Africa unites on climate and disaster risk management
NAIROBI, 15 December, 2022: Hot on the heels of COP27, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction has brought together ten of Africa’s most disaster-prone nations who want to accelerate climate action through better management of disaster and climate risks.
The ten are among those countries which contribute least to global greenhouse gas emissions but are disproportionately exposed to extreme weather events driven by global warming.
They include eight Least Developed Countries and some Small Island Developing States: Benin, Comoros, Djibouti, Malawi, Mauritania, Mauritius, Niger, Seychelles, Sudan and Uganda.
Focal points for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, and finance ministries of these African and Arab States are participating in a two-day regional workshop focused on UNDRR’s flagship programme on comprehensive disaster and climate risk management.
Including more complete disaster data collection, boosting synergies between disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation has become an ever more urgent task given the COP27 decision to establish a loss and damage fund for climate vulnerable countries and to step up technical assistance through the Santiago Network established three years ago at COP25.
While nearly all have disaster risk reduction plans aligned with the goals and targets of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction only Benin, Niger and Sudan also have national adaptation plans.
Globally, 125 governments report the existence of National Disaster Risk Reduction Plans and 40 governments report having National Adaptation Plans. As more countries develop such plans, and advance their implementation, UNDRR advocates for more integrated approaches.
Opening the workshop, Mr Amjad Abbashar, Chief of the UNDRR Regional Office for Africa said: “Disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation have the common objective of reducing vulnerability and enhancing capacity and resilience. A comprehensive disaster and climate risk management approach is key to making the shift towards integrated plans and policies, supported by shared risk understanding and inclusive institutions.”
“Benin already has plans for disaster risk reduction and adaptation. We need coordinated implementation of these complementary plans for better investments in the country. Collaboration on management and application of disaster and climate risk information, and capacity development, between the ministries for climate change and disaster risk reduction, together with the planning and finance department, is a key enabler,” said Mr Constant Houndenou, Advisor in the Ministry of the Living Environment and Sustainable Development, Benin.
The workshop will result in a shared vision for climate-risk informed, data-driven national plans and integrated strategies for disaster and climate risk management.
Organizations contributing to the workshop sessions include the Green Climate Fund, Global Environmental Facility, UNFCCC Secretariat, UNDP, IFRC, UNEP, WMO, GIZ, UNHABITAT, UNCDF, IOM/CADRI and IIED.