Tuesday, 31 October 2017

COP 23 Bonn Agenda: Financing Integrated Governance of Risks

'Local people in marginal environments such as drylands, wetlands and vulnerable coastal regions deal with disaster and climatic shocks regularly.  Integrating disaster and climate governance and financing with long term development goals is the only way to  help improve the wellbeing and life chances of poor people in marginal environments."
– Prof Lyla Mehta, project leader of Research Council of Norway funded project on climate change, uncertainty and transformation. 

Financing integration of disaster and climate risk governance ought to be on COP 23 Bonn agenda.
Financing for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation cannot be two separate activities anymore. They need to be integrated with each other now. India initiated such integration in its INDCs and after the COP 21 Paris Agreement. This integration continues to rank high on the Government of India's agenda.

At the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Delhi in November 2016, Sam Bickersteth of CDKN chaired a key panel on "Integrated DRR, Response to Climate Change and Sustainable Development" which developed clear understanding and consensus on the advantages of such integration of risk governance in the Asian context.

The South Asia Disaster Report 2016 by Duryog Nivaran, which focuses on Building Back Better, argues that integration of DRR with CCA in disaster recovery process is important and possible in South Asia.

COP 23 in Bonn is one of the most important global policy events that encourages a wide range of actors to move ahead in reducing the negative impact of climate change on human life and nature.

COP 23 Bonn agenda is aimed at finding ways to improve and expedite financing climate change actions. However, the agenda does not directly pick up on integration between disaster and climate risk. A lot of effort is invested in understanding risks—scientific technological, or economic—but little effort is invested on integrated governance of risk across all levels.

The recent publication titled Disaster Risk Governance in India and Cross Cutting Issues edited by Indrajit Pal and Rajib Shaw (http://www.springer.com/in/book/9789811033094) offers some of the reasons for such integration.

The book offers a much needed balance between theory and practice of disaster risk governance in India. The evidence and actions that flow are of interest and use to COP 23 Bonn agenda.

Rarely before has such quality of data, research, conceptual work and practical cases on risk governance have been brought between the covers of a single book.

Drawing from the book and AIDMI's work on risk reduction and resilience building as a central element of local planning the following items can be taken up on COP 23 Bonn agenda.

First, it is important to develop national perspectives based on but not limited to global values and international efforts to move towards a green and clean economy. This will be a transformation agenda and each nation will select what Erik Olin Wright in his book titled, "Envisioning Real Utopias (http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.152.6099&rep=rep1&type=pdf) calls "ruptural" or "intersitial" or "symbiotic" transformation. Such national perspectives will make financing more demand based.

Second, sub-national implementation processes are critical for this integration. Road corridors in Bangladesh, Wind parks in Sri Lanka, rupee linked bonds in India, or urban public transport in China are some examples where financing of such integration can take place with focus on sub-national processes.

Chetan Vaidya, ex-director of School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, has often said that urban areas are a good spot to start with such financing.

Third, linking risk governance with development—urban, post-disaster, delta and desert areas—across not only forestry and environment but across all sectors of economy is now most urgent.

Fourth, climate related knowledge and lessons integrated in school safety activities in order to make our children prepared against climate risks.

In Andhra Pradesh in India the authorities have initiated such integration with the support from UNICEF and UNDP in its DRR Road Map. Financing such Road Maps, including in another state, Bihar, remain a challenge.

Perhaps such financing of integrated risk governance can help address what Asian Development Bank calls nexus of urbanisation, development, environment and unemployment in Asia. But this is not to say that what Jyoti Sharma calls "neoliberal trap" should not be avoided by such financing.

Time has come for the participants of COP 23 Bonn to be (as Wilton S. Dillion, cultural anthropologist and senior scholar emeritus at Smithsonian Institution in the USA calls) "loose, playful, and responsible" and not to be too burdened with the "business case" for such integration alone.
– AIDMI Team

for any further information please contact: bestteam@aidmi.org

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