copy the linklink copied!1. Background and rational for increased coherence in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction

This chapter presents the rationale for examining the potential for a more coherent approach to climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. Common characteristic between the two policy agendas are presented together with the challenges and opportunities of a more coherent approach to their execution. Three types of coherence are identified: strategic, operational and technical. This is complemented by a summary of potential mismatches between the policy areas that can hinder coherence in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. The respective roles of national governments and developing co-operation in supporting coherence are discussed, followed by a summary of the international context driving domestic action on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.


The climate is changing today faster than ever. Global average temperature has increased by 1.1 degree Celsius since the pre-industrial era, and by 0.2 degree Celsius over the period 2015-19 compared to 2011-2015 (WMO, 2019[1]). This makes it the warmest five-year period on record and follows a concerning trend: July 2019 is the hottest month on record, and nine out of the 10 hottest months of July have occurred since 2005 (NOAA, n.d.[2]). Similarly, January 2020 was the hottest January on record, with the temperature departure from average the highest monthly departure ever recorded without an El Niño present in the Pacific Ocean (NOAA, n.d.[3]). The atmospheric concentrations of major greenhouse gases have increased to record levels, locking in the warming trend for generations to come (WMO, 2019[1]).

Impacts associated with climate variability and change are altering and intensifying existing risk patterns. Changes in temperature and precipitation are leading to droughts, more frequent and extreme storms, wildfires, floods and rising sea levels (IPCC, 2018[4]). A selection of recent weather extremes summarised in Table 1.1 illustrates the potentially devastating economic and social impacts of these hazards when they occur.

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Table 1.1. Recent examples of extreme weather events and associated impacts





Tropical cyclone

March 2019

South-west Indian Ocean (Mozambique, Zimbabwe):

At least 1 236 deaths attributed to Cyclone Idai – the highest for a southern hemisphere cyclone for at least 100 years. While Cyclone Kenneth was more intense than Idai, it made landfall in a sparsely populated area


August 2018

India (Kerala)

1.4 million people displaced and 5.4 million affected in some way. At least 223 deaths were reported, with economic losses estimated at US$ 4.3 billion

Storm and tornado

June 2016


At least 99 deaths were reported – one of the most destructive tornadoes in recorded Chinese history


May and June 2015

India and Pakistan

2 248 deaths were reported due to the heat in India, and 1 229 in Pakistan




Severely depleted water supply storages contributed to the risk of Cape Town running out of water during 2018. This followed severe drought in many parts of southern Africa in 2015 and 2016. In 2016–2017, 6.7 million people in Somalia were experiencing food insecurity at the drought’s peak




Drought led to extensive wildfires in Indonesia in the second half of 2015. 2.6 million hectares were reported to have been burned. 34 deaths were directly attributed to the fires

Cold event

January 2016

East Asia

Abnormally low temperatures extended south from eastern China as far south as Thailand. Guangzhou experienced its first snow since 1967 and Nanning its first since 1983

Source: Adjusted from (WMO, 2019[1]).

At the same time as the number of weather-related disasters per year have increased, so have the damages. This is largely due to the simultaneous increase in exposure of people and assets to increasing hazards. The increase in exposure and hazards, as well as vulnerability, all drive risks, as established by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (see Figure 1.1). Growing concentration of people and economic assets in hazard-prone areas, for example, contributes to increasing damages and losses from hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons. Globally, trends of increased urbanisation in flood zones are projected to continue, especially in Africa and Asia (Winsemius et al., 2016[5]). With the degradation of ecosystems, the vulnerability of populations and physical assets to disasters is increasing. Wetlands, mangroves, reefs and forests provide vital ecosystem services which reduce water-related risks (Spalding et al., 2014[6]). In Cuba, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico and the Philippines alone, the protection from healthy coral reefs in avoided damages is estimated at over USD 400 million, but pressures on these ecosystems are high (Beck et al., 2018[7]). Global warming, especially at 2 degree Celsius or higher, is likely to increase the risk of irreversible loss of many marine and coastal ecosystems (IPCC, 2018[4]).

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Figure 1.1. IPCC risk-based conceptual framework
Figure 1.1. IPCC risk-based conceptual framework

Source: (IPCC, 2019[8])

Recorded figures on disaster damages underestimate the actual costs of these events. Focusing solely on asset losses masks the impact of disasters on human welfare, as well as how these impacts are distributed (Hallegatte et al., 2016[9]). Social and environmental damages are not usually accounted for in monetary terms, such as fatalities, costs of temporary or permanent displacement of people, or the social and psychological impacts of an event (OECD, 2018[10]). The effect of a disaster event varies with the level of income of the affected country. Poor and marginalised communities feel losses more strongly as their livelihoods depend on fewer assets, their consumption is closer to subsistence levels, they cannot rely on savings to smooth the impacts, their health is at greater risk, and they may need more time to recover and rebuild (Hallegatte et al., 2016[9]). The impacts from climate change are therefore putting development gains at risk unless immediate and ambitious action is taken to both reduce global emissions and manage the risks.

copy the linklink copied!Objective and scope

This report examines the potential for a more coherent approach to the reduction and management of weather- and climate-related disasters and change. Coherence is defined as a means to integrate the pursuit of disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) in sustainable development (Dazé, Terton and Maass, 2018[11]). The report assesses challenges to and opportunities for pursuing coherence in CCA and DRR by national governments and development co-operation providers. It further outlines common characteristics between the two policy agendas, highlighting enabling factors in support of coherence in CCA and DRR, and actions that can signal if, and to what extent, coherence is achieved.

The analysis is informed by the county approaches of Ghana, Peru and the Philippines presented in Part II of this report. This is complemented with a broader review of national- and international approaches to CCA and DRR to shed light on the potential for, and benefits from, coherence in CCA and DRR across six thematic areas:

  • Governance arrangements;

  • Climate services;

  • Implementation measures;

  • Financing;

  • Monitoring and evaluation;

  • Role of development co-operation.

The important and necessary role of other stakeholders – the private sectors and civil society-organisations among others – in taking this agenda forward and bringing about change on the ground is acknowledged and selectively integrated in the report, while not constituting the focus of it.

copy the linklink copied!Climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction – different origins, common goals

Both DRR and CCA aim to reduce the adverse impacts of hazards by addressing drivers of vulnerability and where possible also exposure (see Box 1.1 for definitions of the concepts). Interventions targeting either objective are likely to be intrinsically linked as climate change is one of the most critical factors affecting many types of disaster risk, and the majority of climate change impacts will materialise through climate variability and extreme weather events (IPCC, 2018[4]).

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Box 1.1. Defining climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and disaster risk management

The United Nations Office of Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) defines disaster risk reduction (DRR) as “preventing new and reducing existing disaster risk and managing residual risk, all of which contribute to strengthening resilience and therefore to the achievement of sustainable development. DRR is the policy objective of disaster risk management, and its goals and objectives are defined in disaster risk reduction strategies and plans” (UNDRR, n.d.[13]).

A number of national and international initiatives also focus on disaster risk management (DRM), including those in the three case study countries: Ghana, Peru and the Philippines. UNDRR defines DRM 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” (UNDRR, n.d.[13]). The management of residual risks includes: preparedness, response and recovery activities, but also a mix of different financing instruments, such as national contingency funds, contingent credit, insurance and reinsurance and social safety nets (UNDRR, n.d.[13]).

This report uses the IPCC definition of climate change adaptation (CCA): “The process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects. In human systems, adaptation seeks to moderate or avoid harm or exploit beneficial opportunities. In some natural systems, human intervention may facilitate adjustment to expected climate and its effects” (IPCC, 2012[14]). CCA seeks to enable populations to cope with, adapt, or potentially transform to future environmental conditions.

The complementarity and possible trade-offs between CCA and DRR are increasingly recognised, and with it there has been a growing body of research on the benefits of coherence between the two fields (Banwell et al., 2018[15]; Thomalla et al., 2006[16]; Kelman, Gaillard and Mercer, 2015[17]; Shaw, Pulhin and Jacqueline Pereira, 2010[18]; Glantz and Baudoin, 2014[19]; Tanner, Wilkinson and Mitchell, 2006[20]; Coninx et al., 2016[21]). An important overlap between CCA and DRR is the management of hydro-meteorological hazards. With greater coherence across the two policy areas, DRR needs to take account of changing (more intense and frequent) hazards, and CCA needs to build resilience to their impacts. Two important distinctions are that (Coninx et al., 2016[21]):

  • DRR also tackles the risks of geophysical hazards (such as volcanoes and earthquakes) and includes a focus on disaster risk reduction to biological, environmental, geological, hydro-meteorological and technological hazards, whereas CCA does not.

  • CCA also considers long-term adjustments to changes in mean climatic conditions, including the opportunities that this can provide, whereas DRR predominantly focuses on sudden onset and extreme events.

Figure 1.2 illustrate key terms used to discuss, plan and implement CCA and DRR, highlighting notable commonalities and differences.

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Figure 1.2. Terms and meanings in CCA and DRR: commonalities and differences
Figure 1.2. Terms and meanings in CCA and DRR: commonalities and differences

Source: Adopted from (Coninx et al., 2016[21]).

Despite these differences, considerable progress has been made towards integrating DRR and CCA, particularly following the adoption in 2015 of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda (Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, n.d.[22]) (UNFCCC, 2017[23]). Together, the three frameworks guide progress towards a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable future. While they refer to their respective objectives and mandates, the sustainability of the individual agendas depends on the successful implementation of all of them, as it is only in combination that they cover the range of potential risks to sustainable development. At the same time, pursuing the goals of each in isolation can lead to gaps and redundancies in delivery. Table 1.2 provides a brief summary of the three frameworks, highlighting the objectives related to climate-resilient development.

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Table 1.2. Overview of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework

Sustainable Development Goals

Paris Agreement on climate change

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction


Global agenda for action towards sustainable development

Agreement on the global response to climate change; adaptation, mitigation and finance

Global framework to guide multi-hazard management of disaster risk

Climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction

Climate action and disaster risk reduction are cross-cutting issues, but explicitly mentioned in:

  • Goal 13 to combat climate change and its impacts,

  • Goal 11 to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Climate action also contributes to the achievement of many of the other goals

Articles 7 and 8 explicitly focus on CCA and DRR:

  • Article 7.1, on enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change, with a view to contributing to sustainable development

  • Article 8.1, on averting, minimising and addressing loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, including extreme weather events and slow onset events

Paragraph 13 recognises climate change as a driver of disaster risk, and points to the opportunity to reduce disaster risk in a meaningful and coherent manner

Country ownership

Stresses the importance of strengthened national ownership and leadership at the country level

Emphasises the importance of action on adaptation to “follow a country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory and fully transparent approach” (Article 7.5)

Specifies the role of all-of-society and all-of-State institutions engagement in managing and reducing disaster risk, while emphasising that each State has the primary responsibility to prevent and reduce disaster risk

Role of development co-operation

Stresses the need for strengthened global solidarity, with the participation of all countries, all stakeholders and all people (17.16-17.17)

Recognises the “importance of support for and international cooperation on adaptation efforts” (Article 7.6) and the provision of scaled-up financial resources that aims to achieve a balance between adaptation and mitigation (Article 9.4)

Recognises that the ability of developing countries to manage risks may be strengthened through the provision of “adequate, sustainable and timely provision of support, including through finance, technology transfer and capacity building from developed countries and partners” (Paragraph 19)

Source: (UNFCCC, 2015[24]) (UN, 2015[25]), (UNDRR, 2015[26])

At the international level, there is also growing recognition of the value in taking an integrated approach to CCA and DRR within broader sustainable development. This is, for instance, reflected by efforts under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC’s) Technical Examination Process on Adaptation (TEP-A) to foster greater understanding of the political and economic benefits of such approaches (UNFCCC, 2017[23]). The Paris Agreement also encourages countries to formulate and implement national adaptation plans (NAPs) that facilitate the integration of CCA into relevant development planning processes and strategies, including on DRR. At least 120 developing countries have initiated or launched the process of formulating their NAP, and as of February 2020, 18 countries had published their first NAP (UNFCCC, n.a.[27]).

The Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction has also focused on the importance of a coherent approach to CCA, DRR and sustainable development (Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, n.d.[22]). Target E of the Sendai Framework calls for a substantial increase in the number of countries with national and local DRR strategies. While there has been progress in the development of DRR plans at the national and subnational level, the plans are not always aligned with the objectives of the Sendai Framework (UNDRR, 2019[28]). A key element in monitoring progress towards this target is that policies in place “promote policy coherence relevant to disaster risk reduction such as sustainable development, poverty eradication, and climate change, notably with the SDGs and the Paris Agreement”. Development co-operation providers have also piloted efforts to bring together the two agendas, such as their support to Joint National Action Plans in a few SIDS (SPREP, 2013[29]) and the integrated climate risk management strategy for smallholders and commercial agribusinesses in Ghana (GIZ, n.d.[30]).

copy the linklink copied!Challenges and opportunities of a coherent approach to CCA and DRR

Despite their shared objectives, the Sendai Framework and the Paris Agreement are often implemented in sectoral siloes, and historically, their specialists have operated largely in isolation from one another (OECD/The World Bank, 2016[31]). The frameworks each resulted from negotiations conducted by different UN bodies and in turn communities of research and practice, with their own political contexts, priorities, and origins (Peters et al., 2016[32]). As a result, each agreement has different commitments at national and local levels, in areas such as the development of country-based strategies; information and data management systems; and reporting on progress in compliance.

Coherence between the Sendai Framework and the Paris Agreement requires strong leadership and engagement of key government bodies, broad stakeholder participation and co-ordination, clear allocation of roles, responsibilities and resources, and monitoring, evaluation and continuous learning. This can help identify trade-offs (e.g. growing need for public support to post-disaster responses in the absence of a focus on CCA) and synergies (e.g. a more comprehensive overview of interlinked climate and disaster risks), while minimising redundancies in delivery. Lack of coherence between international frameworks and their associated requirements has the potential to create an additional burden for implementing countries, as well as fragmentation of scarce local capacity and resources – human as well as fiscal (OECD, 2018[33]).

Coherence can be pursued and operationalised horizontally across sectors; vertically at different levels of government (local, sub-national, national, regional, and global); and through collaboration across stakeholder groups (e.g. governments and inter-governmental organisations, the private sector, civil society organisations, and citizens). This can be grouped into three types of coherence:

  • Strategic (visions and goals) coherence: Aligned visions, goals and priorities on CCA and DRR in national development plans and strategies, providing a framework for pursuing operational coherence. With aligned goals and objectives at the strategic level, the basis for coherence in implementation is strong.

  • Operational (policy and institutions) coherence: Policy frameworks and institutional arrangements supportive of the implementation of aligned objectives on CCA and DRR, limiting the burden on often stretched human, technical and financial resources. Linking DRR and CCA at the operational level through the development of effective policies and institutional arrangements can also prevent duplication of efforts, or conflicting activities.

  • Technical coherence: Strengthened technical capacities to assess the risks and opportunities, to identify and prioritise CCA and DRR measures, and to finance them. For example, adaptation planning can benefit from tools and information already well established in the DRR community, such as risk assessments, whereas emerging evidence of good practice approaches to CCA can inform disaster risk mitigation measures, reducing the potential for maladaptation (Urbano M De Bettencourt et al., 2013[34]).

In developing countries, the need for coherence is not limited to national policies and activities, but also includes coherence of development co-operation in support of CCA and DRR. In many developing countries, several development partners are operating alongside each other in co-operation with national and subnational authorities, making it particularly important for the support provided to be aligned with country objectives and mutually reinforcing. In addition, managing climate-related disaster risks should not be viewed in isolation from other development objectives, such as urban development, poverty reduction and environmental management (Urbano M De Bettencourt et al., 2013[34]). In order to strengthen resilience and enable sustainable development, objectives need to be approached in an integrated manner.

Several challenges and mismatches can hinder coherence between CCA and DRR. These include:

  • Fragmented responsibilities: Responsibilities for CCA and DRR tend to be distributed across ministries that do not always co-ordinate closely on their respective policy agendas and objectives (Seidler et al., 2018[35]). CCA usually falls within the purview of environment, water, or natural resource ministries, as well as and meteorological services. The responsibility for DRR is more commonly located with civil protection, ministries of the interior or defence, or of designated agencies with implementation responsibilities located at the sub-national level or shared across levels of government (OECD, 2015[36]). In addition to separate entities holding responsibilities for CCA and DRR, both CCA and DRR need to be mainstreamed across various sectors, which is a challenge in and of itself.

  • Different funding structures: With the fragmentation of responsibilities, funding mechanisms are often spread across institutions and levels of government. As a result, funding schemes might be constrained by the defined scope of the issuing organisation, leading to further siloes. Funding structures can also create perverse incentives, for example resulting in the prioritisation of short-term disaster financing needs over long-term risk reduction (OECD, 2018[10]). At the international level, an important difference is that the Sendai Framework does not have a dedicated funding mechanism, while the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) as the operating entities of its Financial Mechanism. The Adaptation Fund (AF) also serves the Paris Agreement.

  • Data availability and use: There has been notable progress in recent years in data availability and climate- and disaster risk-related modelling. Examples include recent developments on continental scale hazard and risk assessments (e.g. UNDRR Global Risk Assessment Framework) and exposure mapping (e.g. based on Copernicus Land Monitoring). Projections and information on different factors of uncertainty downscaled to the sub-national level, however, remains a challenge in many countries (Seidler et al., 2018[35]). While information on trends or qualitative information can fill data gaps in some cases, insufficient data generally creates barriers to incorporating climate considerations into DRR efforts.

  • Temporal mismatch: Disasters caused by extreme environmental events are usually distinct in time and space and require a rapid response. Humanitarian assistance is often event-related and therefore tends to emphasise short-term interventions and procedures (Birkmann and von Teichman, 2010[37]). In contrast, long-term perspectives are a key element of CCA strategies.

Many of these mismatches originate from the fact that DRR and CCA have historically developed and operated independently from each other. CCA has scientific theory-based origin and norms while DRR stems from a longer tradition of civil protection and humanitarian action following disaster events (Thomalla et al., 2006[16]; Birkmann and von Teichman, 2010[37]). Table 1.3 provides an overview of how these differing origins have led to divergence in institutions, international fora, implementing strategies, funding mechanisms and key actors.

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Table 1.3. Major actors and institutions for CCA and DRR

Climate change adaptation

Disaster risk reduction

Lead national institutions

  • Environment / National Resource authorities

  • Civil protection / Interior / Defence/ Security

  • Environment / Public Works authorities

Other national stakeholders

  • Finance and other line ministries

  • Subnational governments

  • Households

  • Businesses

  • Academia

  • Civil society organisations

International agreements

  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

  • Paris Agreement on climate change

  • Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

National targets and implementation strategies

  • Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

  • National Adaptation Plans (NAPs)

  • National DRR Strategies

Major funding mechanisms and providers

  • National and sub-national budgets for CCA and broader development priorities that in different ways contribute to CCA

  • Bilateral and multilateral development finance, including international climate-related funds and programmes

  • Multilateral risk pooling facilities and transfer mechanisms

  • National and sub-national budgets for disaster risk reduction, emergency response, disaster recovery and disaster risk management funds

  • Bilateral and multilateral finance for risk reduction, humanitarian aids, disaster recovery and disaster risk management funds

  • Multilateral risk pooling facilities and transfer mechanisms

  • Contingent lending instruments

Source: Adapted from (Thomalla et al., 2006[16])

While coherence and increased linkages are considered beneficial (e.g. more efficient use of human, technical and financial resources as well as information exchange), full integration of the policy agendas may not necessarily be desirable. First, by keeping the policy development negotiations separate, important issues that fall under the purview of only one agenda (for example, non-climate disasters such as earthquakes) can be given appropriate attention (UNFCCC, 2017[23]). Second, it is important that the merging of disaster risk reduction and the contribution of climate change impacts does not overshadow the influence of human factors on disaster risk. Changes in vulnerability and exposure are the primary drivers of disaster risks, whereas climate change affects the frequency and intensity of hazards. The negative consequences of failure to integrate climate consideration into DRR should not be underestimated, but similarly, too much emphasis on the climate change impacts has the potential of reducing the field of DRR to a hazard-centric viewpoint rather than equal considerations on the causes of disaster vulnerability (Kelman, Gaillard and Mercer, 2015[17]).

The integration of both policy agendas can occur on a continuum, from informal to strategic to systematic (Dazé, Terton and Maass, 2018[11]). This stems from the view that policy integration is not an outcome but rather a process of co-ordination (UNFCCC, 2017[23]) . Depending on the country context and capacity, different degrees of coherence may be the most beneficial. While increased coherence brings gains in efficiency and effectiveness, this is not without costs, as it can result in trade-offs between investing in a coherent approach to CCA and DRR and making progress on individual policy processes (Dazé, Terton and Maass, 2018[11]). While there is certain short-term benefit of implementing different policies in silos, the long-term costs of incoherence are expected to be by far higher, making the case for coherence-building but also highlighting the difficulties of making the first steps into this direction. In addition, bringing different communities together may reveal conflicting priorities for climate-resilient development.

copy the linklink copied!International context as a driver for domestic action

National governments bear the primary responsibility to design DRR and CCA policies. They set national and local objectives, establish institutional arrangements and legislative frameworks, allocate funding, put in place an incentive structure that fosters stakeholder engagement and implementation, and monitor and evaluate progress to make the necessary adjustments and improvements over time. The Sendai Framework and the Paris Agreement provide the overarching frame for guiding and reinforcing national policy efforts on DRR and CCA, as national governments are working to operationalise the commitments under these international agreements. Within the two processes, there are different bodies mandated to support countries in implementing actions towards climate action and disaster risk reduction. Table 1.4 and Table 1.5 outline the respective mandates of some of the key processes and bodies and briefly analyse their implications for coherence in CCA and DRR.

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Table 1.4. Mandate analysis of international processes and bodies for climate change adaptation

Processes and bodies

(adopted/established year)


Implication for coherence in CCA and DRR Coherence


UNFCCC (the Convention) (1994)

To stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations to prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system

No particular mention of DRR in the mandate, but sets up the formal bodies for CCA

Paris Agreement (2015)

To limit global temperature rise to well below 2.0 °C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C

To increase the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change

To make finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low GHG emissions and climate-resilient development

Mentions the Sendai Framework in the Preamble; Article 7 and 8 focus on strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change, which is coherent with DRR

Kyoto Protocol (1997)

To reduce emissions by committing its parties to internationally binding agreement

No particular mention of DRR in the mandate, but contributes to CCA with emission reduction commitments


Adaptation Committee (2010)

To promote coherent implementation of enhanced action on adaptation

No particular mention of DRR in the mandate, but promotes synergies between CCA and DRR by co-operating with organisations at national, regional, and international levels

LEG (2001)

To provide technical guidance and support to the LDCs for developing NAPs and NAPAs, and accessing GCF the LDCF and the Adaptation Fund

No particular mention of DRR in the mandate, but collaborates with DRR actors and promotes coherence in approaches

ExCom of WIM (2013)

To guide the implementation of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage which averts, minimises and addresses loss and damage associated with climate change impacts

Promotes comprehensive risk management of climate change related loss and damage and seeks coherence, synergy and capacity-building needed to avert, minimise and address loss and damage from climate change

Nairobi work programme (2005)

To facilitate and catalyse the development, dissemination and use of information to support adaptation policies and practices, particularly in LDCs and SIDS

Facilitates the development, dissemination, and use of knowledge that would inform and support adaptation policies and practices, especially on LDCs’ and SIDS’ understanding and assessment of impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation.

Operating entities for the Financial Mechanism of the Convention

-GEF (1991)

-GCF (2010)

-Adaptation Fund (2010)

GEF: To address most pressing global environmental problems

GCF: To assist developing countries in taking climate action

Adaptation Fund: To assist developing countries in building resilience and adapting to climate change

GEF: Addresses CCA and vulnerability reduction

GCF: Aligns activities with developing countries’ priorities and catalyses climate finance for climate-resilient development

Adaptation Fund: Supports developing country Parties that are vulnerable to adverse impacts of climate change

PCCB (2015)

To address current and emerging gaps and needs to implement and build capacity in developing countries

Focuses on capacity and promotes collaboration between actors at all levels and partnerships to enhance synergies potentially related to DRR

Note: ExCom of WIM: Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage; GCF: Global Climate Fund; GEF: Global Environment Facility; GHG: Greenhouse gas; LDC: Least Developed Country; LEG: Least Developed Countries Expert Group; Nairobi work programme: Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change; NAP: National Adaptation Plan; NAPA: National Adaptation Programmes of Action; PCCB: Paris Committee on Capacity-building; SIDS: Small Islands Developing States

Sources: (UNFCCC, n.d.[38]), (UNFCCC, n.d.[39]), (UNFCCC, n.d.[40]), (UNFCCC, n.d.[41]), (UNFCCC, n.d.[42]), (UNFCCC, n.d.[43]), (GEF, n.d.[44]), (GCF, n.d.[45]), (Adaptation Fund, n.d.[46]), (UNFCCC, n.d.[47])

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Table 1.5. International processes and bodies for disaster risk reduction

Processes and bodies

(adopted/established year)


Implication for coherence in CCA and DRR


Sendai Framework (2015)

To strive for multi-hazard disaster risk reduction in development at all levels

(following preceding processes - the Yokohama Strategy adopted in 1995 and the Hyogo Framework for Action in 2005)

Recognises climate related risks and disasters and emphasises resilience and capacity building

The Global Platform (2007)

To serve as a forum for DRR and to provide strategic and coherent guidance for the implementation of the Sendai Framework, convening every three years and held seven times as of 2019.

Works as a fundamental mechanism to foster practical coherence in DRR implementation with SDGs, Paris Agreement and the New Urban Agenda.


UNDRR (1999)

To serve as a focal point of the UN system for disaster reduction co-ordination and synergies, including different subsidiary bodies such as: the Open Ended Intergovernmental Working Group (OEIWG); Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism (SEM); the Science and Technology Advisory Group (STAG); the Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Communities (ARISE)

Co-ordinates the Sendai Framework and the Global Platform and advocates for sustainable development

Note: The Global Platform: The Global Platform Disaster Risk Reduction

Source: (UNDRR, 2015[26]), (UNDRR, n.d.[48]), (UNDRR, n.d.[49])

Country-led, context-specific policy processes elaborate how individual governments contribute to the achievement of the global goals set out in the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework (see examples in Box 1.2). While policy processes are usually driven by national-level governments, the bulk of implementation occurs at the local level. National-level actors must therefore be cognisant of the burden that planning, implementing and monitoring such processes can place on subnational actors. This consideration becomes all the more important with the additional objective of coherence across the two processes.

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Box 1.2. Examples of country approaches to CCA and DRR
  • Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), which communicate individual countries’ climate objectives and commitments towards the objectives of the Paris Agreement. National targets set in NDCs are to be updated and submitted to the UNFCCC every five years, representing a progression over time, with the next iteration to be submitted before 2020. Responsibility for engagement with the UNFCCC, including the development of NDCs, generally sits with the Ministry of Environment or a central planning ministry. Many countries are also developing practical strategies for achieving the targets set out in NDCs, on both adaptation and mitigation.

  • National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), which identify medium- and long-term adaptation needs and put in place strategies and programmes to address them. A NAP can be a policy document, a policy process, or both. The NAP process is supposed to be a continuous, progressive and iterative process, consisting of planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation, adjusted over time and based on feedback and lessons learned. Further, the goals and priorities identified in a country’s NAP can be included in its NDC, and the NAP process itself can be a means of operationalising adaptation commitments under the NDC. (NAP Global Network, 2019[50])

  • National DRR Strategies, outline national strategies that include targets, indicators and time frames, and are aligned with the recommendations of the Sendai Framework. DRR strategies are usually led by the disaster risk management agency within the government.

The implementation of the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework are in relatively early stages in many countries, meaning that evidence of coherence in implementation is still limited. However, coherence in managing climate and disaster risks through actions on the ground is not new, and therefore contributes – if indirectly – to the coherent pursuit of both frameworks. A significant consideration is that the implementation of each framework is country- and context-specific, and therefore the arguments for and nature of coherence in CCA and DRR will differ.

The three country case studies of Ghana, Peru and the Philippines that inform this report were selected given their different stages of economic development, varying levels of capacity and resource availability. The countries are also different in other factors that determine climate risks, such as the characteristics of the natural hazards as well as socio-economic factors, including governance arrangements, education systems, geopolitical situations, inequality and cultural context. A further consideration was the fact that all three countries have considerable experience in CCA and DRR and therefore provide a valuable basis for identifying good practice approaches for coherence in CCA and DRR. A summary of the economic profiles of the three countries is provided in Box 1.3., while more detailed information on their risks and vulnerabilities is outlined in Part 2.

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Box 1.3. Overviews of the economies of Ghana, Peru and the Philippines

Ghana has experienced rapid economic growth since the early 1990s, which peaked in 2011 at a real GDP growth rate of 14%, largely due to high commodity prices and the discovery of offshore oil. Agriculture accounts for about 20% of GDP and employs more than half of the workforce, mainly small landholders. Gold, oil, and cocoa exports, and individual remittances, are major sources of foreign exchange. Expansion of Ghana’s nascent oil industry has boosted economic growth, but the fall in oil prices since 2015 reduced by half Ghana’s oil revenue. GDP of major sectors in 2017 was: services (57%), industry (25%) and agriculture (18%).

Peru achieved 5.6% of the annual GDP growth rate from 2009 to 2013 with a stable exchange rate and low inflation. Peru's metals and minerals exports account for 55% of the country's total exports and have contributed to the economic growth rate. Growth slowed from 2015 to 2017 due to weaker world prices of these natural resources, yet the annual growth rate remained about 3.27% over the period. Peru's rapid expansion coupled with cash transfers and other programmes have contributed to reduction of the national poverty rate by over 35% since 2004, while inequality persists. GDP of major sectors in 2017 was: services (60%), industry (33%) and agriculture (8%).

The Philippines has also accelerated its economic growth, averaging over 6% per year from 2011 to 2017. The current administration aims to reduce the poverty rate to 13 -15% and become an upper-middle income country by the end of President Duterte’s term in 2022. Continuity of macroeconomic policy, tax reform, higher investments in infrastructure and human capital development, and improving competitiveness and the overall ease of doing business are high on the agenda for the current administration. GDP of major sectors in 2018 was: services (57.8%), industry (34.1%) and agriculture (8.1%).

Source: (AfDB, 2019[51]; CIA, 2019[52]). (PSA, 2018[53])


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