European & national-level approaches to integrating CCA & DRR

Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) provide a range of complementary approaches for managing the risks of weather and climate-related extremes. At the European Union (EU) and national levels, efforts to link and integrate the CCA and DRR knowledge base and policies are underway. Our session will explore recent approaches and demonstrate good practice through presentations and a closing discussion.

Enhancing coherence of the knowledge base and policies

Sergio Castellari, European Environment Agency (EEA), Copenhagen

The EEA report Climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in Europe – Enhancing coherence of the knowledge base and policies is due to be published in September 2017. It provides an overview of the European and national level CCA and DRR policies and practices, with a focus on the differences, opportunities and synergies between the communities’ policies and measures. The report explores observations and projections for selected natural hazards, and the likely impacts on various sectors, including socioeconomic losses. It also describes a range of successful solutions, along with an overview of opportunities to enhance coherence between CCA and DRR in policy and practice.

Our presentation will focus on introducing “good practice” for integrating CCA and DRR, and case studies from both the report and a 2016 survey of member countries, conducted by EEA.

The report has been prepared by EEA with its Topic Centre on Climate Change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation (ETC/CCA), and inputs from DG JRC, the PLACARD project, other international organisations and comments from the EEA member countries.

EU adaptation strategy review – an opportunity to reinforce coordination between CCA & DRR

Max Linsen, European Commission, DG Climate Action, Brussels

On 22 April, 175 countries signed the Paris Agreement on climate change. This first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal is a major milestone in efforts to fight climate change. Many of the outcomes of the Paris Agreement and the SFDRR are mutually reinforcing in their goal to promote resilience to natural disasters and reduce the vulnerability of people exposed to climate change impacts.

The synergies between CCA and DRR were well recognised in the EU even before Paris. The 2013 EU Adaptation Strategy recognises the importance of linking climate adaptation with DRR, and the need to implement adaptation policies coordinated with EU disaster risk management policies. Climate risks should be part of the national risk assessments, and DRR-DRM approaches should inform adaptation planning at national and local level. Now that we are starting to translate the commitments made in Sendai and in Paris into concrete action, it is even more important to build on synergies and shared objectives.

The European Commission’s work in mainstreaming climate adaptation in disaster risk reduction policies and plans, inclusion of climate adaptation in risk assessment, and on insurance are examples of this effort. Moreover, the planned review of the EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change (tentatively in 2018) could provide a timely opportunity to further reinforce the coordination between these two areas.

Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre

Karmen Poljansek, European Commission, DG JRC, Ispra

The Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre (DRMKC) takes a network approach to translating complex scientific data and analysis into usable information to provide science-based advice for DRM policies. The emphasis is on linking disaster risk reduction with climate change adaptation, as well as with aspects such as critical infrastructure protection.

The first DRMKC science report “Science for Disaster Risk Management 2017: Knowing better and losing less” provides reviews of the scientific solutions and their practical use in DRM in Europe. It summarises recent advances and outcomes from EU research projects. With the aim of bridging science and policy as well operation communities, the report sections focus on understanding, communicating and managing risk. The intended audience is well-informed practitioners and policymakers, seeking to understand the scientific issues of relevance to their work, particularly civil protection operations and disaster risk policy, but equally climate adaptation policy.

National case studies: methods, approaches and guidance in Austria & Germany

Markus Leitner, Environment Agency Austria (EAA), Vienna and PLACARD project

The political, socio-economical, scientific, legal and technical issues underpinning natural hazard management have undergone considerable change. Special attention must be given to the consequences of climate change, which will increase the frequency and magnitude of future extreme events. As a result, conventional protection concepts are no longer adequate for modern natural hazard management – the need for capacity building and resilience are leading policy development and implementation.

In Austria, policy is beginning to focus on concepts that support people through increasing their ownership of risk, which is a step towards balancing public and individual demands, and interests in natural hazard management. Key elements of the concept include capacity building, awareness raising, interdisciplinary communication and (international) co-operation.

Austria’s National Adaptation Strategy (NAS) is built on strong domestic research capacity and extensive stakeholder engagement, and can be summarised as:

  • Limiting existing risks for human health, material assets, economic activities and the environment, and preventing new risks
  • Regularly reviewing the climate change fitness, functionality & operability of structures
  • Keeping hazard and risk maps up to date and using the latest technology
  • Enhancing coordination and co-operation between spatial planning and risk management
  • Mainstreaming DRR and CCA into project planning and development
  • Strengthening individual preparedness.

Integrating adaptation needs into policy instruments in Germany

Clemens Haße, German Federal Environment Agency, Dessau

Germany has had a national Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change in place since 2008, with the aim of creating a national framework for action in order to avert dangers to the public, natural habitats and the national economy. This framework enables easy identification of impacts and adaptation needs, and planning and implementation measures. For example, early incorporation of adaptation into planning can save climate-related costs in the future, especially for reducing risks from extreme weather events through climate-proofing.

Integrating CCA and DRR in existing policies is a long-term duty. Our presentation gives an overview of how key policy instruments in Germany have evolved. and what could be undertaken in the future. A particular focus will be the EU Directive on Environmental Impact Assessment, and the new requirement for project planners to take climate change and climate impacts into account.

Join us at Session 2.8 on Wednesday, 7 June to find out more.