disaster risk reduction and climate change impacts because these issues have significantly common characteristics. These are united by the strong relationship between developments. Common factors such as poverty, poor governance, rapid population growth, poor land use planning and limited livelihood options make populations vulnerable to natural disasters and climate change. Information on climate change is building a new perception of disasters as of man-made.
Development, risk reduction and climate change occupy separate policy spheres despite the fact that they interact and overlap on all levels. The experts living in those separate planets use to think from their own sphere of thoughts. Thus, there arise differences in concepts and perspectives between the development, disaster risk reduction and climate change fields. The main challenges would be to bridge these spheres. In particular, the Bali Action Plan agreed by Governments in December 2007 clearly identifies consideration of disaster reduction strategies for enhancing action on adaptation, and is a significant step toward achieving a properly integrated approach. HRVA activities would consider climate change related risks and to consider how to adjust risk assessment and reduction measures in response to projected changes in risk patterns. Short term coping mechanisms for DRR become adaption in the long term.
But it is at national and local levels that most efforts to reduce disaster and climate change risks must be made, and here the disintegration of sectoral policies is often a hurdle to integrated approaches. Disaster risk reduction is not itself a sector, and to be effective it requires informed action in and across many sectors, from education and health to infrastructure and environmental regulation. There is also other cross cutting issues like gender mainstreaming.
In developing countries where the occurrence of natural disasters and the impact of climate change strongly influence the rate of development progress, these issues need to be appropriately considered in initial decisions making process. At the program level, activities will consider the impact of climate change and natural disasters to ensure development is safeguarded from natural hazards, and does not create new forms of vulnerability. How disaster risk reduction, climate change and the development is integrated in policies, programs and related activities will vary by country and region.
Following points to be considered:
- · Empowering communities by building their awareness and capacities
- · Identify Climate Related Risk while doing HRVA at community level (recently I was facilitating one workshop on Climate change adaptation and DRR. Participants, mainly NGOs, pointed out this as the integrating point of the issues)
- · Reducing disaster risk through effective design, training and supervision ( local self government should be sensitized and empowered to consider these issues in their development plan)
- · Inclusion of Climate Change Adaptation and DRR into community level development plans and processes
- · Upward integration of plans for mainstreaming
- · Considering climate change when developing infrastructure
- · Developing a strategy for integration of DRR at all social development programs—a process for ensuring inclusion and sustainability
- · Reducing risk by building back better after a disaster