Why climate, development and disaster sectors must work together to achieve global goals – world
Through Giriraj amarnath, research group leader – Water Risk to Development and Resilience and principal investigator – Disaster Risk Management and Climate Resilience, IWMI and Rachel Mcdonnell, Deputy Managing Director – Research for Development, IWMI
Greater international cooperation is urgently needed to help developing countries reduce the risk of disasters and the losses caused by them. This is the main message today International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction. Currently, disasters affect middle- and low-income countries disproportionately, especially in terms of the number of people killed, injured, displaced or homeless, damage to infrastructure and economic losses. In fact, in the past decade alone, disasters have killed 410,000 people and affected an additional 1.7 billion people, with climate change increasing the number of devastating events.
It is encouraging that 2021 has seen unprecedented levels of international cooperation to achieve climate and development goals. In January, for example, participants in the Climate adaptation summit formed on Adaptation action program to accelerate adaptation to climate change. Meanwhile, the participants of Stockholm International Water Institute‘s World Water Week in late August, focused on ways to ‘build resilience faster’, and United Nations (UN) Food Systems Summit has charted a course for achieving the global transformation of food systems needed to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (ODD).
Such multilateral efforts are imperative if we are to prevent catastrophic climate change – by keeping global temperature rise below 1.5 ° C – and help vulnerable communities become more resilient to climate change that can no longer be avoided. . In the two decades leading up to 2019, the international disaster database EM-DAT recorded 7,348 events caused by natural hazards, including earthquakes, floods and heat waves, compared to 4,212 such events between 1980 and 1999. Although improved recording and reporting of events may have contributed to this increase, the growth is largely due to a significant increase in the number of climate-related events. disasters.
Although the IDDRR 2021 focuses on international cooperation, which is target 6 of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), we argue that cooperation within nations at different scales is also important, as is interdisciplinary collaboration. In the language of the 2015 international agendas, this means that the SDGs, the SFDRR and the Paris Agreement (and other commitments arising from the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference in November) must be delivered in a coordinated and participatory manner. Only with large-scale cooperation can we achieve the rapid and transformational change needed to address the climate and environmental emergencies facing the world today.
TO IWMI, our work illustrates the ways in which collaboration and cooperation – from grassroots to government, internationally and across multiple disciplines – can help make communities more resilient to disasters and support sustainable development. For example, we have developed a Low cost satellite index flood insurance (IBFI) to compensate poor small farmers whose crops are destroyed by flooding. This involved collaboration between the national and state governments of India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, as well as insurance companies, farmer organizations, development NGOs, agricultural research centers and experts. in meteorology.
We used historical flood data to develop a model that predicted where flooding was likely, and relied on flood risk and socio-economic data to set appropriate premium prices. Using Earth observation data to verify claims eliminated the need for in-depth field trips, which kept premiums affordable and claims settled quickly by mobile phone. In trials conducted between 2017 and 2020, farmers from 7,000 households in Bihar, India, and Gaibandha, Kurigram and Sirajganj districts in Bangladesh, shared a total payment of USD 150,000.
Scaling up these programs has the potential to strengthen farmers’ livelihoods, reduce post-disaster costs for governments and contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.
Likewise, IWMI works with the ministries of environment and agriculture, river authorities, universities and scientific and technological research institutes on the YOU SAID-financed MEN Drought project to develop early warning systems for drought in Jordan, Lebanon, and Morocco. This work involved the use of satellite data on precipitation, soil moisture and vegetation health to develop an Enhanced Composite Drought Index (eCDI). By analyzing color-coded satellite maps that show how the underlying value of eCDI changes from the onset of the growing season, users can detect early on if a drought is onset, even before it happens. its effects are not visible on the ground.
Once fully functional, the system will issue automatic alerts to prompt government agencies to take action to mitigate the worst impacts of the drought. In the long term, the hope is that the technology will be widely used in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in drought management, helping to build resilience to climate change, promote accountability and transparency, and to inform the management of scarcity in arid watersheds. This will help support farmers and ranchers and prevent the vagaries of the weather from escalating into devastating and costly disasters.
Examples like these show why it is so important to harness the power of international cooperation to reduce disaster risk and loss. At the same time, these examples also demonstrate the importance of breaking down silos and promoting collaboration at all levels and between disciplines.
CGIAR, the umbrella organization of which IWMI is a part, is leading the way in this regard by reformulating its partnerships, knowledge, strengths and global presence under the name of “One CGIAR”. In doing so, it seeks to promote greater integration and greater impact in light of the interrelated nature of the challenges – including climate change and disaster risk reduction – facing the world today.