Ecosystem Based Adaptation & Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)
Disasters have multiple impacts e.g., losses of lives, devastating impacts on infrastructure, damage to ecosystems and undermining development. On top of this, climate change is expected to aggravate existing disaster risks in many regions of the world. There is a need for increased awareness amongst practitioners, policymakers, and researchers on the latest advances in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA).
The term “Ecosystem-based Adaptation” (EbA) refers to the use of natural systems as a way to buffer the worst impacts of climate change, maintain the resilience of natural ecosystems, their ecosystem services and the species that support them, and help people and communities adapt to changing conditions. Ecosystem-based Adaptation is an important and often-overlooked complement to other modes of adaptation. Ecosystem-based Adaptation also refers to conservation actions that protect people from the impacts of climate change. The combination of climate change and market forces bring uncertainty and risk to many communities across the world – especially those who rely heavily on the availability of local resources and infrastructure. When disaster strikes, a stable, empowered community will respond with resilience and recover quickly. For this reason, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) programs are now essential priorities of sustainable development. An understanding of linkages between environment and disasters are especially necessary to integrate Disaster Risk Reduction into development planning as degraded environments can exacerbate disasters and disasters can aggravate environmental degradation. The new world order entails a shift in focus away from a conventional fire-fighting approach to disaster management towards community-based risk reduction and preparedness and management that helps and capacitates communities to prevent, mitigate and cope with disasters effectively.