Øyvind Christophersen, Senior Adviser, Climate and Pollution Agency, Norway
By Denis McClean
GENEVA, 23 November 2011
- It was over three years in the making but after one final all-night negotiation in Kampala last Friday, the IPCC Summary for Policymakers of the Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX) was agreed by the member governments clearing the way for the publication of the full report early next year.
No one could have been happier with the outcome than Norway which introduced a proposal, prepared with UNISDR, for a Special Report at the 29th Session of the IPCC held in Geneva in September 2008. Following a scoping meeting held in Oslo in March, 2009, there was agreement to prepare the SREX at the 30th Sessions of the IPCC in April 2009.
The Norwegian government team in Kampala was led by Øyvind Christophersen, Senior Adviser, Climate and Pollution Agency, who said: “It’s maybe one of the best reports ever on how to address the risk related to extreme climate events. The strength of the report is the assessments of how to manage the risk and how to integrate different aspects of risk management.
“It provides some low regrets measures which can be beneficial to implement as a starting point. The Report underlines that it is important to take up other more transformational measures too which will reduce vulnerability.”
Asked about the absence of explicit reference to the Hyogo Framework for Action – the international blue-print for disaster risk reduction in the final document, Christophersen said: “We think the Hyogo Framework is a very important basis for international cooperation in this field. It’s self-evident that it’s important.
“This report will be important for the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action. One of its key strengths is that it assessed all the available literature across the relevant research areas and addressed the issues in a holistic way... the ‘before, during and after’ a disaster event at local, national and international level, and the relationship between disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.
“It will be useful for policymakers and I would recommend it to all the delegates attending the climate change talks in Durban.”
He confirmed that Norway would also be supporting an outreach programme comprising a series of events disseminating the SREX findings in a number of developing countries from March next year.