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Where Do We Go From Here? 

Progress in reducing disaster risk has been accomplished, particularly in terms of disaster preparedness and response. Community-based approaches to the reduction in risk have also gained momentum. Comprehensive risk management strategies based upon the integration of the subject within development programming across multiple sectors and at all levels is established as an appropriate concept. Also, the rise in application of environmental management as a dynamic approach to reduce risk with multiple benefits is another important development. But the global reduction in risk of disaster, particularly among Least Developed Countries, is currently totally insufficient, which accounts for the disaster impacts experienced in recent years and highlights major inadequacies to deal with additional threats in the future. 

Within this context, the disaster risk reduction challenges in a changing climate that NGOs and communities and the international development community as a whole have to tackle, have been identified as:

         The increasing exposure and vulnerability of the poor

         The lack of progress addressing social and climate injustice

         The weak voice of civil society in national and global decision-making


To overcome these key challenges, the disaster risk reduction progress that has been made must be scaled-up and replicated. For this to occur a fundamental shift is required in the degree of significance placed upon the experience of the local communities most in danger and the root causes of their vulnerability to risks, that are largely generated elsewhere. Developing the necessary incentives to support these processes will be a critical issue facing both policy makers and practitioners, and one in which climate change can be considered both as a series threat to global human security and a major opportunity for global reform.

Improve awareness and advocacy on climate change and DRR and climate change adaptation issues.

Adopt physical adaptive measures in response to identified needs.

Invest in early warning systems and be prepared to respond in time to save livelihoods as well as lives.

Facilitate dialogue and understanding between traditional DRR and climate change groups.

Develop responsive and forward looking approaches to identified and potential disaster-related events and impacts, including food and livelihood security.

Strengthen the capacity and management of local natural resource management institutions.

Strengthen formal institutional structures, including local disaster management committees and financial institutions;

Increased formal national security options for common disasters, and heightened awareness of their existence and potential

Develop enabling policy frameworks possibly incentive-linked to possible adaptation measures.

Improve research on key support sectors such as agriculture, flood risk prevention and management and so forth.

Establish new mechanisms need to be established, however, to provide sufficient funding for adaptation to climate change and risk reduction.




(1) Photo (c) 2008, GDIN, Global Disaster Information Network. OECD official at GDIN Conference discussing risk reduction in indigenous cultures, GDIN2004.
(2) Photo of David Stone and Larry Roeder in Geneva June 26, 2008