Why is Loss and Damage critical?
Or why is Loss and Damage different from Adaptation and Mitigation and why serious political will to integrate Loss and Damage in the global climate regime will be vital for the success of the COP22 climate change negotiations. This week the world gathers in Marrakesh for the 22nd Conference of Parties (COP22). This is the next instalment in the annual climate change negotiations at which governments as parties, alongside observers in the form of academics, NGO’s, civil society, community representatives […]
Climate change is fuelling extreme weather events
On International Day for Disaster Reduction, Hurricane Matthew is a timely reminder of the consequences of inaction on climate change. Changing climates exacerbated by years of ineffective development generates risk for everyone, especially the poorest and most vulnerable those least responsible for the climate change problem. We have all seen the news of the devastation that Hurricane Matthew has wrecked on the Caribbean. Matthew, which spawned late in the hurricane season, first struck Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba before turning its […]
Making up time on Loss and Damage
This week the world passed a benchmark when the 56th country submitted documents of ratification for the global climate change agreement that was signed in Paris in December 2015. This was a significant step and raises the likelihood that the Paris agreement will be ratified in advance of the next global climate gathering in Marrakesh, Morocco in November 2016. One of the significant achievements (aside from it actually being passed!) was the inclusion of Article 8 on Loss and Damage. […]
Natural Capital the basis for effective flood protection?
The year has been marked by a number of unusual climate events. Not only was 2015 the hottest year on record, with 2016 appearing on track to exceed this, but the year has also been unusually wet. In the US state of Louisiana, 13 people died and large areas are still struggling to cope when a “no-name storm” dumped three times as much rain on Louisiana as Hurricane Katrina. This disaster manifested despite the US having the largest global disaster […]
Can you trust technology to provide protection from flooding?
Practical Action has been working with a number of different partners in the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance to explore the factors that build the resilience of communities in developing countries to the threat of floods. One of the features of flood prone communities is the fact that these communities are often fully aware of the risk, but some economic or social benefit leads to them discounting the risk to live in the at risk location. We are now entering the […]
Loss and Damage, why it’s vital to get it right.
At the COP21 Paris climate talks the issue of Loss and Damage was firmly cemented in the global agreement under Article 8. This agreement sets the agenda for climate action and the inclusion of a separate article on loss and damage recognises that for many people climate change is already a reality. Climate change is impacting people’s lives and livelihoods and for some adaptation is already too late. Climate change exacerbates existing hazards Climate change hits the poorest hardest, those […]
The Inspirational Women of Bangladesh
I have been in Bangladesh for the last 8 days, visiting Practical Action’s flood Early Warning System project on the banks of the Jamuna river. During this time, I have had the pleasure of meeting some inspirational women that I would like to introduce on this International Women’s Day 2016. First of all: the women of the Saidabad Community Based Organisation (CBO). Of the 70 CBO members, 43 are women. Every week they deposit Tk 10 (about 9p) into the […]
Gender Inclusive Resilience
Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) involves reducing disaster risks through efforts to analyse and reduce their underlying causes. On International Women’s day it is vital to the success of these efforts that the agency of women is not ignored nor overlooked. Disasters affect men and women, the young and the old, differently. Due to entrenched socio-economic conditions, cultural beliefs and traditional practices, women are more likely to be disproportionately affected by disasters. Hence, the empowerment of women is a critical ingredient […]
Technology Justice is critical to reduce risk for the poorest
Technology can greatly enhance the ability of disaster-affected communities to reduce their risk thus preventing natural hazards turning into human disasters. Technology has driven our development. Key technological innovations have heralded revolutions in the way we interact with the environment, but this drive for development has now started to threaten our future. Many scientists are proposing that we have now entered a new epoch “The Anthropocene”. This started when human activities began to have a significant impact on the Earth’s geology and ecosystems. Climate change […]
Disaster Risk Reduction and political economy
At Practical Action, we know that investment in disaster risk reduction (DRR) is far more effective and efficient at saving lives and livelihoods than post-disaster relief – although both are necessary, to a greater or lesser degree. When more is invested in appropriate DRR, less relief is needed – as per the oft quoted fact that every $1 spent on DRR saves at least $7 in post-disaster relief (UNDP, 2016). Unfortunately, it is not always possible to carry out those […]