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Risks, Vulnerability to Natural Hazards and the Adaptation Policy Framework Pascal Girot, Environmental Risk Advisor, UNDP-BDP-Panama SURF GLOBAL REGIONAL NATIONAL LOCAL Climate Change- Sea Level Rise Stratospheric Ozone Depletion Global Extinction/Fisheries Collapse

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risks vulnerability to natural hazards and the adaptation policy framework

Risks, Vulnerability to Natural Hazards and the Adaptation Policy Framework

Pascal Girot, Environmental Risk Advisor, UNDP-BDP-Panama SURF

scaled environmental risks




Climate Change- Sea Level Rise

Stratospheric Ozone Depletion

Global Extinction/Fisheries Collapse

Nitrification/Acidification of international waters

Weather related disasters

POPs, Biosafety,Genetic erosion

Water related diseases

Land degradation

Scaled Environmental Risks
ipcc s tar findings
IPCC’s TAR Findings
  • The IPCC TAR predicts that Climate Change will result over the next decades in increased coastal flooding and infrastructure damage due to sea level rise; higher maximum temperatures with more droughts, heat waves, and fires in many areas; more intense tropical storms; more intense precipitation events; and intensified droughts and floods associated with El Niño events
idrnd and the isrnd
  • The International Decade for the Reduction of Natural Disaster (IDRND, 1990-2000) galvanized global public opinion by revealing the steady, decade-by-decade, growth in the magnitude of loss of life and economic damages caused by natural hazards - floods, storms, earthquakes, fires, and the like. Climate change may further exacerbate weather related disaster losses.
global change and disasters
Global Change and Disasters
  • Worldwide, 14 of the 20 hottest years on record during the twentieth century occurred between 1980-2000
  • 1998 was the hottest on record, the most destructive in terms of weather related disaster loss with some US$98 Billion in damages and 32,000 casualties.
  • Total economic losses to disasters during the 1990s are nine times superior to those sustained during the 1960s (IDNDR, 1999).




key message
  • Investment in sustainable livelihoods and resilient cities through comprehensive vulnerability reduction is a more effective approach to climate change adaptation and disaster risk mitigation than the prevailing reactive humanitarian response approach.
integrated climate risk management
Integrated Climate Risk Management
  • Integrated climate risk management would need to include elements of anticipatory risk management (ensuring that future development reduces rather than increases risk), compensatory risk management (actions to mitigate the losses associated with existing risk) and reactive risk management (ensuring that risk is not reconstructed after disaster events).
disaster response cycle
Disaster Response Cycle

Ø Mitigation: Activities to prevent or reduce impacts of a catastrophic event prior to its occurrence, such as land use planning, retrofitting, building codes and public education.

  • Preparedness: Activities to improve the effectiveness of response and recovery, such as establishing warning systems, developing hazard plans and storing emergency supplies.
  • Response: Activities during the acute phase of the disaster designed to minimise loss of life and restore basic services, such as rescue efforts, and provision of food, shelter and medical aid.
  • Recovery: Restoration and reconstruction of the community through emergency repairs, gradual restoration of structures and infrastructure, and replacement of capital stock.
forms of mitigation
Forms of Mitigation
  • Structural approaches seek to use engineering to make buildings and lifelines more capable of withstanding extreme events.
  • Non-structuralapproaches employ land-use controls, information dissemination, and economic incentives to reduce or prevent disaster vulnerability.
  • Risk-spreading measures increase economic and technological system resilience through damage and revenue loss insurance, and through the addition of redundancy to lifelines.
unfccc 3 stages for national communications
UNFCCC 3 stages for National Communications
  • Stage I: Planning, which includes studies of possible impacts of climate change to identify particularly vulnerable countries or regions, and policy options for adaptation and appropriate capacity building.
  • Stage II: Measures, including further capacity building which may be taken to prepare for adaptation as envisaged in Article 4.1(e).
  • Stage III: Measures to facilitate adequate adaptation, including insurance and other adaptation measures as envisaged by Articles 4.1(b) and 4.4.
  • [i]Source: UNFCCC http://www.unfccc.int/resource/docs/cop1/07a01.htm
forms of adaptation
Forms of Adaptation
  • Autonomous adaptation to climate change is essentially an unconscious process of system-wide coping, most commonly understood in terms of ecosystem adjustments.
  • Reactive adaptation, as the name implies, involves a deliberate response to a climatic shock or impact, in order to recover and prevent similar impacts in the future.
  • Anticipatory adaptation involves planned action, in advance of climate change, to prepare for and minimize its potential impacts. Such actions can aim at enhancing the buffering capacities of natural systems in the face of climate extremes.
undps adaptation policy framework
UNDPs Adaptation Policy Framework
  • The COP has agreed that Parties can proceed to the second stage of adaptation strategy development.
  • Specifically, the Least Developed Countries (LDC) are designing National Adaptation Programs of Action (NAPAs) to address their urgent adaptation needs
  • APF is characterized by longer timeframes, both for conducting studies and for assessing adaptations
  • Marrakesh, COP7 decided on an Adaptation Fund
what is an adaptation policy
What is an Adaptation Policy
  • In the APF, “adaptation policy” refers to any broad governmental decision aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change
  • For example, a national government may have a drought mitigation policy aimed at reducing the associated adverse impacts.
  • The policy is likely to include many different measures, such the provision of additional water supplies, the substitution of drought-tolerant crops, the storage of emergency grain supplies, the issuing of drought forecasts and warnings, and possibly the provision of crop insurance.
  • The purpose of a policy is two-fold: to ensure that all accompanying measures are mutually related to focus on the same objectives, and to ensure that these measures are efficiently and effectively implemented
apf s four principles
APF’s Four Principles

1.Adaptation policy and measures are assessed in a developmental context.

2.Adaptation to short-term climate variability and extreme events are explicitly included as a step toward reducing vulnerability to longer-term climate change

3.Adaptation occurs at different levels in society, including at the local level.

4.Equal importance is placed on both the adaptation strategy and the process needed for its implementation


Engage stakeholders

1. Scope Project Design

Sustainable development objectives

Information review, including impact studies andNational Communications

Project development

Increase adaptive capacity

2. Assess Current Vulnerability

Climate risks and impacts Socio-economic conditions

Vulnerability assessments,

Adaptation experience and capacity, Policy and development needs

3. Characterise Future Climate-related Risks

Climate trends, risks and opportunities

Socio-economic trends, risks and opportunities

Natural resource and environment trends

Barriers and opportunities for enhancing adaptation

4. Develop Adaptation Strategy

Policy options identified and synthesised

Policies and measures prioritised

Adaptation strategy formulated and endorsed

5. Continue Adaptation Process

Incorporate adaptation policies and measures into development plans. Evaluate adaptation needs

Review and monitor the effectiveness of policies, measures and projects



how to develop an adaptation baseline
How to develop an adaptation baseline
  • Crude measures of effective adaptation are mortality, morbidity, and economic losses associated with climate risk. Often, data on such losses are available for climate extremes.
towards greater policy synergies
  • Cost-effective integration of multiple sustainable development objectives – disaster risk reduction, conservation of biodiversity, mitigation of climate change and targeting of the poor - could make targeted natural resource management a compelling “win-win” adaptation option, attractive to policymakers and donors, even among cash-strapped developing countries.