IRDR Germany reviews the links between DRR and Climate Change Adaptation strategies in Europe

DKKV, which operates as IRDR’s German National Committee, and which co-chairs the Working Group on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction of the “European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction” (EFDRR), was one of the leaders of the recent study on “How does Europe link DRR and CCA?”

“Since its creation in November 2010, the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction (EFDRR) has considered Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) to be one of the most prominent challenges for developing safe and resilient communities at local, national, regional and global scale.

As a consequence, a Working Group on CCA and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) under the EFDRR was established in 2011. Its objective is to contribute to the EFDRR agenda with the production of knowledge and information sharing on the topic of CCA and DRR linkages and which are the institutional and legal mechanisms that in the European context support the integration of those two areas of operation.

In 2012, the Working Group on CCA and DRR carried out a survey among European countries on disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA). The aim was to get an overview to which extent, and how, member countries of the EFDRR link these two issues.

The survey was sent to HFA focal points and National Platform coordinators in 43 countries. Out of these, 20 countries completed the survey fully and 4 only provided partial information. The initial findings of the survey were presented at the 3rd Annual Meeting of the EFDRR in Dubrovnik, Croatia, October 2012, and the discussion confirmed the interest of the participants to go beyond a simple survey.

This report examines key findings of the survey, and provides the basis for policy discussions and suggestions to the EFDRR towards its work on climate change adaptation. Furthermore, it provides relevant scientific background information to be taken in consideration by practitioners when implementing DRR and CCA projects. Dr. Joern Birkmann, (United Nations University, Bonn), describes the challenges to DRR and CCA interaction based on the present gaps between both approaches. The report shows that, in spite of those gaps, strong links have already been established in many countries not only as principles in policy development but also in actual implementation of DRR efforts at various levels. That convergence is in particular illustrated through examples from Poland, Norway and France on how to link in practical terms efforts in DRR with CCA, a need that is highlighted by the EU Adaption Strategy, adopted by the European Commission on April 2013.

Recognizing that implementation on the ground is the key to strengthen resilience in Europe, EFDRR will thus make use of the present report to promote stronger links between CCA and DRR not only through integration of CCA components in regional and national strategies for disaster risk reduction but also through integration of DRR measures into climate change adaptation strategies. EFDRR will thus continue its work to strengthen that convergence throughout Europe, notably based on shared experiences from its member countries. The report hopes to also be considered as a contribution to the post 2015 of Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA2) on-going discussions and as useful background information for other regional or global initiatives on linking disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.”

(Text from the Executive Summary, adapted)

For access to the full text, see: