Opportunity mapping: mapping ecosystem-based solutions to reducing disaster risk

15-17 May 09:00 - 18:00
Booth: 18, Expo Center Foyer (1st Floor)
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United Nations Environment Programme
Karen Sudmeier-Rieux (karen.sudmeier@un.org)
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The idea that ecosystem approaches contribute to combating the drivers and impacts of disaster risk and climate change has been gaining traction over the past years. Ecosystem-based solutions (or natural solutions) to disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaption (CCA) are now more clearly articulated in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, notably in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (SFDRR). As international attention moves from passing global agreements to implementation, governments, practitioners and development agencies are seeking to translate these global goals into coordinated national action plans, legislation and development programs. The “Opportunity Mapping” tool is a spatial decision support system that identifies locations where ecosystem restoration and conservation measures provide opportunities for reducing disaster risk. The tool was designed for policy-makers, planners, private sector users- and disaster risk managers and combines data on common types of hazards, exposure and ecosystem services (i.e., mangroves, forest cover, coral reefs), based on global and national data sets. The tool is directly relevant to the SFDRR as it can assist Member States in reporting on Sendai Targets - and Custom-indicators, specifically with regards to critical and green infrastructure.

The design, development and use of this interactive mapping tool is part of a broader UN Environment project funded by the European Commission and the Government of Norway. Project data are hosted by MapX (www.mapx.org ), an online, open-source geospatial platform developed by UN Environment and the Global Resource Information Database (GRID), with seed funding from the World Bank, to support the sustainable management of natural resources. MapX is already powering the UN Biodiversity Lab (https://unbiodiversitylab.org/), a platform to support national biodiversity opportunity mapping and reporting to the Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD).

The Opportunity Mapping tool will have two main geographic foci: i) at the global scale, (with a resolution at 10 km x 10 km), and ii) at the national scale. During the first phase of the project, higher resolution data will be included for selected project countries. The platform is being designed to enable users to download global datasets on hazards, exposure and ecosystem services. As the platform expands, it will enable users to upload higher resolution data for a specific geographic area. The tool is expected to provide users with data needed for effective DRR planning, including investing in ecosystems to provide cost-effective solutions to hazard mitigation and vulnerability reduction, while meeting Sendai Targets. Future plans include developing a platform to encourage and facilitate more integrated reporting on targets for the Sustainable Development Goals, Sendai Monitor and the CBD by Member States.