Strengthening disaster risk reduction in climate change adaptation related agendas at COP18, Doha, Qatar

This paper provides key messages on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction with the intent of strengthening disaster risk reduction in key climate change adaptation agendas at the UNFCCC COP18.

Previous COPs have adopted a number of decisions linking disaster risk reduction to climate change adaptation. These decisions include the Adaptation Committee and the Loss and Damage work programme that were detailed in COP 17, in Durban, South Africa in 2011 as part of the actions envisioned in the Cancun Adaptation Framework adopted, in Cancun, Mexico 2010 at COP16. Furthermore, both The Bali Action Plan under the Ad-hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA) and the Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change have explicitly considered and supported stronger efforts to reduce the risks of disasters.

Key messages:

  • Climate change will worsen the impact of disasters. Weather and climate related disasters are already a major and costly concern and climate change will make matters worse.
  • Adaptation and disaster risk reduction are closely linked. Adapting to the impacts of climate change and reducing risk to disasters are priorities that are best addressed in an integrated manner. Both build resilience and reduce the vulnerability of communities.
  • Reducing the risk of disasters leads to sustainable development. Unsustainable development is the main factor in growing disaster risks. Climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction are part of the sustainable development agenda as outlined in the Rio+20 outcome document ‘The Future We Want’.
  • Risk reduction tools are ready for adaptation use. There are many well-proven tools and methods that can be applied and contribute to the acceleration of climate change adaptation, such as risk assessments, environmental protection, early warning systems, and insurance.
  • Climate change adaptation reflected in a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction. Any future global blueprint for disaster risk reduction provides opportunity guide adaptation action.


Regional Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction take place from Africa to the Pacific Regional Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction take place from Africa to the Pacific.
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