At Cop22 Marrakech 2016: “Demonstrations of Combining Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management in Development”

On Saturday, 12 November 2016, the event “Demonstrations of Combining Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management in Development” took place at the Marrakech Climate Change Conference (COP22), presented by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Foundation for Sustainable Development of Mountain Regions (FDDM), and the World Bank Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR).

Presented by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Foundation for Sustainable Development of Mountain Regions (FDDM), the World Bank, and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). This session was moderated by Ambassador Pio Wennubst, Head of the Global Cooperation Department, SDC, Switzerland.

In a keynote address, Franz Perrez, Ambassador for the Environment and Head of the International Affairs Division, Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland, shared lessons learned from the Swiss experience in integrating disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA), stressing the need to: understand, evaluate and prioritize risks; engage investors; reduce existing risks; and create an enabling environment for all stakeholders to encourage positive actions.

Stressing the importance of disaster prevention, Wali Noureddine Boutayeb, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Interior, Morocco, drew attention to his country’s national disaster fund established to prevent disasters as far as possible and to reduce the loss of life in the event of a disaster. He highlighted his vision for water management, scaling up renewable energy use and increasing the use of fertilizers to create a green belt along the coasts.

Francis Ghesquiere, Head, GFDRR, gave a history of DRR and adaptation, noting that twenty years ago, the conversation was about disaster management and the debates revolved around the slogan “Build Back Better.” He stressed the need to rethink how we address DRR, underlining that the impacts of climate change are already being felt globally.

Linking DRR and CCA to the development of a “system of life,” Diego Pacheco, Vice Minister of Development Planning, Bolivia, highlighted three laws in his country aimed at integrating disaster risk and adaptation into policy planning: the law of living well for integrated development; the law on risk management; and the law of national integrated system of planning.

Saying that DRR and CCA are cross-cutting issues, Esline Garaebiti, Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department, Vanuatu, shared her country’s experience in addressing CCA and DRR, highlighting the establishment of a National Advisory Board on DRR and climate change to ensure that all development planning processes integrate these issues.

Noting that climate change and disasters are a “headache,” Eric Nanchen, Director, FDDM, Switzerland, stressed the need for local, sub-national and national strategies based on a multi-stakeholder approach to address both adaptation and DRR. He also called for the establishment of the legal frameworks necessary to address these challenges.

Esther Baur, Director, Global Partnerships, Swiss Re, noted that insurance puts a price tag on risk that incentivizes action on adaptation and disaster risk. She stressed that natural disasters do not need to become financial disasters, noting that only 30% of costs related to disasters are insured. She also underscored that having the financial means to respond to risk is a critical component of adaptation.

In the ensuing discussion participants addressed, inter alia: climate projections being too generic to be incorporated into planning processes; risk perceptions being used as a policy-making tool; the evidence that risk insurance impacts the most vulnerable; and experiences in budgeting for risks at the local level.

This video by IISD Reporting Services provides an overview of the event, which highlighted experiences of bringing together adaptation to climate change and disaster risk management in policies, institutions and investments for a resilient development.

Source: IISD
IISD’s written and photographic coverage of the event is available at:
More information:
Website Cop22 Marrakech 2016



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La Agencia Suiza para el Desarrollo y la Cooperación (COSUDE) es la entidad encargada de la cooperación internacional dentro del Departamento Federal de Asuntos Exteriores (DFAE). Con otras oficinas de la Confederación, la COSUDE es responsable de la coordinación general de la cooperación para el desarrollo y de la cooperación con los Países del Este, así como de los programas de ayuda humanitaria suizos.