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UNISDR Briefing Note 1 - Climate change and disaster risk reduction

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Climate change and disaster risk reduction (DRR) are closely linked. Increased extreme weather events in the future are likely to increase the number and scale of disasters while the existing methods and tools of DRR provide powerful capacities for adaptation to climate change. This briefing note by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Secretariat (UNISDR), outlines the nature and significance of climate change for disaster risk, and perspectives and approaches of DRR and how they can support adaptation strategies.This briefing gives operational definitions of climate change, weather and climate and presents the causes of climate change. It goes on to enumerate how climate change will affect sectors of water, food, industry, settlement and society and health. The authors show how climate change will affect different regions of the world and present the following ways of addressing climate change problems:

mitigation and adaptation address the root cause by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and manage the impacts of climate change
adaptation through DRR and the Hyogo Framework:

ensures that DRR is a national and local priority with a strong institutional basis for implementation
identifies assesses and monitors disaster risks and enhances early warning, uses knowledge, innovation and education to build a culture of safety and resilience at all levels
reduces the underlying risk factors
strengthens disaster preparedness for effective response at all levels.

The paper gives practical examples of adaptation and DRR and highlights the cost-effectiveness of DRR as an adaptation measure contextualising it in the UNFCCC process. UNISDR recommends the following:

develop national coordination mechanisms to link DRR and adaptation.
conduct a baseline assessment on the status of DRR and adaptation efforts.
prepare adaptation plans drawing on the Hyogo Framework.