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Supporting Climate Risk Management at Scale. Insights from the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance Partnership Model Applied in Peru & Nepal

There has been increasing interest in the potential of effective sciencesociety partnership models for identifying and implementing options that manage critical disaster risks “on the ground.” This particularly holds true for debate around Loss and Damage. Few documented precedents and little documented experience exists, however, for such models of engagement. How to organise such partnerships? What are learnings from existing activities and how can these be upscaled? We report on one such partnership, the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance, a multi-actor partnership launched in 2013 to enhance communities’ resilience to flooding at local to global scales. The program brings together the skills and expertise of NGOs, the private sector and research institutions in order to induce transformational change for managing flood risks. Working in a number of countries facing different challenges and opportunities the program uses a participatory and iterative approach to develop sustainable portfolios of interventions that tackle both flood risk and development objectives in synergy. We focus our examination on two cases of Alliance engagement, where livelihoods are particularly being eroded by flood risk, including actual and potential contributions by climate change: (i) in the Karnali river basin in West Nepal, communities are facing rapid on-set flash floods during the monsoon season; (ii) in the Rimac basin in Central Peru communities are exposed to riverine floodingamplified by El Niño episodes. We show how different tools and methods can be co-generated and used at different learning stages and across temporal and agency scales by researchers and practitioners. Seamless integration is neither possible, nor desirable, and in many instances, an adaptive management approach through, what we call, a Shared Resilience Learning Dialogue, can provide the boundary process that connects the different analytical elements developed and particularly links those up with community-led processes. Our critical examination of the experience from the Alliance leads into suggestions for identifying novel funding and support models involving NGOs, researchers and the private sector working side by side with public sector institutions to deliver community level support for managing risks that may go “beyond adaptation.”

Mechler, Reinhard; McQuistan, Colin; McCallum, Ian; Liu, Wei; Keating, Adriana; Magnuszewski, Piotr; Schinko, Thomas; Laurien, Finn; Hochrainer-Stigler, Stefan

Language: English
Published By: Springer
Published date: November 2018

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