What is climate-smart risk informed development?

What is climate-smart risk informed development?

What is climate-smart risk informed development?

Adapted from UNDRR.

To be resilient a community, system, or society must be able to continue on their development and growth path while managing existing and potential future disaster risk.

Climate-smart risk informed development takes place at the intersection of climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and sustainable development.

Investment in adaptation is important, but we cannot lose sight of avoiding new risk creation. Climate change is already expanding the risk landscape; we can no longer afford to increase risks through poor planning, lack or regulation, or insufficient political will.

The impacts of climate change are evident and accelerating; climate change is exacerbating existing natural hazard risks and creating new risks across the globe. Failing to take climate change and changing risk environments into account in development planning threatens to undermine development progress.

Addressing risk reduction, climate change adaptation, and development together

Risk reduction, climate change adaptation, and development investment should not be mutually exclusive, nor should they compete for money.

Rather, they can and should be addressed together.

When budgeting and planning for development, adaptation, or disaster risk reduction, don’t think of them as separate sectors or approaches. Instead, focus on incorporating climate adaptation, risk reduction, and development in all sectors in which you work.

The Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance focusses on the Triple Resilience Dividends of Disaster Risk Management investments to make the case for climate smart risk informed development:

  1. Avoiding losses when disasters strike;
  2. Stimulating economic activity thanks to reduced disaster risk; and
  3. Development co-benefits, or co-uses, of a specific investment.

If development is risk and climate-informed:

  • it will achieve sustainable development objectives in a cost-efficient way;
  • it will avoid creating new risk (the Alliance calls this ‘prospective risk reduction’); and
  • it will be climate-smart under future conditions.

Relevant resources

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