Launch of a new initiative on Ecosystem-Based Disaster Risk Reduction

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2015 was a landmark year wherein several major global frameworks, notably the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction recognized the role of ecosystems as key to helping achieve disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, and sustainable development. Building proof of concepts is a critical step towards realizing tangible actions of ground towards building community resilience and effective risk reduction.

In India, the Partners of Resilience consortium (comprising Wetlands International South Asia, International Federation for Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, Indian Red Cross Society and Red Cross Climate Centre, and Netcoast and SEEDS) in partnership with UN Environment, launched a three-year initiative with EU-Dev Co support on ‘upscaling community resilience through ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction.’

Dr Karen Sudmeier-Rieux from UN Environment, Geneva speaking at the inception workshop

The project aims at increasing uptake and investments in Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction and Adaptation (Eco-DRR) approaches. In the coming three years, scalable models of community-based Eco-DRR will be developed, learning from field sites in Odisha, Bihar and Gujarat, wherein the project will design and implement measures for building community resilience towards water-mediated disaster risks. Besides India, the project will also be implemented in Haiti, Ethiopia, Uganda and Indonesia, thus providing a platform for cross-country learning and exchange.

Participants during the action planning exercise

The first country inception workshop for the project was organized by Wetlands International South Asia and partners on 6 – 7 June 2019 in New Delhi. The workshop explored opportunities for mainstreaming Eco-DRR in policy and decision making at various levels. Partners roles in implementing Eco-DRR activities, especially with regards to integrated wetland management in rural and urban areas of Odisha, Bihar and Gujarat were also finalized during the workshop.