Disaster Risk Reduction

Thematic Group Lead

Karen Sudmeier, karen.sudmeier@gmail.com

Best New Years greetings to old and new members of the IUCN CEM DRR group - with an exciting year ahead..

You may have seen the announcement for the next PEDRR (Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction) workshop to be organized in collaboration with partners UNU-EHS, CNRD, TNC... see below for more information.

I remind the "old members" that if you haven't been receiving any news from IUCN CEM in the last year, it is probably because you forgot to renew your membership - if you are still interested in IUCN CEM, please contact Pat Hawes (in cc).

Also I bring to your attention the excellent weekly newsletter on ecosystem based DRR and CCA that is sent out by the PEDRR secretariat and their twitter feeds and facebook page. If you are interested in being on the PEDRR mailing list, please contact: pedrr.secretariat@gmail.com

Best wishes for the New Year and hope to see you in 2014!


Second Call for Abstracts

International Science – Policy Workshop 2014

Ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation: guiding development policies in the 21st century

Jakarta/Bogor, Indonesia, 16-18 June 2014

Four years after its first workshop held in Bonn, 2010, which led to the publication “The Role of Ecosystems in Disaster Risk Reduction” (2013), the Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR), the Centre for Natural Resources and Development (CNRD) and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) are inviting researchers, policy makers and practitioners to a Science-Policy workshop to share success stories and discuss how the science and evidence-base of ecosystem-based DRR/CCA could more effectively inform and influence development decisions.

The PEDRR/LIPI/CNRD International 2014 workshop is being held at a time when three major global policy agendas are being negotiated, namely the post-2015 global framework on disaster risk reduction (HFA-2), the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, and the post-2015 global climate change agreement. Discussions and outputs will have clear relevance to these major policy processes. The workshop will examine how to maximize integration of DRR and CCA through ecosystem-based approaches and how these integrated strategies can help inform policies and programming that aim to build local and national resilience to disasters. The workshop will also aim to identify a research agenda for the next 10 years which would have direct relevance to policy and decision-making

Abstracts can be submitted to the following four thematic areas:

1) Evidence and economics of Eco-DRR/CCA

2) Decision making tools for Eco-DRR/CCA

3) Innovative institutional arrangements and policies for Eco-DRR/CCA

4) Cutting edge scientific research and technical innovations on Eco-DRR/CCA

The deadline for abstract submission is 10 February, 2014

Please submit your abstract (max. 300 words) with subject heading as “science-policy workshop 2014” to pedrr.secretariat@gmail.com

Information about the acceptance of your abstract will be provided by 1 March 2014. The workshop will have a maximum size of 50 participants and only abstracts of direct relevance to the four themes described above will be considered. There is no registration fee.

More information is available at:www.ehs.unu.edu

Ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (DRR) is the sustainable management, conservation and restoration of ecosystems to reduce disaster risk, with the aim to achieve sustainable and resilient development . Well-managed ecosystems, such as wetlands, forests and coastal systems, act as natural infrastructure, reducing physical exposure to many hazards and increasing socio-economic resilience of people and communities by sustaining local livelihoods and providing essential natural resources such as food, water and building materials. Ecosystem management not only offers an opportunity to strengthen natural infrastructure and human resilience against hazard
impacts, but also generates a range of other social, economic and environmental benefits for multiple stakeholders, which in turn feed back into reduced risk.

In spite of the many benefits of ecosystem based solutions for more comprehensive DRR, there are many challenges for it to become mainstreamed into DRR and adaptation measures:

• There are not enough advocacy efforts from the conservation, disaster management and climate change communities to articulate the DRR/Adaptation functions of ecosystems.
• There is insufficient technical understanding among planners/engineers to develop quantitative models to facilitate proactive use of ecosystems as a DRR/adaptation measure.
• The benefits of sustainable ecosystem management are spread across so many sectors that the topic does not receive singular attention from any of the development sectors (e.g. agriculture, health, education, culture or DRR).
• Ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction does not lend itself to easy identification of measurable targets or goals (e.g. X percentage of disaster losses reduced due to well-functioning ecosystems, $ saved by wetlands preservation for flood reduction).
• In addition, there remain many critical gaps between best practices and the reality of current DRR and CCA

As a cross-cutting theme, IUCN DRR activities at the global level are coordinated by the IUCN Ecosystem Management Programme, and supported by the expertise of CEM members. These activities include coordination and communications about DRR across IUCN, collecting and disseminating lessons learned about projects and processes that integrate ecosystem management, sustainable livelihoods and disaster risk reduction at the regional level. IUCN regional offices are in the forefront of developing innovative approaches to watershed management, institutional capacity building and collaborative project that integrate disaster risk and climate change adaptation.

CEM is actively working in partnership with interested and qualified CEM members and especially with the Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR), a global alliance of 15 international organisations, academic institutions and NGOs. Collaborative efforts involving CEM members include a growing “community of practice” for educational and scientific exchanges in the field of ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction, participation in periodic PEDRR national workshops on ecosystem-based DRR and periodic technical inputs to IUCN on specific requests for feedback.