Adapting to extremes: exploring the challenges of the new decade

Final PLACARD conference

25 March 2020, Les Ateliers des Tanneurs, Brussels


One of the more foreseeable consequences of climate change is an increased incidence and intensity of extreme weather events. The Global Risk Report, published in 2019 by the World Economic Forum, rank extreme weather events and failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation as the first two risks to society most likely to happen in the next 10 years. Reducing such risks require different societal sectors to align strategies and forge effective collaborations in this new decade, and make significant progress to achieve 2030’s targets of the three international agreements signed in 2015: Paris, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Although the last five years marked significant efforts to enhance the coherence, coordination and communication of climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) communities, still overlaps remain, as both aim to reduce negative impacts of climate change and disasters, respectively, on the natural environment, human society and economies by anticipating risks and uncertainties and addressing vulnerabilities.

As we enter a new and decisive decade, Europe begins a new scientific and policy cycle. The launch of the European Green Deal, the next EU research and innovation framework programme Horizon Europe, with a specific Mission on adaptation to climate change, and the future adoption of a new EU strategy on adaptation to climate change provide new opportunities for collaboration and the development of innovative solutions to respond to society’s challenges.

Rationale and Objectives

Within this context, the purpose of this one day festival is to bring together researchers, policymakers and practitioners working in the areas of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

Throughout the day, this event will feature a Market Place and thematic discussions aimed at sharing experiences, fostering networking and boost the debate on:

  • The developments on the coherence and collaboration between CCA and DRR;
  • Discuss PLACARD key messages at this crossroads in the beginning of a new decade;
  • The opportunities of the European Green Deal to the activities of these two communities and how they can contribute to achieve EU’s climate objectives;

Draft agenda

9:00–10:30 Opening plenary: (Im)Probable friends

Five years into the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction major developments for CCA and DRR can be observed. In this plenary we will present and discussed the main challenges and opportunities in both subjects and how the collaboration and coherence between these communities has evolved at several levels. This open plenary will provide an overview and discussion of our knowledge and understanding to date. The debate will be centred on the following theme: What lessons have emerged and how they have improved the harmonisation between CCA and DRR?

10:30–12:00 Marketplace

A showcase of diverse tools, innovative ideas and collaboration initiatives of Placard, and its partners, to create stimulating engagement and interaction in CCA and DRR. Delegates will be able to browse interesting innovations, ideas and network. Conversations can percolate into the Lunch.

12:00–13:00 Lunch

13:00–14:45 Thematic discussions on collaboration between CCA and DRR

The afternoon will begin with several discussion groups, aiming to foster the debate and the dialogue on several themes namely: 

  1. CCA and DRR in University curricula – Focused on the discussion on how can University Master Programmes and training courses produce human capital to foster governments and international organisations efforts for disaster risk management and climate change adaptation. (tbc)
  2. The EU Adaptation Strategy – Focusing on the challenges and opportunities of making Europe more climate-resilient. (tbc)
  3. Policy coherence and Institutional Strengthening – The good and bad examples in fostering policy coherence will be at the centre of this discussion, as well as how to support integration and mainstreaming of CCA & DRR into policy, institutional arrangements and practice. (tbc)
  4. Climate services for DRR sector – The focus will be on how can climate services help to build the long-term perspective of climate change in DRR policy and practice. (tbc)
  5. Nature based solutions – Focusing on understanding how NBS can be used within CCA and DRR options. (tbc)
  6. Knowledge brokers – The debate will draw on how tools can facilitate dialogue and consultation among stakeholders and initiatives. (tbc)
  7. Finance and funding – The aim will be to explore how to mainstream CCA and DRR in investment decisions. (tbc)
  8. Narratives, terminology, arts and communication for behavioural change – This theme will focus on the tools to create a better understanding between CCA and DRR. (tbc)

10:45–15:15 Coffee break  

15:15–17:00 Closing plenary: Crossroads at the dawn of the new decade

This new decade will be critically important to deal with the challenges of climate change and to achieve the ambitious targets of international agreements. The European Green Deal and the new EU research and innovation framework programme Horizon Europe are significant initiatives that will impact both CCA and DRR communities. In this closing plenary we aim to look at the future and identify knowledge gaps and research needs that need to be addressed going forward, asking “What exactly do these initiatives mean to CCA and DRR?” and “How can both communities better take these opportunities to improve their collaboration and coherence?

 This event is invitation only. For more information please contact Susana Marreiros: