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Development Account Projects

Strengthening the capacity of government officials to adapt to possible scenarios of disasters associated with extreme events: analysis for adaptation and disaster risk reduction policies

Background:

Sustainable development is hampered by the recurrent, cumulative effect of disasters, caused both by climatic and other natural hazards. There is a growing risk of natural disasters associated with at least three conditioning factors: increased hazards due to climate change (overarching factor), environmental degradation (deforestation, desertification, landslides and slope instabilities, human intrusion in fragile ecosystems such as watersheds, wetlands, beaches and sea borders, floodplains, among others), and human vulnerability derived from inappropriate land use, building techniques and land use planning.

The Project links to three core areas of the program of work of ECLAC and more specifically with that of the Subprogram 8 Sustainable Development and Human Settlements implemented by the Sustainable Development and Human Settlements Division of the Commission. These areas are the assessment of advances in the sustainable development agenda by analysis the generation of empirical quantitative information and its generation, the analysis of processes that affect sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean, with special emphasis on climate change, urban development and human settlements. In this context risk analysis and adaptation to varying degrees of climate change are essential. In general, DRR and appropriate risk management are contributing factors for sustainable development and the attainment of all MDGs. These issues fall within ECLAC Strategic Framework for the period 2010-2011 and 2012-2013, in particular Subprogramme 8 Sustainable Development , whose expected accomplishment (a) for the biennium 2012-2013: Increased capacity of Latin American and Caribbean countries to integrate sustainability criteria in development policies and measures, particularly in relation to human settlements and to risk reduction and adaptation to climate change

The work on this area will reinforce ECLAC's mandate to conduct research activities and further support activities as well as to contribute to the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (General Assembly resolution 64-200) and the Millennium Declaration (General Assembly resolution 55-2).

Disaster risk management is a cross-cutting issue in supporting progress towards achieving the MDGs in Latin America and the Caribbean. More specifically, the project is also linked to those commitments derived from the Millennium Declaration (Millennium Development Goals), particularly those related to support on efficiency and effectiveness of the use of environmental expenditure related to MDG7 and closely related with MDG8.

Objective:

The project aims at enhancing the capacity of policy makers in LAC to assess, manage and reduce present and foreseeable risks associated with hazards from extreme events associated with long term climate change, environmental degradation, and human settlements patterns

Expected Accomplishments:

  • Enhanced understanding by government authorities at the national and local levels on the formulation of policies and measures, including financial mechanisms -at the macro and micro level—for ex-ante disaster risk reduction.
  • Enhanced capacity of government authorities at national and local levels to formulate policy proposals and design measures for the adaptation to long term, changing hazards, and disasters risk reduction.

Implementation Status:

The project aims at strengthening the capacities of Latin American and Caribbean countries to identify long term risks of extreme weather events under climate change scenarios (ex-ante perspective) in the region and to analyze and formulate adaptation and risk mitigation measures from an economic point of view to ensure adequate choices according to government’s development priorities. Training will be offered to share the analytical tools and methodologies to support the adoption of appropriate policies and measures. A data base on the cost of natural disasters was compiled. It allows determining the cost profile of different types of natural disasters, as well as the pattern shown by damages and losses in each social, infrastructure, and economic sector. Those results were presented in two conferences with relevant national authorities from different countries.