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Climate Change: Natural Disasters

Volume 480: debated on Monday 6 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to integrate disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in his Department’s work. (222482)

The Department for International Development’s (DFID) 2006 White Paper stated that disaster risk reduction (DRR) is a crucial part of climate change adaptation. DFID’s climate change implementation strategy incorporates DRR and recognises the need to draw on existing mechanisms to reduce risk when designing new programmes to adapt to climate change. The Bali Action Plan, which the UK signed up to last December, emphasises this when it refers to the importance of using

“disaster reduction strategies to address loss and damage associated with climate change”.

DFID is developing an integrated DRR and adaptation mainstreaming programme to be rolled out across the Department over the next year. We are also developing joint risk and vulnerability assessments, beginning in five countries in South Asia, to provide staff with the tools and skills needed to assess climate and disaster risk when designing development programmes.

DFID has also commissioned a review to assess how DRR and adaptation programming could be better aligned to identify mechanisms for joint funding and programming; and to make recommendations for addressing remaining gaps in the system. This work is in progress, but initial recommendations include: supporting more visible engagement of the DRR community in climate negotiations; promoting stronger convergence of the DRR and adaptation teams within DFID and multilateral agencies; and supporting the generation of integrated knowledge and guidance, including by documenting success stories of where integration has worked.