Edited by Dr. Ian Davis and Gabrielle Iglesias, and reviewed by Dr. Ian Burton, it promotes the adoption of a risk management approach to climate-sensitive decision-making and serves as a reference to integrate disaster risk management with climate change adaptation.
The handbook is part of the Disaster Risk Management Practitioner’s Handbook Series, available for download at www.adpc.net.
Between 2004 to 2010, Indonesia was struck by a series of extreme natural disasters. The first, and most deadly, was the Asian tsunami in December 2004. Triggered by a massive 9.1 magnitude earthquake, the tsunami swept away homes, communities and infrastructure, leaving over 200,000 dead or missing. In March 2005, another earthquake levelled the nearby island of Nias, destroying nearly one third of its buildings and killing close to 1,000 people. Central Java was next: in May 2006, it was struck by an earthquake that killed nearly 6,000. Another quake and a tsunami killed hundreds more the following July, followed by deadly several volcanic eruptions of Mount Merapi in 2010.
Because it is located in a geologically active geological area, Indonesia is prone to natural disasters. But today the country is better prepared. Why? Because of the lessons it learned in responding to a series of disasters that pummeled it between 2004 and 2010.
Getting Ready for Future Disasters
Disaster Risk Reduction, or DRR, was embedded in Indonesian government policy through a new a new body, the National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB). Set up in 2008 the BNPB is responsible for disaster preparedness and response at both national and regional levels. Among officials, this means developing national and regional disaster management plans and sharing data. To ordinary people, it means teaching people- especially schoolchildren- how to respond when disasters strike. It also means constructing homes, buildings and infrastructure so they are earthquake-resistant. These steps alone will save thousands of lives in the future.
“Our climate is changing, the weather is becoming more intense…It’s going to cost a lot of money and a lot of lives…The big issue (is) how do we adapt…because it doesn’t look like the people who are in charge are going to do what it takes to really slow down this climate change, so we are going to have to adapt. And adapting is going to be very, very expensive.”
Interesting conference recap for my resilience, cities, and adaptation readers. Focus seems to have been on public-private partnerships in rebuilding after disasters - getting NGOs, non-profits, and governments together to discuss how to better plan and manage environmental risks. Big fan of the international flavors at this event.
In 2011 a couple of months after the Great East Japan Earthquake and the Fukushima nuclear aftermath, the Global Platform for Disaster Reduction, which also hosted the first World Reconstruction Conference, brought together almost 3000 people working on reducing disaster risks and building resilient communities. This included several Heads of State, Ministers, a Managing Director of the World Bank, over 2,600 delegates representing 163 Governments, 25 inter-governmental organizations, 65 non-governmental organizations, parliamentarians, private sector, local government, academic institutions, civil society and international organizations.
The Chair’s Summary of the 2011 event identified 9 ways to place DRR at the forefront to preserve and protect the balance of nature and ensure sustainable development and well-being of future generations. This included supporting local government, drawing on the untapped potential of local actors, building on the role of women as change agents, involving children and youth in decisions that affect their future, engaging the private sector, building on the role of parliamentarians in setting policy, promoting cooperation at the local, national, and regional levels, supporting the scientific and technical communities to inform decisions, and supporting UNISDR in its leadership role in within the UN on DRR.
“10 Ways the Sequester Will Expose Americans to Greater Health Risks and Other Perils”. That link-baity headline is the intro to a slew of alarmist clap-trap from the: Center for American Progress (CAP).
The truth is, it is not known which programs or projects will be cut as a result of sequestration. Ezra Klein of the Washington Post has a much more reasonable take on Congress’s inaction (unlike CAP, Klein seems to have read and comprehended the Budget Control Bill):
The sequester is set to cut spending across the board. But how? We know an awful lot about what the sequester can’t do. It can’t cut Social Security, Medicaid, military salaries or any number of of exempt programs. It can’t mess with federal pay scales. It can’t favor certain programs over others. But the actual process by which cuts are to be determined, and who is involved in that process, is more obscure.
The problem, budget experts say, is that the Budget Control Act was simultaneously very strict in its dictates and not specific about what those dictates mean. “The law states that the ‘same percentage sequestration shall apply to all programs, projects, and activities within a budget account,’ ” former OMB director Peter Orszag says. “That’s pretty restrictive, giving little room for creativity.”
What room there is comes from defining exactly what is meant by “programs,” “projects” and “activities.” “There is not a standard definition,” Stan Collender, a longtime Congressional budget hand currently at the PR firm Qorvis, explains. “It’s not something that exists anywhere else in nature.”
The Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting supports some of the deepest reporting (of all media) on the sweet spot between human, sociopolitical, and environmental crises.
This video shows the incredible work by Mujib Mashal, who for several months explored how international development aid lacks focus on its most important resource: water and water infrastructure. Afghanistan is an agricultural society, yet less than 5% of aid money goes to the water sector.
Pulitzer Center grantee Mujib Mashal explains how trans-boundary water tensions with Iran and Pakistan cast a shadow on the development of Afghanistan’s mainly agricultural economy.
In his reporting project, he’s found water murder, violent threats against political officials, farmers’ reluctance to diversify from poppy production until there’s enough water, and an international reluctance to get involved. Only 5 percent of aid money flowing into Afghanistan goes to the water sector, despite clear needs for infrastructure. Read more here.
It’s Climate Science Communications Week at Climate Adaptation! For the entire week of Feb. 18 - 23, I’ll cover how climate change is discussed by the media, scientists, researchers, academics, and politicians. If you have sources or ideas on communicating climate change, send to: http://climateadaptation.tumblr.com/submit
The World Bank published an easy to read guide to climate adaptation. The primary focus is to explain what adaptation is, and how city managers can adapt and lower risks to people, their homes, and businesses.
“Building resilience and adapting to climate change is increasingly a high priority for cities. Besides mitigation, on which efforts have largely focused in the past, cities should today play a larger role in adaptation. The World Bank and various other development institutions are working with cities to strengthen their capacity to assess vulnerability to climate change impacts and to identify corresponding plans and investments to increase their resilience.
This guide on climate change adaptation in cities is intended to offer mayors and other city officials, in developing countries, practical guidance on how to respond to the challenges of climate change adaptation in their cities. It provides a comprehensive overview of key climate adaptation issues that are relevant to cities, offers examples of good practices and successful experiences, and is a useful guide to other available resources and policy tools on the topic.
The guide focuses on disaster risk management, the urban poor and other vulnerable groups, and access to climate finance.”