Posted by Olga Wilhelmi
Human society and climate are coevolving in a manner that could place more vulnerable populations at risk from natural hazards. Climate change is predicted to increase intensity and / or frequency of climate-related hazards, while growing societal vulnerability, especially in the hazard-prone areas, may further increase risk of natural disasters. Future climate changes are not only expected to change the frequency and intensity of climate-related hazards, but also the spatial and temporal patterns of these hazards. Some regions may begin to face new combinations of hazards that they have not previously experienced, in conjunction with other changes such as increased urbanization, emerging infectious diseases, and accelerated migration and displacement. All these trends highlight the need to better understand the interactions between hazards and societal vulnerability in a context of climate change, and call for innovative, integrated approaches to disaster risk management in current and future climates. This session brings together researchers who work at the interface of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation to explore methods, models and innovative solutions to various aspects of the disaster cycle in a changing climate. This session will showcase research projects that range from global assessments to local perspectives while advancing innovation in disaster risk assessment in current and future climates. The panelists will discuss: 1) climate-resilient livelihoods, low cost innovation of adaptive capacity in farming practices, strengthening early warning systems and education to build a culture of safety and resilience in rural Zambia; 2) climate change adaptation and natural disaster preparedness in the coastalcities of North Africa; 3) probabilistic methods to produce quantitative urban multi-hazard scenarios, including uncertainties associated with the projections of future climate for urban systems; and 4) a multi-hazard risk framework for the assessment of climate vulnerability and adaptation in relation to future climate-related hazards. The panelists will talk about the role social vulnerability in the risk assessment and about how current disaster risk “hotspots” may evolve in response to climate changes, and where new hotspots are likely to emerge throughout the world. The session will also outline a roadmap to link local-level risk assessments into municipal and national level plans, with the input from climate change science.