Integration of CCA and DRR for flood resilience: a review of good practices in the United Kingdom

Climate change is likely to multiply the impacts of flooding the UK already faces, therefore further action must be taken to tackle both flood and climate risks to protect society, the economy and the environment. Disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) are two practices concerned with tackling the increased risk of disasters, such as flooding, with climate change. DRR looks to reduce the risk of both natural and man-made disasters through reducing exposure and vulnerability of people and property and increasing preparedness for such events, while CCA looks to make adjustments to reduce the potential negative impacts of climate change on society with regard to both climate extremes and gradual changes in mean climate. Despite their similarities, CCA and DRR are frequently handled independently, separated by institutional and administrative boundaries.

While previous studies have looked at CCA and DRR integration in general, this study looks specifically at policies and practices relating to flood management. The focus on flood policies and practices was chosen for several reasons. As flooding is the UK’s primary natural hazard risk, the issue has received considerable attention in policy and over time, many strategies have been implemented, providing ample examples which can be drawn upon. In addition, flood management was one of the first fields to consider climate change in its policies. Due to this combination of factors, the UK provides a unique case study and a potentially fruitful source of lessons learned in bringing together DRR and CCA for flood risk reduction. 

This study presents examples of policies and practices in the UK that support the integration of CCA and DRR for flood resilience. The aim of this is to present existing linkages that could be exploited or expanded to further CCA and DRR integration in the UK and through a review of these practices, present potentially useful lessons learned for others wishing to integrate CCA and DRR.

This paper is a contribution to the 2019 edition of the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR 2019).

To cite this paper: 

Clegg, G. et al. Integration of CCA and DRR for flood resilience: A review of good practices in the United Kingdom. Contributing Paper to GAR 2019

VI Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas, Cartagena, Colombia 20-22 June 2018 VI Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas, Cartagena, Colombia 20-22 June 2018.
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