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Disaster risk management in a changing climate

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Author:
F. Sperling
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As awareness of climate change and disaster risk reduction increases there is a real opportunity to reduce current and future vulnerabilities to climate risks by expanding on disaster risk management efforts. This paper discusses links and disparities between disaster risk management and climate change adaptation, including opportunities and barriers for collaboration.Given that there is a direct influence from development processes on vulnerability to climate change hazards it is essential that risk management takes place within the development context. The authors recognise that at the current time there are institutional, political and financial barriers for achieving this.The first step to climate change adaptation begins with addressing existing vulnerabilities to current climatic events and therefore links directly with disaster risk management; building a multi-hazard approach would allow for a more comprehensive accounting of risks. There are two necessary steps to promote a fully integrated approach to disaster risk management:identify the information, experience and methodologies that experts can provideovercome the institutional barriers to facilitate integration of this experience within development, climate change adaptation and disaster risk management.The next step would be a shift towards a programmatic approach allowing for comprehensive communication of natural hazard and climate change within the overall development process.