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Linking disaster risk reduction, climate change and development

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, 7(2); Special Issue: UN Global Assessment Report 2015

Author(s): Schipper, E.L.F. ; Davis, M. ; Thomalla, F.; Vulturius, G.; Johnson, K.
Year: 2016

The purpose of the article is to advance the dialogue between the DRR and adaptation communities by investigating their differences, similarities and potential synergies. Based on a risk-based approach to the management of climate variability and change, the paper draws from a critical review of the literature on DRR and adaptation.

The study finds that known and emerging risk from disasters continues to increase dramatically in many parts of the world, and that climate change is a key driver behind it. It also finds that underlying causes of social vulnerability are still not adequately addressed in policy or practice. Linking DRR and adaptation is also complicated by different purposes and perspectives, fragmented knowledge, institutions and policy and poor stakeholder coordination.

The analysis suggests that future work in DRR and adaptation should put a much greater emphasis on reducing vulnerability to environmental hazards, if there is truly a desire to tackle the underlying drivers of disaster and climate risks. This will require coherent political action on DRR and adaptation aimed at addressing faulty development processes that are main the causes of growing vulnerability. The study concludes with a first look on the new Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and how it aims to connect with adaptation and development.

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