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Vulnerability, adaptation and climate disasters: a conceptual overview

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F. Yamin
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The policy paper (a primer to a more comprehensive policy bulletin) draws insights from the Linking Climate Adaptation (LCA) project, and addresses climate change adaptation and developing countries’ vulnerabilities to extreme climate change events. The document examines in overview country case studies and syntheses, the future climate research agenda and the rationale of the LCA Network that aims to link adaptation policy makers, practitioners and communities impacted by climate. The findings of this conceptual paper are:climate change is a serious, ongoing threat to development and will add burdens to those already poor and vulnerableclimate vulnerability analysis should be incorporated systematically into the three main policy and institutional frameworks relevant for adaptation: development, disaster relief and climate changethese three domains should be linked more closely in policy and institutional terms. In policy terms they should share an overarching goal: reduction of climate change-related vulnerabilitiesinstitutional and epistemic linkages should be strengthened with the climate change regime playing a catalysing, bridging role aiming to reorientate development and disaster relief towards tackling the structural causes of vulnerabilitiescommunities must take centre stage in conducting vulnerability analysis and institutional support should be provided to support their agency in forward implementation efforts to enhance their long-term capacities for adaptation.The authors conclude that the LCA project identified an urgent need to tackle some of the underlying factors that generate climate-related vulnerabilities. The gap between this recognition and practical efforts must be bridged swiftly if people are to be protected and development itself "climate proofed". This means prioritising the interests of vulnerable communities and linking policy domains in order to synergise their collective efforts.