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Disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in the Pacific: the challenge of integration

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A. Gero
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This paper presents the integration of DRR and CCA initiatives in the pacific community, and draws upon the knowledge and insight of key stakeholders from multiple backgrounds to develop an understanding of the current status of DRR and CCA in the region. It presents detailed case studies of current projects in Fiji and Samoa which highlight the challenges and best practice methods used to integrate DRR and CCA in current community-based projects. Through the Earth System Governance framework of the 5 As (Agency, Architecture, Adaptability, Accountability, and Allocation), the research explores solutions through both formal and informal mechanisms in the Pacific. The authors argue that DRR and CCA initiatives in the Pacific are evolving in such a way that past obstacles to integration are slowly dissolving. It notes that agency is significant in integration between DRR and CCA projects. The ways in which agents interact, and how agency is recognised within and between the DRR and CCA communities impacts upon the level and quality of integration between DRR and CCA. It also shows the importance of the cultural and institutional architectural context. The document presents guidelines and accompanying activities which provide illustrations of possible solutions to overcome common challenges to integrating DRR and CCA:

be aware of agents operating in the DRR and CCA fields
familiarise with existing DRR and CCA architecture
ensure genuine participation from the outset so as to be accountable to all stakeholders
be adaptive to local needs
ensure careful consideration when allocating resources 

It further presents activities which accompany the guidelines and can be used by actors and agents embarking upon a DRR, CCA or integrated projects, such as: who’s who and what do they do?; the architecture underpinning DRR and CCA; and adaptability in community based adaptation. The research recommends that:

there is a need to be aware of existing DRR and CCA agents, and their roles and responsibilities so as to be actively inclusive
there is need to recognise the differing funding, policy, and legislative frameworks within which DRR and CCA operate
it is to adapt projects to local needs and capacity
a wider institutional re-organisation of the DRR and CCA architecture is required
adhering to governance mechanisms from the local to global is necessary
agents need to come together to communicate and engage with each other more often to overcome the divide that separates DRR and CCA.