Knowledge and action gaps on how to enhance and strengthen CCA and DRR institutional coordination persist – this is not a shortcoming, but a necessary result from the different approaches and mechanisms in both fields.

Some of these gaps may be tackled via research and additional efforts via institutional innovation may lead to further joint practices. However, the success of future actions is contingent on several factors.

Tangible policy advice on institutional innovation is difficult to produce given the complexities associated with local, sub-national, national, trans-regional, European, and international decision-making processes and geopolitical constrains. Current examples associated with the COVID-19 pandemic show how diverse individual responses can look like and how, even when dealing with complex and pervasive events, cooperation is not always easily attained.

Questions that deserve reflection include: How can institutions strengthen their CCA-DRR cooperation in these five areas? How does enhanced cooperation looks like in practice? Who should take the lead and what are the necessary resources? Are there limits to cooperation or areas were a separated approach may yield more results?

For each section, this chapter describes the following four points:

  • This report highlights shows the prevailing knowledge and action gaps, and limitations that were identified in the course of developing the PLACARD recommendations,
  • Additional gaps summarises issues that appeared in the literature review (see 1.2) but could not be addressed in the scope of this report,
  • This is relevant because points out why exactly the mentioned gaps are relevant for policymakers, and finally
  • To succeed shows the way forward, meaning first essential steps to tackle these unresolved challenges. The way forward is a result of both the pooling of experts’ judgements during the course of the PLACARD project, and of the literature review. As far as possible the way forward identifies the need for action at specific governance levels, i.e. for local, national, European institutions or research.

This chapter provides discussion and reflection about the knowledge developed during this work as well as on the identified challenges and limits to cooperation and integration of CCA and DRR research and practice. Several challenges were not covered in this report, but are relevant to CCA and DRR in a changing climate. One of the most prominent issues in recent years is migration, but also trends such as urbanisation and demographic change, general impacts on health, or Na-Tech events (where a natural disaster leads to release of hazardous materials) are not addressed here.

This chapter therefore concludes with a discussion on the need for transformative approaches in CCA and DRR, which can address some of these complex or ‘systemic’ challenges.

The challenge of integrating CCA and DRR relies heavily on the initiative of governing institutions acrossall scales and is:

Successful when coordination at regional, national and local levels is assured by a strong lead institution with a robust coordination mandate. As DRR and CCA are issues that affect many sectors, isolated action is rarely successful, and real coherence can take place only if silos are broken at the level where implementation occurs. (UNDRR, 2019: 382)

Below we summarise some of the essential tasks for action according to their respective governance level: local, national, or European. However, we explicitly acknowledge that multilevel governance approaches will likely be the best course of action.

(i) Local climate and disaster risk governance

Efforts to deal with climate change, health and human well-being rely on thriving communities; population-wise, most communities today live in urban areas. Although positive expectations exist, these communities often need assistance from higher-ranking governance frameworks to improve their resilience. In particular, the management of systemic risks (see i-iii below) challenges local institutions: the “multidimensional nature of interrelating risks in urban areas require systemic approaches, that seek to understand the nature of interacting systems and adopt integrated risk governance adapted to the local context” (UNDRR, 2019: 420). Addressing this issue causes specific needs for action at the local level.

This report highlights that local knowledge matters (see 4.1.4). But at the same time, the availability of local data, in particular climate data, is greatly limited. Downscaling climate projections to the size of a single town is difficult. It depends on the quality of available data and is further constrained by increasing uncertainties in the process of downscaling. In addition, not all municipalities have enough funds to access the required data, and many different forms of locked-in processes can occur at local scale. This can be caused, for example, by lacking awareness of the local actors who are often key-experts and responsible for the implementation, by political motives, by a fear that taking proactive measures could result in economic losses (for example, in the tourism sector), or simply when a process started but follow-up measures are not taken.

Additional gaps are (i) lacking capacity, technical knowledge, and resources of local government staff to implement measures adequately (Lexer et al. 2020), (ii) knowledge about how the specifics of local governance (for example, allocation of responsibilities) affect comprehensive institutional strengthening in particular, (iii) prevailing lacks of communication and coordination between government levels.

This is relevant because local governments still face highly specific challenges to translate and integrate international frameworks (i.e. SFDRR, PA) into their particular contexts (UNDRR, 2019: 62, 316ff., 330). Local authorities often lack the expertise and capabilities for this task (Albris/Zuccaro 2018: 10). Not reflecting on these specific local needs can result in national level decisions having no impact at the local level (ibid.: 9).

To succeed, this report recommends developing participatory strategies and plans at the local level that fully integrate CCA with DRR (see 4.1.4). This process relies on mobilising local knowledge and ownership, but also on sound local climate data. As a result, the local scale needs access to an enabling environment at the national level that explicitly grants local government the authority to plan for, and carry out essential integrated action. This requires a review of the enabling legislation (local, subnational, or national) and the institutional frameworks, which often encourage working in silos rather than cross-sectoral, and top-down rather than taking up local inputs (UNDRR, 2019: 419). As a consequence, we recommend the use of Climate Risk Management (see 4.1.1) along with stronger actor engagement (see 4.1.2) and public-private coordination efforts (see 4.1.3).

(ii) National climate and disaster risk governance

Integrating CCA and DRR policies at the national level is a new endeavour for most countries, as evidence from country practices suggests (UNDRR, 2019: 419). However, given the yet insufficiently understood scope of threats posed by climate change, it is imperative that all countries pay adequate attention to reducing climate risks in a comprehensive manner. We identify the following needs for action:
This report highlights that national governance contexts are highly diverse in terms of federal systems, informal modes of policymaking, and more (see 4.1.3). Therefore, a national specification and adoption of our recommendations are required. Systems to include “local reasons for concern” in national policymaking are justified to implement target-oriented and feasible adaptation measures (see 4.1.1).

Additional gaps are (i) clear roles and responsibilities for comprehensive CCA and DRR governance, partly because national prioritisation is lacking (Jernberg 2019: 12), (ii) national disaster risk governance systems are still often underdeveloped, particularly with regard to risk prevention (including targets, indicators, monitoring, and follow-up mechanisms) and regulation of the financial sector (iii) implementation or impact of SENDAI-aligned strategies at a national level is lacking, and (iv) the systemic gap between the international, often non-binding agreements for CCA and the national, regional and local, usually binding legislation for DRR.

This is relevant because such gaps pose a serious constraint to comprehensive CCA and DRR governance (UNDRR, 2019, p. 331f.), particularly with regard to the requirements imposed by the multi-level government context (Albris/Zuccaro 2018: 8). At the same time, the way forward is hampered by a lack of good national governance examples to learn from (ibid.: 12).

To succeed, well-defined structures of proactive national CRM are critical to increase institutional capacity and coordination (Albris/Zuccaro 2018: 16). Consequently, national governments can establish a national climate-risk council, to foster putting CRM into practice (see 4.1.1). Such national coordination platforms need to have a strong mandate and considerable national support (see 4.1.3). In addition, national-level authorities need to systematically support local authorities on integrated CCA and DRR planning (see 4.1.4). National governments need to tailor UN frameworks to the specific national contexts. New partnerships are needed that bring together knowledge and skills from different stakeholders and create links with the private or industry sectors (UNDRR 2019: 316, 421).

The legal framework must be improved, for example, decision-makers, scientists, technicians, and operational bodies need to be safeguarded from the legal and economic consequences of their actions under emergency conditions (Albris/Zuccaro 2018: 20). EU-institutions need to support this ambitious endeavour by improving the coherence between all post-2015 frameworks. Research can assist this challenge by co-developing and co-evaluating how multi-level governance frameworks can shift from a single (siloed) risk focus to embracing a multi-risk approach when working with technical and political authorities.

(iii) European climate and disaster risk governance

Providing a stimulating environment for overcoming national-level challenges is at the core of European climate and disaster risk governance, for national and local governance can only be successful if properly embedded in a broader framework, provided by leading institutions with a strong coordination mandate (UNDRR, 2019: 382). Therefore a new, more ambitious EU strategy on adaptation to climate change is essential. Strengthening the European efforts on climate-proofing, resilience building, prevention and preparedness is needed for the work on climate adaptation continue to influence public and private investments, including on NbS (COM/2019/640/final: 5).

Finally, it must be recognised that all aforementioned tasks for comprehensive CCA and DRR governance must also proactively discuss their limits: “although disaster and climate risk have significant overlap, there are also substantial aspects in which they do not coincide, and this is an important challenge for integrated risk governance” (UNDRR, 2019: 381). Defining the potential for integrated approaches critically relies on acknowledging which tasks cannot be tackled in such way.

Financing is one of most crucial issues to enable increased coherence between CCA and DRR, as even strong governance mechanisms and accessible risk information may become useless if climate risk is not translated into a budgetary process. However, not only the amount but, more importantly, also financing strategies need to be revised: “Instead of perpetuating institutional competition for separate resource streams, financial instruments need to be made available that operate at the nexus between DRR and CCA and provide comprehensive financial resources. Financing mechanisms still need to be adjusted to this paradigm.” (UNDRR, 2019: 382).

This report highlights that yield-based approaches to the insurance of climate-related risks (especially in agriculture) have many drawbacks such as the difficulty to detect fraud or risk modelling. As a result, index-based solutions should be pursued (see 4.2.1). In addition, support for national initiatives in providing protection against climate change is needed (see 4.2.3) by establishing a risk transfer mechanism at the EU level. There are funds for long-term DRR as well as for immediate response, but these are often insufficient for anticipatory action (see 4.2.4). Likewise, there is a gap in DRR and CCA finance on different levels, particularly regarding the improved management of climate-related risks and resilience of the financial system to non-financial threats (see 4.2.5). Hence, new mechanisms of debt financing, such as climate insurance and risk transfer are warranted now (4.2.2).

Additional gaps are (i) the overall DRR and CCA budgets are insufficient, (ii) an increasing funding gap between plans and implementation (UNDRR, 2019: 352), (iii) a lack of coordinated funding for joint CCA and DRR activities (Albris/Zuccaro 2018: 11f.), and (iv) more specific funding gaps, including: (a) funding knowledge, (b) funding implementation, (c) funding multi-risk resilience, (d) funding country-specific priorities, (e) funding international priorities, and (f) funding resilience awareness (Zuccaro et al. 2018: 21f.).

This is relevant because insufficient or inappropriate funding hampers efforts to strengthen joint CCA and DRR governance or advance at an adequate pace to counter the increasing challenge. More specifically, the way in which funding is organised can create discrepancies between CCA and DRR (Albris/Zuccaro 2018: 19f.) or the scope of funding may be limited by the interests of the donor organisation (i.e. CCA or DRR, not both).

To succeed
, local governments need to identify specific local funding needs, gaps and priorities, and communicate them to the respective governments and administration, respectively to financial institutions or private investors. They need to support national authorities in the investment decisions at the local level. National governments should assess country-specific CCA and DRR funding needs, gaps and priorities, allocate appropriate budgets, and ensure funding coherence. They must improve guidance, access to stable funding, and information for integrated CCA and DRR approaches at the local level. National Distributed Ledger Technology based platforms for accumulation of savings and climate-related crisis financing can enable this process (see 4.2.5). EU-institutions need to provide a funding framework (funds as such and criteria for funding decisions) that highlights international priorities in aligning CCA and DRR funding. Here, sovereign Climate Insurance Funds (see 4.2.1) and European Risk Transfer mechanisms (see 4.2.2) are recommended as useful tools.

Additional recommendations include the incorporation of CCA and DRR indicators and metrics into the EU Green Bond Standard and the EU Green Taxonomy for identification of green projects and green financial instruments (see 4.2.3), as well as forecast-based financing in order to implement anticipatory actions (see 4.2.4).

The European Green Deal states that “Work on climate adaptation should continue to influence public and private investments, including on nature-based solutions. It will be important to ensure that across the EU, investors, insurers, businesses, cities and citizens are able to access data and to develop instruments to integrate climate change into their risk management practices.” (EC 2019: 5) In addition, “climate and environmental risks will be managed and integrated into the financial system. This means better integrating such risks into the EU prudential framework and assessing the suitability of the existing capital requirements for green assets” (ibid.: 17). This is necessary to ensure that CCA and DRR are better reflected in decision-making processes and their related financial flows. A sufficient strategy would explicitly mention the goal of resilience (DRR) alongside climate change adaptation (CCA) and ensure that all European financial instruments are subject to a robust screening process to attain the resilience of investments to future disasters and climate risk (UNDRR, 2019a, Michalek et al. 2020).

Establishing background arrangements, supportive networks and beneficial framework conditions for implementation are critical to the strengthening of coherence between CCA and DRR. This highlights the importance of bringing actors together, connecting each other’s formats, and being involved in each other’s activities. To achieve this, several important gaps need to be taken into account.

This report highlights that climate risks can become politically charged and conflict-riddled (see 4.3.1), while at the same time there is limited information about the reasons behind actors having certain roles in their network or interacting in certain ways (see 4.3.2). While there are many models to learn from, the actual event may differ significantly, so improvisation will be necessary, to a certain extent (see 4.3.3). In addition, many existing collaborative structures may not be adequately developed, so their ability to develop sufficient responses will be hindered (see 4.3.4). These structures also depend heavily on the governance system of the respective national states.

Additional gaps are (i) stronger coherence between the Paris Agreement and SFDRR (i.e. policy indicators and implementation, see UNDRR, 2019: 30f.), more specifically (a) institutional coherence between sectors, (b) systemic coherence between abstract CCA and concrete DRR ideas, and (c) transnational coherence between national- and local levels (Albris/Zuccaro, 2018: 8), (ii) addressing and involving private actors in risk precaution (UNDRR, 2019: 58, 62), (iii) a comprehensive strategy for reaching the public with the proper messages (Zuccaro et al. 2018: 23), and (iv) understanding how behaviour and choice transfers to individual and collective accountability for risk creation, or reduction.

This is relevant because coherence is essential to any attempt at institutional strengthening of CCA and DRR (Jernberg 2019: 12f.). Many CCA and DRR policies are still not effectively in place in many countries and relatively few concrete measures exist on the ground, so there is a clear need for more international cooperation on climate risk prevention and preparedness (ibid.: 13). The quality of national-level planning and coordination activities in DRR and CCA is crucial for the coherence of the entire prevention and preparedness system (ibid.: 14).

In addition, the public is often unaware of their own vulnerabilities, meaning they do not actively support CCA or DRR action (Albris/Zuccaro 2018: 13), a factor which is partly aggravated by scepticism about the veracity of online information and news (Zuccaro et al. 2018: 23).

To succeed, national governments should engage public authorities through social media to overcome public scepticism around official information, to raise awareness, and to increase individual risk preparedness. In addition, they need to develop a coherent public relations strategy. National governments need to address the issues of institutional and systemic coherence between CCA and DRR throughout their respective levels of governance.

National climate risk coordination platforms are a positive example, and Social Network Analysis is a promising tool to identify relevant stakeholders for such formats (see 4.3.2). Furthermore, a way forward can be the mainstreaming of CCA and DRR, and its integration into existing transnational and interregional working groups, or setting up such a working group with focus on a risk or geographic area of mutual concern (see 4.3.1). National governments also need to test their early warning systems and joint disaster prevention models in order to assess their effectiveness in cases of serious emergencies (see 4.3.3). Decision-makers need to be shown the consequences of their inaction. EU-institutions need to further align strategies developed in the post-2015 framework of international agreements, thereby providing concrete indicators addressing the institutional, systemic, and transnational CCA/DRR coherence (see 4.3.4).

Improved communication encourages the various stakeholders to interact and exchange knowledge. Creating a basis for common understanding is critical, as developing a ‘shared language’ or standardised methods or indicators are repeatedly described as a vital challenge to integrated CCA and DRR approaches.

This report highlights that generating a common understanding is resource-consuming at the very beginning and it will take time to generate trust and relationships between actors from diverse institutions (see 4.4.1). Stories and strategic narratives can facilitate this process but their success depends heavily on the audience value orientations. Values are often hidden and difficult to change in the short-term (see 4.4.2). As a result, no one-size-fits-all solution can be expected (see 4.4.3).

Additional gaps are (i) a shared language and understanding between actors involved in CCA and DRR, both among experts and non-experts, (ii) a disappearing local knowledge base, particularly in rural municipalities, sometimes aggravated by the privatisation of utilities and critical infrastructure.

This is relevant because these gaps have created many diverse terminologies for both DRR and CCA, and varying views on how integration should be pursued (Albris/Zuccaro 2018: 8f.). Municipalities in particular face a knowledge drain through rural outmigration and demographic change, so local risk prevention knowledge, based on centuries of weather experience, which often manifests in traditional, simple but highly effective measures, might get lost. In addition, when utilities are privatised, official, public reports are replaced by confidential consultants reports and knowledge of municipalities can then be lost. Massive investment is needed to re-establish such data (ibid.: 10f.).

To succeed, a shared understanding of the current monitoring, reporting and evaluation (MRE) approaches, and indicators and criteria used in CCA, DRR and SDG is an important starting point. MRE needs to be connected at different levels of CCA and DRR policy and action implementation (international, European, national, sub-national, local), thereby the objectives of MRE and the relevance of different indicators vary across different levels of governance (see 4.4.1). Strategic narratives can be useful for national and local policymakers to overcome communication and collaboration barriers that cannot be just handled by “rational means” such as traditional science-based information and data (see 4.4.2). For mainstreaming integrated CCA and DRR approaches, informal learning can be as beneficial as formal training in strengthening an institution’s capacity, particularly when new measures or policies need to be implemented (see 4.4.3). To prepare future generations of policy makers, researchers and practitioners for the necessary interdisciplinary approaches to climate risks, universities and other institutions for higher education may respond by offering additional interdisciplinary programmes. Currently, most universities still only offer programmes with a focus on either CCA or DRR. Collaboration between universities and organisations such as UN agencies, the Red Cross/ Red Crescent movement, NGOs and national authorities should be stimulated to ensure the graduates meet the evolving requirements regarding knowledge and skills.

Data availability, quality, accessibility, application

A specific challenge for improved communication is the lack of a sound data basis. Because this aspect is highlighted repeatedly throughout current reports and entails many consequences for action, we address it separately in this subsection.

This report highlights that data gaps may hinder effective financing (see 4.2.1, 4.2.2, 4.2.4) and cooperation (see 4.3.2), especially on the local scale (see 4.1.4).

Additional gaps are (i) a lack of available high-quality and high-resolution digital data for simulations (UNISDR GAR 2019: 95 f.), (ii) a lack of climate change data at local levels (Albris/Zuccaro 2018: 11), (iii) development of a central and accessible knowledge management platform and risk assessment system for CCA and DRR with a balanced combination of scientific and local knowledge, good practices, natural and social scientific data, and risk information, (iv) risk assessments are often based on material hazards only, excluding social and psychological forms of vulnerability, (v) a lack of a common methodology and shared standards for data collection, analyses and assessments; particularly in (a) advanced simulations, (b) interdisciplinary research, (c) enhanced data management, (d) co-creation of knowledge, (d) communication & dissemination platforms (Zuccaro et al. 2018: 17), (vi) a lack of indicators methodologies for monitoring and evaluation (Albris/Zuccaro 2018: 13).

This is relevant because gaps in data and knowledge limit governments’ ability to act and effectively communicate with the public on reducing risk (UNISDR GAR 2019: 16) and may create uncertainty for decision-makers and key actors throughout all sectors and levels of governance. Solely hazard-based assessments are not adequate to address the challenges outlined earlier (Albris/Zuccaro 2018: 12) but since climate change cannot be assessed in a linear or predictable manner, future climate risk assessments need to take a significant leap forward (Jernberg 2019: 12). However, the outcome of these assessments will only be as good as the quality of input data, and the lack of methodological standards represents a weakness in the whole CCA/DRR governance process, not least because CCA and DRR are not at the forefront of the political agenda.

To succeed, national governments need to support their respective reporting institutions with a data recording framework that not only matches UN reporting standards but also prevents time-consuming and difficult assessment procedures. This encompasses the clear definition of terms, such as ‘disaster’. The models, methodologies and data used for conducting the National Risk Assessments must be improved and strengthened. EU-institutions need to make resources available (potentially through the SDG architecture) to national governments seeking to redress data and capacity gaps. A comprehensive European overview about DRR strategies or National Risk Assessments is not yet available , therefore it should be tackled by, for example, the Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre (DRMKC). Research should continue collaboration under the Global Flood Partnership in order to effectively close data gaps and identify further research needs.

Proper tools for knowledge management can produce a “new collective knowledge” by capitalising on the diverse knowledge available, for example by sharing and transferring knowledge, tools, and good practice examples. For example, sustainable management of natural ecosystems as well as their restoration and preservation are increasingly perceived as effective tools in addressing societal challenges including climate change, increasing resilience to natural disasters, food and water security, health, and economic and social development (Cohen-Shacham et al. 2016). However, several gaps remain and need to be addressed.

This report highlights that good Information and Knowledge Management (IKM) optimises the value and utility of the intellectual resources produced by an organisation or community of research or practice. Good IKM processes connect relevant knowledge, promote awareness and a shared understanding of the meaning ascribed to particular terms, and can link different communities and knowledge domains. Transformational IKM that is using taxonomies more extensively, working towards shared ontologies, Linked Open Data and knowledge graphs could, for example, support the tracking of progress on climate change action (for example, see 4.4.1).

Nature-based Solutions (NbS) bring many associated co-benefits for human well-being and biodiversity, but they remain a complex issue with many uncertainties since they are highly diverse and context-specific (see 4.5.1). In CCA and DRR, the lack of clarity around language and the use of technical terminology is a particular barrier to collaboration. Internationally this is further inhibited by complications arising from translation into different languages. This remains a challenge due to the diverse and heavily nuanced definitions used for terms, particularly those that benefit from buy-in from society such as ‘resilience’. Addressing disparities in the use of terms directly risks losing these nuances, many of which are valuable to ongoing debate (see 4.5.2). Knowledge platforms could facilitate these challenges, but would require a cultural shift in how knowledge management is currently carried out (see 4.5.3). Such approaches, however, can entail high costs for participants, particularly in terms of financial, human, and time resources, and integrating different knowledge systems across spatial-temporal scales requires concerted action for capacity and skills development (see 4.5.4).

Additional gaps are (i) knowledge as to whether efforts in awareness raising, such as knowledge sharing and information campaigns, have actually had any impact on behaviour, (ii) an understanding to which degree targeted information is useful to help specific vulnerable groups (Jernberg 2019: 12), (iii) knowledge about how thorough or inclusive national risk assessments are (Tuhkanen et al. 2019: 36), (iv) international tools for knowledge management often need to deal with information that is only available in local languages.

This is relevant because the effective use of tools for knowledge management critically relies on being able to guarantee standards in the assessment of knowledge, monitoring impacts and assessing the needs of the target audience.

To succeed, international level actors such as the European Commission Directorates, the United Nations, the IPCC Working Groups and global portals such as PreventionWeb and weADAPT have to be involved. On a European level, actors such as the UNDRR Open-Ended Working Group on Terminology, the Disaster Risk Knowledge Management Centre (DRMKC) and Climate-ADAPT, and adaptation and risk reduction portals on the national and sub-national level need to play a leading role. These should bring on board donors and funders, the academic and practitioner communities and associated organisations and institutes; the public sector, including regional and national Government offices and ministries; private sector entities; programmes and projects producing and sharing relevant knowledge and information/data. When realising measures, monitoring and adaptive management are required from the implementation stage onwards (Cohen-Shacham et al. 2019, Nesshöver et al. 2017, Raymond et al. 2017a).

Experience shows that cross-sectoral collaboration, capacity building, institutional strengthening, incentive or financial instruments are needed for a successful acceptation and implementation of Nature-based Solutions (NbS) at large scale (see 4.5.1). To monitor and assess the effectiveness of NbS, integrated methods that simultaneously evaluate benefits and costs across its multi-directional effects (economic, socio-cultural and environment) and across several geographic and temporal scales is required (Calliari et al. 2019, Raymond et al. 2017a, Raymond et al. 2017b). The dynamic nature of ecosystems should be considered under future climate and socio-economic conditions (Calliari et al. 2019).

In addition, development and promotion of a transformation in Information and Knowledge Management standards and guidelines are recommended. These can use a common language and support a cultural shift towards Linked Open Data (LOD), so that online content can be subjected to more sophisticated searches (Bauer and Kaltenböck, 2012, Bauer and Kaltenböck, 2016) and accelerate learning (see 4.5.2). Knowledge portals and platforms have an opportunity to actively support such learning and collaboration (Barrott and Bharwani 2018a, see 4.5.3). The use of a shared and well-described terminology is essential for connecting relevant knowledge, promoting awareness and understanding of the meaning ascribed to particular terms, and for supporting communication and connection between these fields. Building and legitimately translating a shared terminology that acknowledges and connects the varied terms and definitions used today is a significant undertaking, and one that requires support from an equally varied array of actors. Developing knowledge-action networks with multiple layers of producers and users from different sectors is an effective method of tailoring decision-relevant information to different decision environments, and of allocating resources where they are most effective to bridge science and practice and integrate CCA and DRR strategies (see 4.5.4).

This chapter refers to the multidimensional nature of interrelating climate and disaster risks, which require “systemic approaches, that seek to understand the nature of interacting systems and adopt integrated risk governance” (UNDRR, 2019: 420). Addressing these complex issues is important because some aspects of integrated CCA and DRR governance require complex actions and fundamental considerations, for example to include “non-climate-related natural and manmade hazards and risks (especially geophysical and biological, technological and environmental), as well as cascading and systemic risks, including possible amplifying effects of climate change” (UNDRR, 2019: 382). In addition to the increased level of complexity, developing responses to both natural and anthropogenic disasters has changed the array of involved networks and actors significantly (Zuccaro et al. 2018: 23). Below we outline which consequences arise from this context and how they could be addressed.

This report did not cover recommendations or knowledge gaps regarding transformative CCA or DRR.

Additional gaps are (i) a ‘transformative’ approach to integrated CCA and DRR governance is due, comprising a systemic, anticipatory, socially inclusive long-term perspective; for example complex ‘whole-community approaches’, that issue risk preparedness at the intersection between social and ecological vulnerabilities, (ii) research into the multiple benefits of resilience policies is due, for example, how it influences the daily lives of communities in terms of healthcare, heritage and culture protection, energy services etc. (Zuccaro et al. 2018: 21f.), (iii) expanding the knowledge on systemic transitions through several overarching adaptation options in rural and urban areas (UNDRR, 2019: 367), (iv) build-back-better strategies are needed that call for introduction of different design values (for example, human health, cultural heritage, security and safety, climate agencies, etc.) to develop and explore new and innovative solutions, (v) transboundary crisis management is needed, for example, involving emergency response system cooperation beyond the governmental level, (vi) the dynamic, multidimensional nature of interrelating risks in urban areas requires systemic approaches, that adopt integrated risk governance that is adapted to the local context (UNDRR, 2019: 420).

This is relevant because short-term political cycles focus attention on short-term action. This mismatches with the need for thinking long-term for building-back-better, prevention, protection and adaptation (Albris/Zuccaro 2018: 13). More specifically, systemic approaches help avoid ineffective and inefficient action, communication and cooperation. Decisions at the local level are often delayed in a ‘wait and see’ approach and proactive action is not taken (ibid.: 11).

To succeed, research should develop a central and accessible knowledge management platform and risk assessment system for CCA and DRR, with a balanced combination of scientific and local knowledge, good practices, natural and social scientific data, and risk information. National governments need to redesign funding schemes and mechanisms to support coherent CCA and DRR solutions, and encourage cooperation and coordination for efficient use of financial resources (UNDRR, 2019, p. 364). In addition, they need to develop a proactive approach that includes different stakeholders, in line with their skills and resources (including for example, multi-stakeholder platforms, technical tables, think tanks etc.), and provide means for active engagement with authorities for the implementation of national and local strategies, and plans for DRR and CCA (Zuccaro et al. 2018: 19).

EU institutions need to consider that holistic and integrated strategies are critical to better integrating the Sendai Framework, the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement and the New Urban Agenda (Jernberg 2019: 14). Hence CCA, DRR and SDG must be integral and integrated components, as a comprehensive approach to adaptation and resilience.

It is important to note that there are already moves to confront the complex nature of climate risks. For example, the CCA community has begun to focus on the existing adaptation deficit and the move towards enabling and empowering concrete action – beyond mere problem definitions – and acknowledges that learning from implementation is helpful. The development of comprehensive CCA and DRR policies can be seen as a continuum of change, where first steps have been taken and the soil is fertile for further, more profound action. It is in this light that we position our recommendations, as briefly summarised below.

Overall, this study concludes that CCA-DRR institutional strengthening goes beyond the creation or re-formulation of institutions, but it is rather a long-term learning process that requires extensive levels of exchange on practices and experiences. The recommendations put forward in this report require a degree of policy commitment that may be difficult to attain in the short term, but that should be encouraged and facilitated in Europe thought targeted research, innovation and capacity-building training actions.