3. Principles for effective disaster risk management for agricultural resilience

Agriculture1 is highly vulnerable to natural hazards. Natural hazard-induced disasters2 (NHID) caused by droughts, earthquakes, fires, floods and severe weather conditions can have significant, widespread and long-lasting impacts on the sector through the serious damage they cause to farm assets, infrastructure and farmland, and through crop and livestock losses. There can also be costs due, for example, to the impacts on social wellbeing and animal welfare (Productivity Commission, 2014[1]). The impacts of natural hazards are particularly severe in developing countries, where they can significantly affect agricultural growth, rural livelihoods and food security, and impede progress towards sustainable development (FAO, 2021[2]; UNISDR, 2015[3]). A large share of global disaster losses over the period 2008-18 – around 39% – were concentrated in least-developed and lower-middle-income countries, where agriculture accounts for a significant share of formal and informal economic activity (FAO, 2021[2]).

While the impacts of individual natural hazard events can be severe, natural hazard risk – and indeed, disaster risk more broadly – is becoming increasingly compound and interacting. Droughts and floods can trigger pest and disease outbreaks; weather-related hazards are expected to intensify and increase in frequency because of climate change (IPCC, 2013[4]); and in many countries, natural hazards such as severe storms, droughts and pest outbreaks have compounded the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on agriculture (FAO, 2021[2]). Interlinkages between agriculture and other sectors and systems also mean that natural hazards can affect agriculture and disrupt farm business activities by interrupting or shutting down critical infrastructure for the sector, such as irrigation and drainage systems and transport networks that connect farmers to inputs and markets (WEF, 2016[5]; Bailey and Wellesley, 2017[6]; FAO, 2018[7]). These same linkages also mean that even when the most direct impact is reduced production, the effects can cascade along the entire agro-food value chain, affecting rural livelihoods, and placing all dimensions of food security and nutrition at risk, particularly in affected areas (FAO, 2021[2]).

Given the compounding and systemic nature of natural hazard risk, disaster risk management3 (DRM) frameworks that strengthen the ability of farmers to prepare and plan for, absorb, respond, recover from, and more successfully adapt and transform in response to natural hazards, are essential to build agricultural resilience to these hazards. This is particularly important for natural hazards, but also applies to broader systemic risks affecting the agricultural sector, including those presented by the COVID-19 pandemic (Box 3.1). Effective DRM requires public and private stakeholders to understand the risks they face from natural hazards, and to take responsibility for managing the risks that these pose to their assets and activities. It also depends on sound governance frameworks for making decisions on how best to manage disaster risk to ensure resilience.

The joint OECD-FAO project on Building Agricultural Resilience to Natural Hazard-Induced Disasters: Insights from Country Case Studies examines DRM frameworks in selected OECD and developing countries to identify what governments and agricultural sector stakeholders can do to build the resilience of farmers and the agricultural sector to NHID – resilience defined here as the ability of farmers to prepare and plan for, absorb, respond, recover from, and more successfully adapt and transform in response to natural hazards (OECD, 2020[11]). The project identifies good practices for ensuring resilience in DRM in agriculture, emphasising in particular:

  • Policies and strategies available to governments, including:

    • Ex ante measures to assess natural hazard risks and the sector’s vulnerability to them, to prevent or reduce the probability of a natural hazard-induced disaster occurring, and to mitigate the potential impacts.

    • Ex post measures to help farmers cope with and recover from a NHID once it has occurred, and to “build back better”4 during recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

  • Governance arrangements, including for:

    • Allocating responsibilities and resources for managing natural disaster risk among stakeholders, including crisis management and disaster response.

    • Deciding among policy options to “manage” natural disaster risks, including between investing in ex ante measures such as risk prevention and mitigation, and providing ex post assistance to help farmers cope with and recover from a natural disaster.

    • Ensuring the coherence of agricultural sector frameworks and measures with national DRM frameworks, and with broader objectives for the sector.

The project follows a case study approach. DRM frameworks in the seven case study countries – Chile, Italy, Japan, Namibia, New Zealand, Turkey and the United States5 – were analysed qualitatively, using information obtained through a questionnaire provided to countries, interviews with stakeholders, field visits and desktop research. This approach ensures that each case study reflects the context-specific aspects of DRM for agriculture in each country, including the role played by formal and informal organisations. Each case study provides an overview of governance arrangements for natural hazard-induced disaster risks (including national, cross-sectoral frameworks), and the measures in place to identify risks, prevent and mitigate, prepare for, and recover from natural hazard-induced disasters in agriculture. That said, each case study focuses on a particular natural hazard to explore how measures and governance arrangements contribute to building agricultural resilience.

Good practices in the case study countries are identified at each stage of the DRM cycle – risk identification, assessment and awareness; prevention and mitigation; preparedness; response and crisis management; and recovery and reconstruction – according to principles and recommendations from key international frameworks for managing the risks posed by disasters and other risks. This includes the OECD’s Holistic Approach to Risk Management for Resilience in Agriculture (OECD, 2009[12]; 2011[13]; 2020[11]) and other international frameworks – specifically, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR, 2015[3]); the OECD Recommendation on the Governance of Critical Risks (OECD, 2014[14]); and the Joint Framework for Strengthening resilience for food security and nutrition of the Rome-based Agencies (FAO, IFAD and WFP, 2019[15]). These are outlined in the following section.

OECD analysis has found that an efficient and effective policy approach for risk management in agriculture will take into account the interactions and trade-offs between different risks, on-farm strategies and government policies, and offer differentiated responses to different types of risk. Specifically, the OECD holistic framework for analysing risk management policies in agriculture distinguishes normal business risks (to be borne and managed by farmers) from larger but less frequent risks requiring market solutions (such as insurance systems and futures markets) and comparatively rarer catastrophic risks – such as natural hazard-induced disasters – requiring public intervention (OECD, 2009[12]; OECD, 2011[13]). In terms of disaster assistance, this work emphasises the importance of defining explicit boundaries for catastrophic risks and establishing an ex ante framework that determines when ex post disaster assistance will be provided. The framework has been applied in studies of risk management systems in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Spain; a review of policy approaches for the sustainable management of droughts and floods in agriculture; and a review of policy approaches for managing weather-related disasters in Southeast Asian agriculture.6

More recent work argues that a resilience approach to agricultural risk management requires public and private actors to consider the risk landscape over the long term, and to place a greater emphasis on what can be done ex ante to reduce risk exposure and increase preparedness. It highlights the trade-offs inherent in agricultural risk management, including between the interests of different stakeholders and between different measures to manage risk, such as investing in risk prevention and mitigation ex ante and providing ex post disaster assistance. It recommends that governments adopt participatory approaches to define disaster risk frameworks and ensure that all stakeholders are aware of risks and understand their responsibilities for managing risk. It also identifies a role for no-regret (or win-win) policies and appropriate investments in public goods that build agricultural resilience to risk under a wide range of future scenarios, and contribute to agricultural productivity and sustainability even in the absence of a shock. Finally, it argues that farmers need to invest in their own capacities to manage risk – for example, entrepreneurship and human capital, and on-farm strategies such as diversifying production and income sources, and savings – to increase their resilience to all types of risks, including catastrophic events (OECD, 2020[11]).

OECD analysis finds that an optimal approach to risk management in agriculture will include appropriate ex ante and prevention policies, and emphasise the capacities farmers need to adapt to – or transform in response to – a more uncertain future (OECD, 2020[11]). The work has yielded several findings that are relevant for natural disaster risk management. To design effective policies, governments should:

  • Focus on extreme, infrequent but catastrophic events – such as natural hazard-induced disasters (NHID) – that cause significant damage, affect many or all farmers over a wide area, and are beyond farmers’ or markets’ capacity to cope.

  • Provide incentives for farmers to manage normal business risk, invest in managing risks to their assets, including from natural disasters, and develop their capacity to plan for, absorb, respond, recover from, and more successfully adapt to risks, including catastrophic events.

  • Avoid crowding out the development of market tools, such as private insurance, for managing natural disaster risks.

  • Invest in key sectoral capacities that build agricultural sector resilience to risk – and contribute to agricultural productivity and sustainability – under a wide range of future scenarios.

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 (Sendai Framework) is the global instrument to manage disaster risk adopted by the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in March 2015. It builds on and ensures continuity with the work carried out by countries and other stakeholders under the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005–2015), the first plan to explain, describe and detail the work that is required from different sectors and actors to reduce disaster losses (UNISDR, 2015[3]; 2015[16]).

The Sendai Framework signals a shift away from post facto management of disasters towards proactively reducing their risks, lowering vulnerability, and enhancing resilience before disasters occur. It emphasises that disaster risk reduction practices need to be multi-hazard and multisectoral, inclusive and accessible in order to be efficient and effective. It has three goals: preventing the creation of risk, reducing existing risk, and strengthening the resilience of people and assets to withstand residual risk. It establishes four priority areas for action that, together, can effectively address the risk of natural hazards: 1) understanding disaster risks; 2) strengthening disaster risk governance to manage risk; 3) investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience; and 4) enhancing disaster preparedness to enable “building back better” during recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction. States and all other stakeholders are required to implement the priority areas in line with 13 guiding principles that help establish what needs to be done. These guiding principles include, first and foremost:

  • Primary responsibility of states to prevent and reduce disaster risk, including through co-operation

  • Shared responsibility between central and local authorities, sectors and stakeholders

  • Protection of persons and their assets, while promoting and protecting all human rights, including the right to development

  • Engagement by all of society

  • Full engagement of all state institutions of an executive and legislative nature at national and local levels

  • Coherence of policies, plans, practices and mechanisms across different sectors and agendas.

The remaining guiding principles are: Decision-making to be inclusive and risk-informed while using a multi-hazard approach; Accounting for local and specific characteristics of disaster risks when determining measures to reduce risk; Addressing underlying risk factors cost-effectively through investment, versus relying primarily on post-disaster response and recovery; Build Back Better for preventing the creation of, and reducing existing, disaster risk; The quality of global partnership and international co-operation to be effective, meaningful and strong; and Support from developed countries and partners to developing countries to be tailored according to needs and priorities as identified by them.

The Sendai Framework also recognises that many disasters are exacerbated by climate change, and that increased coherence between countries’ approaches to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation under the 2016 Paris Agreement can support progress towards poverty reduction under the Sustainable Development Goals. While the Sendai Framework and Paris Agreement refer to their respective goals and objectives, each guides progress towards a more sustainable, resilient and equitable future. Domestically, responsibilities for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction tend to be spread across different institutions and stakeholders; internationally, they are supported by separate UN agencies and related processes. The different approaches and mechanisms inevitably result in overlaps and gaps (OECD, 2020[17]). Ensuring credible links, as appropriate, between these processes will contribute to building resilience to natural disaster and climate risks and achieving the global goal of eradicating poverty.

Broader OECD work on risk governance highlights the important role of institutions in boosting disaster resilience (OECD, 2014[18]; OECD, 2017[19]). Effective institutions are crucial in influencing decisions by individual actors on whether or not to invest in resilience measures. Gaps in resilience levels may be due to stakeholders in government bodies, the private sector or individual households lacking awareness about risks; about which measures exist to increase resilience; or about their responsibilities for managing disaster risk. Specifically, the OECD finds that governments need to address widespread disincentives for public and private risk management that lead to an over-reliance on the government for post-disaster risk financing (OECD, 2014[18]).

The OECD has argued that governments should re-evaluate their approach to disaster risk management to ensure the effectiveness of current investments in disaster risk reduction. The 2014 OECD Recommendation on the Governance of Critical Risks proposes a fundamental shift in risk governance towards a whole-of-society effort. It proposes actions that governments can take at all levels of government, in collaboration with the private sector and with each other, to better assess, prevent, respond to and recover from the effects of extreme events, as well as take measures to build resilience to rebound from unanticipated events (OECD, 2014[14]):

  • Establish and promote a comprehensive, all-hazards and transboundary approach to country risk governance to serve as the foundation for enhancing national resilience and responsiveness.

  • Build preparedness through foresight analysis, risk assessments and financing frameworks, to better anticipate complex and wide-ranging impacts.

  • Raise awareness of critical risks to mobilise households, businesses and international stakeholders and foster investment in risk prevention and mitigation.

  • Develop adaptive capacity in crisis management by co-ordinating resources across government, its agencies and broader networks to support timely decision-making, communication and emergency responses.

  • Demonstrate transparency and accountability in risk-related decision making by incorporating good governance practices and continuously learning from experience and science.

The Joint framework for Strengthening Resilience For Food Security and Nutrition is a conceptual framework for collaboration and partnership among the Rome-based Agencies7 (RBA) to support the resilience of food-insecure people in relation to shocks that affect their livelihoods and food systems (FAO, IFAD and WFP, 2019[15]). The framework provides a way for the agencies to seek and build complementary alignment across existing agency-specific approaches to support the resilience of food-insecure people, rather than develop new approaches, thereby ensuring that RBA collaboration is cost-effective.

The common focus of RBA work is to strengthen the resilience of rural poor, vulnerable and food insecure people’s livelihoods and production systems. The emphasis is on situations where the capacities of supporting structures and institutions − notably government systems, national and local institutions and farmers’ organisations − are not in a position to offset or buffer the impacts of shocks and stressors.

According to the RBA, resilience is essentially about the inherent capacities (abilities) of individuals, groups, communities and institutions to withstand, cope, recover, adapt and transform in the face of shocks. This implies that all interventions must begin by identifying and building upon existing capacities and resources. The RBA conceptual framework aims to strengthen three types of capacities of target populations and organisations: absorptive capacity; adaptive capacity; and transformative capacity. While the importance of these three resilience capacities are widely recognised [for example, see OECD (2020[11])], the RBA definitions are most relevant for the target groups of the RBAs (as defined in the joint framework). Specifically, absorptive capacity is defined as the capacity to withstand threats and minimise exposure to shocks and stressors through preventative measures and appropriate coping strategies to avoid permanent, negative impacts. Adaptive capacity is defined as the capacity to adapt to new options in the face of crisis by making proactive and informed choices about alternative livelihood strategies based on an understanding of changing conditions. Finally, transformative capacity is defined as the capacity to transform the set of livelihood choices available through empowerment and growth, including governance mechanisms, policies/regulations, infrastructure, community networks, and formal and informal social protection mechanisms that constitute an enabling environment for systemic change (FAO, IFAD and WFP, 2019[15]).

The conceptual framework is guided by six principles and practices for resilience, food security and nutrition:

  • Local and national ownership and leadership: people, communities and governments must lead resilience-building for improved food security and nutrition.

  • Multi-stakeholder approach: assisting vulnerable people to build their resilience is beyond the capacity of any single institution.

  • Combine humanitarian relief and development: planning frameworks should combine immediate relief requirements with long-term development objectives.

  • Focus on the most vulnerable people: ensuring protection of the most vulnerable people is crucial for sustaining development efforts.

  • Mainstream risk-sensitive approaches: effective risk management requires an explicit focus in the decision making of national governments, as well as enhanced monitoring and analysis.

  • Aim for sustained impact: interventions must be evidence based and focused on results.

The four frameworks outlined above highlight a number of aspects of DRM that are critical for building agricultural sector resilience to NHID, including strong, effective and participatory disaster risk governance, and the importance of ex ante frameworks for disaster response and recovery, including to enable building back better after a disaster. Based on these frameworks, the case studies assess country-specific situations according to the following four principles for effective DRM for resilience, which were developed jointly by the OECD and FAO. The principles are closely aligned with the four Sendai Framework priorities for action and OECD recommendations, and propose a menu of actions that governments and agricultural sector stakeholders can take to improve the effectiveness of DRM for resilience in agriculture. Specifically, good practices for effective DRM for resilience in agriculture are identified according to the following four principles:

  • An inclusive, holistic and all-hazards approach to natural disaster risk governance for resilience

  • A shared understanding of natural disaster risk based on the identification, assessment and communication of risk, vulnerability and resilience capacities

  • An ex ante approach to natural disaster risk management

  • An approach emphasising preparedness and planning for effective crisis management, disaster response, and to “build back better” to increase resilience to future natural hazards

Strong and effective governance arrangements are crucial for building agricultural resilience to NHID. An inclusive, holistic and multi-hazards approach, which takes into account the trade-offs and interactions between disaster risks, farmer strategies and wider DRM policies, is important to identify priorities and ensure that resources are allocated to those disaster risks that are the most significant (OECD, 2009[12]; 2018[20]). Institutions play an important role in influencing decisions by farmers, government bodies and other stakeholders on whether or not to invest in building resilience, by defining stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities in managing natural disaster risk and providing incentives for investments in risk prevention and mitigation (OECD, 2014[18]; UNISDR, 2015[3]).

In contrast, fragmented DRM frameworks – for example, based on a specific type of natural hazard, sector, or across government agencies – and governance gaps may reduce the effectiveness and efficiency of investments in resilience (OECD, 2009[12]; UNISDR, 2015[3]). Governance gaps can include: a lack of visibility around the benefits of ex ante investments in resilience at all levels – the national and local levels, and also on farms; policy signals that create the expectation of post-disaster assistance; barriers to stakeholder engagement and co-operation across agencies; and inflexible DRM policies and strategies (OECD, 2014[18]; 2017[19]).

To this end, governments should seek to:

  • Integrate the agricultural sector into national (multi-hazard) strategies for governing disaster risks, including establishing leadership to drive integration, connect policy agendas and align competing priorities across sectors and agencies. Equally, DRM and resilience priorities should be integrated into sectoral policies and plans, and their implementation.

  • Engage relevant stakeholders, including farmers, industry organisations, critical infrastructure owners and operators, academia and scientific and research institutions, and actors from all relevant levels of government, and clarify (public and private) stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities for managing natural disaster risk using participatory approaches.

  • Demonstrate transparency and accountability in risk-related decision making by incorporating good governance practices and continuously learning from experience.

  • Establish necessary mechanisms and incentives to ensure compliance with existing sectoral laws and regulations, including those that address land use and urban planning, building codes, environmental and resource management standards relevant for agriculture. These should be regularly updated to ensure an adequate focus on DRM for resilience.

  • Evaluate relationships and co-ordination of agricultural DRM frameworks at all levels with instruments, institutions and procedures for catastrophic risk management outside the agricultural sector.

  • Evaluate the coherence of DRM frameworks and objectives and measures with broader agricultural policy frameworks and development objectives for the sector.

  • Establish operational mechanisms that link institutions at the national and local levels, and translate national disaster risk reduction policies (DRR) and plans into practical and incentives-based approaches for DRR to be implemented at the local level.

  • Assess the coherence of DRM, climate change adaptation and sustainable development approaches and measures, to better understand opportunities for synergies and complementarities, while avoiding potential overlap with structures and actions in agricultural sectors.

A shared awareness and understanding of natural disaster risks is important to encourage investments in risk preparedness, prevention and mitigation (OECD, 2020[11]; FAO, 2021[2]). Gaps in agricultural resilience – for example, due to deficiencies in protective or other critical infrastructure, or other preparedness capacities – and gaps in DRM frameworks may be due to stakeholders in government bodies, industry organisations or individual farmers lacking awareness of risks or of their responsibilities for managing them, or the particular impact disasters have on agriculture. This can reduce the incentives for public and private risk management, leading to an over-reliance on national governments for post-disaster assistance (OECD, 2014[18]; OECD, 2017[19]). More broadly, information gaps can constrain decision-making, including between policy options to manage natural disaster risks, during crisis management, and in the disaster response and recovery stages.

To this end, all stakeholders should seek to increase their awareness of natural hazard risks and risk reduction approaches; their vulnerability to disaster risks; and their capacity to manage those risks. Governments can support greater awareness among stakeholders through:

  • Facilitating access to training, formal and non-formal education; utilising social media and mobilising key stakeholders, and by addressing policy disincentives to investments in building resilience. This can entail:

    • establishing a shared understanding of acceptable levels of risk and responsibility for managing risk across all risk layers

    • developing integrated platforms for information on natural disaster risk and impacts that are accessible to all stakeholders

    • raising awareness of the benefits of ex ante investments in resilience

  • Investing in risk, vulnerability and capacity identification, assessment and two-way communication to improve awareness of natural disaster risk among stakeholders where public benefits outweigh costs, including foresight exercises and periodic reassessments, taking into consideration a changing risk environment due, for example, to climate change. This includes:

    • taking interactions between different types of risks and cascading effects into account in risk assessments, to help set priorities and inform allocation of resources

    • assessing agricultural losses and damages in the wake of natural disasters and ensuring the establishment, management and accessibility of databases that include this type of data

    • developing and disseminating climate and weather information products and services tailored to the needs of farmers

    • building scientific and technical capacities and strengthening the science-policy interface for effective policy making

  • Identifying the agricultural sector’s capacities and vulnerabilities in natural disaster risk management, including infrastructure and services that are critical for ensuring the continuation of farm business activities after a shock.

There is a need to shift the focus from coping with NHID in agriculture to integrated and anticipatory DRM for resilience based on trends and losses. An ex ante approach means considering the risk landscape over the long-term, including unknown future risks, in order to achieve an appropriate balance between ex ante measures such as structural and non-structural measures for disaster prevention and mitigation, including opportunities for nature-based solutions (OECD, 2020[21]), versus ex post recovery and reconstruction efforts. Agricultural DRM policies that focus on coping with and recovering from NHID, rather than mitigating and preparing for future hazards, may undermine the sector’s resilience to natural disaster risk in the future (OECD, 2020[11]).

In contrast, reducing natural disaster risk and increasing preparedness can be a cost-effective investment in preventing future losses in agriculture, particularly in developing countries. Moreover, many farm-level practices and technologies to reduce natural disaster risks yield productivity and sustainability benefits, even in non-disaster contexts (FAO, 2019[22]; UNISDR, 2015[3]; UNDP, 2012[23]). This includes promoting risk prevention efforts to build resilience and reduce underlying vulnerabilities (including as part of broader development efforts), and enhancing the capacities of stakeholders – in government bodies, industry organisations or individual farmers – to prevent, plan for, absorb, respond, recover from, and more successfully adapt and transform in the face of NHID (FAO, IFAD and WFP, 2019[15]).

To this end, all stakeholders should consider the risk landscape over the long-term, including the possibility of unknown future risks, when making decisions about how to manage natural hazards in agriculture. This includes factoring in climate change as a risk driver.

  • For farmers, this includes decisions to invest in building their own resilience capacities; and decisions on whether to adapt their operations by adopting resilience-enhancing strategies, practices and technologies, or indeed transform their operations entirely.

  • For governments this includes decisions between ex ante policies, investments and planning processes versus ex post assistance.

To support an ex ante approach to natural disaster risk management in agriculture, governments should seek to:

  • Develop ex ante frameworks and institutions for when ex post disaster assistance will be provided, to discipline ex post assistance and ensure that the natural disaster response is effective.

  • Promote (including as part of development) all-society prevention efforts to build resilience and reduce underlying vulnerabilities, and enhance the capacities of the sector and government to proactively mitigate impacts of NHID in the future.

  • Encourage (public and private) stakeholders to identify and address gaps in resilience measures and disaster risks to their own assets, including structural and non-structural measures. This includes:

    • ensuring that public investments in key sectoral capacities build resilience and the capacities to absorb, adapt and transform in response to risk – and contribute to productivity and sustainability – under a wide range of future scenarios

    • ensuring that farmers and other stakeholders are exposed to incentives and signals to pursue strategies that will reduce their exposure to all levels of risk, both now and in the future, and have the capacity to act on opportunities to do so, including by addressing policy disincentives and information constraints

    • promoting the mainstreaming of disaster risk assessment, mapping and management into land-use policy and rural development planning, implementation and management to reduce risks

  • Promote – and where appropriate, support – farmers investing in building their own resilience capacities, including developing entrepreneurship and human capital, and increasing uptake of resilience-enhancing strategies, practices and technologies.

  • Promote mechanisms for disaster risk sharing and transfer.

Disaster preparedness and planning are crucial for effective crisis management and to enable “building back better” during recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction (UNISDR, 2015[3]). Rather than rely solely on being able to prevent and absorb the impacts of shocks, a resilience approach also emphasises the importance of recovering and adapting following a disruption (Hynes et al., 2020[24]). There is a need for a greater emphasis on preparedness and planning for NHID in agriculture, while ensuring that DRM frameworks, measures and stakeholders remain flexible and have the capacity to respond to unanticipated events. Rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts should build resilience by addressing underlying vulnerabilities and building the capacities of the sector and government to better manage natural disasters in the future (FAO, IFAD and WFP, 2019[15]). Moreover, all stakeholders – including farmers – should learn continuously from NHID in order to adjust DRM frameworks and measures with a view towards long-term resilience (OECD, 2014[14]; OECD, 2020[11]).

To this end, all stakeholders should increase their preparedness for NHID by investing in knowledge and capacities that allow them to anticipate and respond to a likely, imminent or current NHID, and support a more resilient recovery.

  • For farmers, this means accessing and using available information to better prepare for NHID, and taking advantage of opportunities to address underlying vulnerabilities and reducing future risk exposure during the recovery – by adapting to climate and natural disaster risks.

To support a greater emphasis on preparedness and planning for effective crisis management, disaster response, and to “build back better” after a NHID, governments should seek to:

  • Invest in building flexible capacities of agricultural sector stakeholders involved in crisis management and natural disaster response, including by leveraging scientific and research institutions and conducting regular disaster preparedness, response and recovery exercises at all relevant levels.

  • Ensure that sufficient regulatory flexibilities are in place to accommodate crisis situations, including allowing for temporary derogations on certain regulations or establishing agreements between government agencies to allow for additional staffing in emergency situations.

  • Incorporate “building back better” principles into ex post assistance and disaster response and recovery plans and programmes for agriculture.

  • Promote the integration of DRM for resilience into post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation processes, and facilitate the link between relief, rehabilitation and development.

  • Invest in developing, maintaining and strengthening people-centred and actionable multi-hazard forecasting and early warning systems, disaster risk and emergency communications mechanisms.

  • Learn from, and where possible adapt to, natural disasters through continued learning and evaluation of natural disaster impacts and DRM frameworks. This includes:

    • Establishing participatory and inclusive processes for monitoring, evaluating and updating agricultural DRM programmes and frameworks following a disaster event, with the involvement of relevant institutions.

DRM frameworks can build agricultural resilience by strengthening the ability of farmers and the sector more broadly to prevent, mitigate, prepare and plan for, absorb, respond, recover from, and more successfully adapt and transform in response to natural hazards. This means emphasising preparedness and planning for natural hazards on farm, but also within government agencies and other stakeholders in the private sector that have responsibilities for risk prevention and mitigation, and disaster response, recovery and reconstruction.

This framework identifies four principles for effective DRM for resilience in agriculture. For each of these principles, it also identifies a menu of actions that governments can take to manage natural disaster risk in agriculture, taking into account local and natural-hazard contexts, and sector-specific needs. Specifically, governments should seek to have:

  • An inclusive, holistic and all-hazards approach to natural disaster risk governance for resilience

  • A shared understanding of natural disaster risk based on the identification, assessment and communication of risk, vulnerability and resilience capacities

  • An ex ante approach to natural disaster risk management

  • An approach emphasising preparedness and planning for effective crisis management, disaster response, and to “build back better” to increase resilience to future natural hazards.

Within the above principles, good practices for building agricultural resilience are identified according to the OECD Approach to Risk Management for Resilience, and encompass policy measures and governance arrangements that encourage public and private stakeholders to address gaps in their resilience levels. This can be done by helping these stakeholders understand the risks that they face from natural hazards and their responsibilities for managing the risks these pose to their assets. For example, while rarer catastrophic risks such as NHID may require public intervention, on-farm strategies and the individual farmer’s overall capacity to manage risk also play a critical role in reducing risk exposure to catastrophic events, particularly over the long term (OECD, 2009[12]; OECD, 2020[11]). Specifically, policy measures, governance arrangements, on-farm strategies and other initiatives were identified as “good practices” because they:

  • Encourage public and private sector actors – including farmers – to consider the risk landscape over the long term, including to take into account the potential future effects of climate change on the agricultural sector, and to place a greater emphasis on what can be done ex ante to reduce risk exposure and increase preparedness.

  • Provide incentives and support the capacity of farmers to prevent, mitigate, prepare and plan for, absorb, respond, recover from, and more successfully adapt and transform in response to natural hazards.

  • Consider a wide range of future scenarios, including expected environmental, economic and social structural change, and contribute to agricultural productivity and sustainability, even in the absence of a shock or stress.

  • Take into account the trade-offs inherent in natural disaster risk management, including between measures to build the capacities of the sector to absorb, adapt, or transform in response to natural disaster risk, and between investing in risk prevention and mitigation ex ante and providing ex post disaster assistance.

  • Are developed with the participation of a wide range of actors, to ensure that all relevant stakeholders are equally involved in the design, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of interventions; and share a common understanding of the risk landscape and their respective responsibilities for managing natural disaster risk.

References

[30] Antón, J. and S. Kimura (2011), “Risk Management in Agriculture in Spain”, OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers, No. 43, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5kgj0d57w0wd-en.

[27] Antón, J., S. Kimura and R. Martini (2011), “Risk Management in Agriculture in Canada”, OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers, No. 40, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5kgj0d6189wg-en.

[6] Bailey, R. and L. Wellesley (2017), Chokepoints and Vulnerabilities in Global Food Trade, Chatham House, London, UK, https://www.chathamhouse.org/publication/chokepoints-vulnerabilities-global-food-trade (accessed on 24 July 2018).

[10] EM-DAT (n.d.), CRED Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT), Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, https://www.emdat.be/.

[2] FAO (2021), The impact of disasters and crises on agriculture and food security: 2021, FAO, Rome, https://doi.org/10.4060/cb3673en.

[22] FAO (2019), Disaster risk reduction at farm level: Multiple benefits, no regrets, http://www.fao.org/3/ca4429en/ca4429en.pdf (accessed on 8 September 2020).

[7] FAO (2018), The impact of disasters and crises on agriculture and food security, 2017, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.

[15] FAO, IFAD and WFP (2019), Strengthening resilience for food security and nutrition: A Conceptual Framework for Collaboration and Partnership among the Rome-based Agencies, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP), https://docs.wfp.org/api/documents/WFP-0000062320/download/.

[24] Hynes, W. et al. (2020), “Bouncing forward: a resilience approach to dealing with COVID-19 and future systemic shocks”, Environment Systems and Decisions, Vol. 40/2, pp. 174-184, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10669-020-09776-x.

[26] Kimura, S. and J. Antón (2011), “Risk Management in Agriculture in Australia”, OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers, No. 39, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5kgj0d8bj3d1-en.

[29] Melyukhina, O. (2011), “Risk Management in Agriculture in New Zealand”, OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers, No. 42, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5kgj0d3vzcth-en.

[28] Melyukhina, O. (2011), “Risk Management in Agriculture in The Netherlands”, OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers, No. 41, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5kgj0d5lqn48-en.

[17] OECD (2020), Common Ground Between the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework: Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/3edc8d09-en.

[8] OECD (2020), “Covid-19 and the Food and Agriculture Sector: Issues and Policy Responses”, Policy Brief, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://read.oecd-ilibrary.org/view/?ref=130_130816-9uut45lj4q&title=Covid-19-and-the-food-and-agriculture-sector-Issues-and-policy-responses (accessed on 19 June 2020).

[21] OECD (2020), “Nature-based solutions for adapting to water-related climate risks”, OECD Environment Policy Papers, No. 21, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/2257873d-en.

[11] OECD (2020), Strengthening Agricultural Resilience in the Face of Multiple Risks, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/2250453e-en.

[20] OECD (2018), Assessing Global Progress in the Governance of Critical Risks, OECD Reviews of Risk Management Policies, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264309272-en.

[32] OECD (2018), Managing Weather-Related Disasters in Southeast Asian Agriculture, OECD Studies on Water, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264123533-en.

[19] OECD (2017), Boosting Disaster Prevention through Innovative Risk Governance: Insights from Austria, France and Switzerland, OECD Reviews of Risk Management Policies, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264281370-en.

[31] OECD (2016), Mitigating Droughts and Floods in Agriculture: Policy Lessons and Approaches, OECD Studies on Water, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264246744-en.

[18] OECD (2014), Boosting Resilience through Innovative Risk Governance, OECD Reviews of Risk Management Policies, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264209114-en.

[14] OECD (2014), Recommendation of the Council on the Governance of Critical Risks, https://www.oecd.org/gov/risk/Critical-Risks-Recommendation.pdf (accessed on 8 October 2018).

[13] OECD (2011), Managing Risk in Agriculture: Policy Assessment and Design, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264116146-en.

[12] OECD (2009), Managing Risk in Agriculture: A Holistic Approach, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264075313-en.

[1] Productivity Commission (2014), Natural Disaster Funding Arrangements, Inquiry Report no. 7, Canberra, https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/disaster-funding/report.

[4] Stocker, T. et al. (eds.) (2013), Summary for Policymakers, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York.

[23] UNDP (2012), Putting resilience at the heart of development: Investing in prevention and resilient recovery, https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/librarypage/crisis-prevention-and-recovery/putting-resilicence-at-the-heart-of-development.html (accessed on 8 September 2020).

[25] UNISDR (2016), Report of the open-ended intergovernmental expert working group on indicators and terminology relating to disaster risk reduction, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), https://www.preventionweb.net/files/50683_oiewgreportenglish.pdf.

[16] UNISDR (2015), Reading the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 - 2030, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Geneva, https://www.preventionweb.net/files/46694_readingsendaiframeworkfordisasterri.pdf.

[3] UNISDR (2015), Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 - 2030, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, https://www.unisdr.org/files/43291_sendaiframeworkfordrren.pdf (accessed on 22 August 2018).

[9] UNISDR and CRED (2015), The Human Cost of Weather Related Disasters 1995-2015, NISDR, Geneva, and CRED, Louvain, https://www.unisdr.org/we/inform/publications/46796.

[5] WEF (2016), The Global Risks Report 2016: Insight Report, World Economic Forum, Geneva, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107415324.004.

Notes

← 1. For the purpose of this study, the focus is on crop and livestock subsectors.

← 2. According to UNDRR (formerly UNISDR), a hazard is a “dangerous phenomenon, substance, human activity or condition that may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental damage”. Hazards of natural origin arise from a variety of sources, including: geological (e.g. earthquakes), climatological (e.g. droughts), meteorological (e.g. storms), biological (e.g. animal diseases, insect infestations or epidemics) and hydrological (e.g. floods) sources (UNISDR and CRED, 2015[9]; UNISDR, 2016[25]). Hazards become disasters when they cause great damage, destruction and human suffering.

← 3. UNISDR (2016[25]) defines disaster risk management as the application of disaster risk reduction policies and strategies to prevent new disaster risk, reduce existing disaster risk and manage residual risk, contributing to the strengthening of resilience and reduction of disaster losses.

← 4. Building back better is defined as using the recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction phases after a disaster to increase the resilience of nations and communities through integrating disaster risk reduction measures into the restoration of physical infrastructure and societal systems, and into the revitalisation of livelihoods, economies and the environment (UNISDR, 2015[16]).

← 5. The OECD prepared the case studies on Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Turkey and the United States; FAO prepared the case studies on Chile and Namibia.

← 6. See Kimura and Antón (2011[26]); Antón, Kimura and Martini (2011[27]); Melyukhina (2011[28]; 2011[29]); Antón and Kimura (2011[30]); and OECD (2016[31]; 2018[32]).

← 7. The Rome-based agencies are the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

Metadata, Legal and Rights

This document, as well as any data and map included herein, are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area. Extracts from publications may be subject to additional disclaimers, which are set out in the complete version of the publication, available at the link provided.

© OECD and FAO 2021

You can copy, download or print this content for your own use, and you can include excerpts in your own documents, presentations, blogs, websites and teaching materials, provided that suitable acknowledgment of OECD and FAO as source and copyright owners is given. All requests for public or commercial use and translation rights of this material should be submitted to [email protected] FAO information products are available on the FAO website (www.fao.org/publications) and can be purchased through [email protected]