Category: Disaster Risk Reduction

European Commission publishes the new report on disaster risks in the EU

European Commission publishes the new report on disaster risks in the EU

The European Commission has published the ‘Overview of Natural and Man-made Disaster Risks the European Union May Face’. The 2020 edition presents the latest available evidence on disaster risks, such as floods, wildfires or diseases, that threaten the EU, drawing on the national risk assessments developed by the EU Member States and on the Commission’s cross-sectoral policy and scientific work.

The report recognises that the coronavirus pandemic is the worst emergency seen in EU history and also warns that disaster risks are not limited to infectious diseases.

Experience shows that even with the high level of protection attained in the EU, multiple natural and man-made hazards can and have brought loss of life and high economic and environmental cost.

Based on available data, disasters caused by natural hazards only cost the EU nearly 100,000 lives and more than €500 billion of economic losses between 1980 and 2017. Infectious diseases and heatwaves were the biggest ‘killers’, while storms, floods and earthquakes were the costliest natural hazards in terms of economic loss.

Top risks

The review of national risk assessments suggests that the top 5 disaster risks of concern to national authorities across the EU are floods, extreme weather events such as heatwaves, industrial and nuclear accidents and wildfires.

Other risks that receive considerable attention in national and the Commission’s reports include epidemics, disruption of critical infrastructure, terrorism, cyber threats, seismic risks and animal and plant diseases.

Prevention for the future

The overview cautions that in future, we can expect more extreme events and increasing damage.

Climate change is bringing along more extreme weather events, technological developments are changing the face of man-made threats. Urbanisation is one of the factors behind the growing exposure to hazards, while environmental degradation and ageing societies contribute to reduced resilience.

Growing instability abroad, geopolitical tensions and diversification of hostile groups are behind the increasing security threats such as terrorism, cyber and complex hybrid threats.

Against this complex backdrop, it is crucial to have arrangements in place for effective prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery from disasters. Understanding disaster risks and monitoring their development is the first step towards effective risk reduction.

The report also highlights the importance of further action to address major risk drivers, increase cooperation across borders and sectors, sustain investment in risk reduction and resilience, boost the EU’s collective capacity to respond to large-scale disasters, build resilience of critical infrastructure and improve risk financing strategies.


The previous overviews of disaster risks in the EU were published by the European Commission in 2014 and 2017. Regular monitoring of disaster risks is an important risk prevention measure under the Union Civil Protection Mechanism.

This practice is also in line with the priorities of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 which promotes good understanding of disaster risks as a basis for risk management policies.

As disasters defy borders, the EU supports national action and promotes cross-border cooperation on disaster risk management. A wide set of EU policies and funds aim to strengthen the collective safety and resilience against disasters in the EU and beyond, with the Union Civil Protection Mechanism being at the heart of this work.

Read the original story here.
Keeping it local: Engaging communities in climate resilience projects in Yangon

Keeping it local: Engaging communities in climate resilience projects in Yangon

By PhyoPhyo Wai, APDC, Jose Arianne Gonzales, Oxfam and Marino Deocariza, Oxfam

Building community resilience to the impacts of climate change is essential in ensuring that vulnerable cities can thrive and survive but involving the community in the process is equally critical.

Myanmar’s capital, Yangon, is vulnerable to several types of disasters, including cyclones, floods, drought, and heatwaves. These events are likely to get worse with climate change as Yangon will also experience increased temperature, extreme weather events, and sea-level rise resulting in saltwater intrusion on coastal areas. The impact of these hazards, shocks, and stresses is exacerbated by unregulated urban development and the loss of green spaces and vegetation cover in the city. In addition, poorly maintained urban infrastructure and inadequate urban service provisions (such as water supply, solid waste management, drainage, and sanitation) increase risk exposure to the residents of the city, limiting their ability to be resilient to impacts and lowering their quality of life.

In July 2020, the Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund (UCCRTF) and Oxfam Great Britain, along with local partner Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), launched the ADB-RETA 9329: Promoting Urban Resilience in Selected Asian Cities–Developing of Pilot Activities and Project Development Support (Subproject 3) or the Community-Led Project (CLP) – in Yangon, Myanmar. This project aims to support poor urban communities through an inclusive resilience planning process – especially women, youth and vulnerable groups – to enhance their well-being even in the face of the impacts caused by disasters and climate change shocks and stressors.

Inclusive and participatory planning

The UCCRTF project is piloting approaches to integrate community-led projects into ongoing or planned ADB projects. The inclusive and participatory workshop brought together city stakeholders to select a climate-vulnerable community in which to pilot the project implementation. Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) plays a significant role in building climate-resilient and sustainable urban systems in Yangon with support from the regional and national government. Thirty-one city stakeholders from the YCDC attended, as well as other Yangon Regional Departments and development partners, and 21 online participants from ADB, UCCRTF, Oxfam GB, and ADPC.

Through the consultation process, stakeholders were able to share their experience and expertise, which guided project design and pilot community selection. City stakeholders and government representatives expressed a strong commitment to the project after the workshop.

 “Normally we, as government personnel, are only approached after organizations have already decided upon the project areas themselves – without hearing local voices and without getting any ideas from us. This is my very first experience participating in this kind of inclusive and transparent workshop, and having a chance to select the project’s areas with having our ideas,” said Daw Saw Sandar Oo Deputy Director, YCDC Urban Planning Authoritym.

The workshop also enabled city stakeholders to identify people to sit on the Community Stakeholders’ Group (CSG). The CSG will lead the implementation of the project in the pilot community, as well as establish agreed criteria for selecting the implementation actions for a community-led project that will be delivered as part of the project.

Zaw Win Aung Assistant Director, YCDC Water Resources and Water Supply Authority, who was one of the participants, stressed the importance of community-led initiatives for developing capacity and ownership of urban development processes. “Community-led projects have the potential of bringing knowledge and skills to the community,” he said. “This can enable them to become accountable leaders and result in innovative ideas that build the capacities of community stakeholder groups”.

Bringing hope to Dala Township

Dala Township has been selected by city stakeholders for the pilot project after being voted as the most vulnerable township in Yangon. Dala has also been considered the most suitable project site by scoring highest in five of the six selection indicators.

Dala Township is located on the southern bank of Yangon River and is prone to regular flooding and riverbank erosion. In 2008, 83 percent of Dala was inundated by Cyclone Nargis. The community also regularly suffers from water scarcity, lacking in a reliable source of potable and domestic water. The township is also known to have high poverty rate and has several informal settlements.

The people of Dala have been experiencing the impacts of climate change. But these hardships will soon be turned into opportunities after being identified by the government and YDCD as an area for future development. Dala Township is expected to experience positive changes in the coming years as the community, assisted by UCCTRF, will work to build climate resilience and improve the lives of its people.

This article was originally posted on the Asian Development Bank’s Livable Cities’ blog.
Cover photo by ArkkrapolA on Pixabay.
Public review of the Words into Action guide: ‘Nature-based solutions for disaster risk reduction’

Public review of the Words into Action guide: ‘Nature-based solutions for disaster risk reduction’

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk reductions invites members of the DRR community to comment on the new Words into Action guide on nature-based solutions for disaster risk reduction.

Some of the most important risks faced by humankind today are environment related: extreme weather, biodiversity loss, natural hazards and human-made environmental disasters. In large part, the rising risks are the result of environmental degradation occurring worldwide due to increased human activity. However, these risks can be reduced through working with nature rather than against it; a concept known as nature-based solutions.

This public review version of the guide aims to give practical, how-to-do information on setting up and implementing nature-based solutions (NbS), especially for disaster risk reduction (DRR), but also for climate change adaptation (CCA). It is designed to help implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.

The guide is organized into three main chapters:

  • Chapter 2 is an introduction to what nature-based solutions are, why they are important, and what the current state of play is in the world.
  • Chapter 3 goes into more details on how to implement NbS in the context of the Sendai Framework. Many tools and resources are given non-exhaustively.
  • Chapter 4 is about mainstreaming and upscaling NbS to deal with disasters and climate risks. It covers policy coherence and how to engage communities, including women and youth, and the private sector.

As an effort from the international DRR Community brokered by UNDRR, this official public consultation version is the product of a long and detailed process of drafting, consultation and review. This document will be on PreventionWeb for public review for three months (until 12 January 2021) to ensure no important aspect has been overlooked.

Share your comments through the survey

This press release was originally posted on Prevention Web.
Switzerland And The Pacific Islands Region Cooperate On Climate Change And Migration

Switzerland And The Pacific Islands Region Cooperate On Climate Change And Migration

The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the Secretariat of the Pacific Environment Programme (SPREP) are pleased to announce Switzerland is contributing USD100,000 to build capacity on climate change and disaster related migration, displacement and planned relocation for resilient development in the Pacific.

Project partners, including the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, are working under the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific, endorsed by the Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum PIF in 2016. Project funds are provided as co-financing under the EU-funded Intra-ACP GCCA+ Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change and Resilience Building (PACRES) which aims to deliver better regional and national responses to climate change challenges faced by Pacific ACP countries. PACRES is being implemented jointly by SPREP, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), the Pacific Community and the University of the South Pacific.

The challenge of human mobility for Pacific Island countries was noted in the 2008 Niue Declaration on Climate Change, which recognised “the importance of retaining the Pacific’s social and cultural identity, and the desire of Pacific peoples to continue to live in their own countries, where possible”.

This new funding builds on a number of earlier Swiss investments that began under the Nansen Initiative Pacific Regional Consultation in 2013 and has continued under the Platform for Disaster Displacement. Switzerland’s Special Envoy for the Pacific Region Ambassador Yasmine Chatila Zwahlen said “The Pacific Islands Region is not only very exposed to Climate Change with its adverse effects on all aspects of Human Security, but it also harbours knowledge, tradition, solutions and best practices which the Blue Continent can share with the international community. I am proud that Switzerland can support the leadership in the Pacific Islands Region in this area of growing importance for the world.”

Project activities will include research to fill knowledge gaps to support policy development and enhancing coordination and communication to support the delivery of human mobility related programmes and policy development. Activities will be implemented by PIFS in the context of strengthening regional coordination in climate change and disaster resilience through the multi-stakeholder Pacific Resilience Partnership (PRP) for supporting resilience-building as guided by the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific (FRDP). To that end PIFS will deliver the activities in close collaboration with the PRP Technical Working Group on Human Mobility.

This press release was originally posted on ReliefWeb.
Cover photo by Daniela Turcanu on Unsplash.
New UNEP programme to support climate resilience in Pacific Islands through early warning systems

New UNEP programme to support climate resilience in Pacific Islands through early warning systems

A transformative new programme initiated by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) aims to establish climate and ocean information services and multi-hazard early warning systemsin Pacific Small Island Developing States, which are among the most vulnerable in the world when it comes to climate change, natural disasters and increasingly frequent or intense extreme climate events such as tropical cyclones, flooding and drought.

At its 27^th^ Board meeting on 10 November 2020, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) approved the submission of a US$49.9 million programme — of which USD 47.4 million represents the GCF grant — on Enhancing Climate Information and Knowledge Services for resilience in 5 island countries of the Pacific Ocean. This is UNEP’s first multi-country programmatic initiative in the GCF, and will cover the Cook Islands, Niue, Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu, countries with some of the world’s smallest and most dispersed populations surrounded by vast ocean areas.

Strengthening the resilience and capacity of Pacific Small Island Developing States to adapt to climate change cannot be achieved without scientific knowledge and data on climate and its impacts. The new programme aims to develop climate science and information services that are essential for sustainable development, environmental management, disaster risk reduction, food security, health services, water resource management and energy efficiency. Early warning systems facilitate effective disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, empowering populations at risk to initiate timely and appropriate actions to reduce the impact of climate-related hazards and extreme weather events.

“Climate services and early warning systems address an urgent need to provide an evidence base for planning, decision-making and responses that have the potential to save lives and livelihoods. Improved capacity to observe and predict the impacts of a changing climate will contribute to more effective environmental management, disaster risk reduction and food security in Pacific Small Island Developing States,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP. “The Green Climate Fund Board’s decision to invest in climate information and knowledge services in some of the countries most vulnerable to climate change is an important contribution to adaptation planning and science.”

The new UNEP programme will ensure reliable, real-time access to essential climate observation data, including the installation of a meteorological observation point on each inhabited island of the five countries, and deliver innovative approaches to disaster risk management through impact-based forecasting and forecast-based financing.

“I am pleased the GCF Board’s approval of USD 47.4 million will strengthen our partnership with UNEP to enhance climate information and knowledge services for resilience in Pacific Ocean countries. As a partnership organization, GCF operates through a network of accredited entities that work directly with developing countries to foster a paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate resilient pathways. This programme will do this by improving capacities to monitor, model and predict climate impacts in the Cook Islands, Niue, Palau, Marshall Islands and Tuvalu,” said Yannick Glemarec, Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund

At least 80 per cent of the islands’ populations will directly benefit from the programme through the promotion of diversified, climate-resilient livelihood practices informed by improved climate observation data and risk knowledge. In addition, the programme aims to achieve a 15-30 per cent reduction in economic damage and losses incurred due to climate-related hazards, and to enhance the productivity of climate risk-informed sectors. Strengthened ocean services will support sustainable marine ecosystems management.

“Niue is highly vulnerable to climate-related hazards and extreme climate events. This GCF-funded programme will empower our island populations to initiate timely and appropriate actions to reduce the Impact of hazards and extreme events by using improved climate information, early warning and risk knowledge. I applaud the efforts by everyone and the hard work towards the successful outcome of the approved programme Enhancing Climate Information and Knowledge Services for Resilience,” said Hon. Dalton Tagelagi, Premier of Niue. “The benefits of this programme will impact greatly on the continued efforts of the Niue people to building a safer, more resilient Niue to impacts of Climate Change and towards achieving sustainable livelihoods for the Pacific.”

The programme is part of UNEP’s commitment as a founding member of the Alliance for Hydromet Development, launched in 2019 to ramp up action that strengthens the capacity of developing countries to deliver high-quality weather forecasts, early warning systems, water, hydrological and climate services. Since its launch, significant progress has been made by the Alliance Members convened by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in designing the Systematic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF) to support countries to generate and exchange basic observational data critical for improved weather forecasts and climate services. This is will be important for the longer-term sustainability of the programme’s results.

“The GCF-funded UNEP programme will provide a major boost for the observational networks run by the national meteorological and hydrological services in the five Pacific Small Island Developing States, filling data gaps that are of national, regional and global significance. For the longer-term sustainability of these efforts, the creation of the Systematic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF) is critical. The SOFF will support Small Island Development States and developing countries in new ways to substantially increase sustained generation and international exchange of basic observational data,” said Petteri Taalas, WMO Secretary-General.

“As the GCF Nationally Designated Authority (NDA) for Tuvalu, I take this opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate all the work that UNEP has done that has enabled this programme to be considered by the GCF Board. The support and efforts put forth by the national team from the Tuvalu Meteorological Service and the Climate Change Department in the formulation of this project proposal is highly commended. At this opportune time I sincerely thank the GCF Board and its Secretariat for their intense work. We look forward to the timely implementation of the programme at the 5 Pacific Island Countries. The programme is envisaged to strengthen the provision of reliable, delivery of climate information to aid decision making for resilience building,” said Seve Paeniu, Tuvalu’s Minister for Finance and Climate Change.

“Pacific Small Island Developing States are highly vulnerable to climate-related hazards and extreme climate events, such as tropical cyclones, flooding and drought. This Programme will empower island populations to initiate timely and appropriate actions to reduce the impact of hazards and extreme events by using improved climate information, early warning and risk knowledge,” said Kosi Latu, Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. “This is particularly timely as Pacific Island Countries face the double-edged challenge of climate change and a global pandemic. As secretariat of the Pacific Meteorological Council and host of the Pacific Climate Change Centre, we welcome this project to assist with addressing strategic priorities in the 5 countries and we look forward to supporting its implementation.”

About the UN Environment Programme

UNEP is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

About the Alliance for Hydromet Development

UNEP is a founding member of the Alliance for Hydromet Development, which brings together major international development, humanitarian and climate finance institutions, collectively committed to scale up and unite efforts to close the hydromet capacity gap.

For more information, please contact:

Keishamaza Rukikaire, Head of News & Media, UN Environment Programme

Cover photo by Bora Bora Photos, 2015
Africa’s resistance grows as climate crisis worsens

Africa’s resistance grows as climate crisis worsens

By Kieran Cooke

Battered by storms and droughts during a tough 2019, Africa’s resistance to the climate crisis left no room for passivity.

Attempting to come to any general conclusions on the state of a vast, varied and complex continent may be a tricky business, but Africa’s resistance to the climate crisis shows it rejects any idea of settling for victimhood.

A new report, State of the Climate in Africa 2019, published by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), makes that clear.

It reaches some grim conclusions. Increased temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, rising sea levels and more extreme weather are threatening human health and safety across the continent, says the report.

“Climate change is having a growing impact on the African continent, hitting the most vulnerable hardest and contributing to food insecurity, population displacement and stress on water resources”, says Petteri Taalas, the WMO secretary-general.

“In recent months we have seen devastating floods, an invasion of desert locusts and now face the looming spectre of drought because of a La Niña event”, he says. “The human and economic toll has been aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Killer cyclone

Drought caused considerable damage in 2019, particularly across southern Africa. Much of East Africa also suffered drought but then, late in the year, there was torrential rain and serious flooding and landslides in the region.

The trend, says the report, is for continuing increases in temperature: 2019 was among the three warmest years ever recorded in Africa. The WMO predicts that rainfall is likely to decrease over northern and southern regions but increase over the Sahel.

There are also likely to be more weather-related extreme events. In March 2019 Cyclone Idai hit the coast of Mozambique and went on to devastate large areas of Malawi, Zimbabwe and surrounding countries.

Described as the most destructive cyclone ever recorded in the southern hemisphere, Idai killed hundreds of people and displaced several hundred thousand.

“Climate change is having a growing impact on the African continent, hitting the most vulnerable hardest”

Sea levels are rising well above the global average in many parts of Africa, the report says. Coastal degradation and erosion is a major challenge, particularly in West Africa. More than 50% of the coastlines in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Togo are eroding – a trend likely to continue in future years.

The knock-on effects of these changes in climate are considerable. Approximately 60% of the total population of Africa is dependent on agriculture for a living.

Heat and drought, plus flood damage in some areas, are likely to reduce crop productivity. Changes in climate are also leading to pest outbreaks.

In what it describes as the worst case climate change scenario, the report says crop yields could drop by 13% by mid-century across West and Central Africa, 11% in North Africa and 8% in the eastern and southern regions of the continent. Rice and wheat crops would be particularly badly affected.

Combatting the crisis

Increased heat and continually changing rainfall patterns are also likely to lead to the spread of disease – and a fall-off in economic production in many countries.

But the report does point to some positive changes, showing Africa’s resistance to the crisis. Though the continent is responsible for only a small percentage of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, many countries in Africa are taking measures aimed at tackling climate change.

Solar power is becoming more widespread, with several large-scale projects planned. Early warning systems monitoring the approach of such cataclysmic events as Cyclone Idai are being installed across the continent.
Farm incomes in many areas are increasing, due to the application of more efficient cultivation methods, such as micro-irrigation. But good planning, based on reliable data, is essential, the report says.

“The limited uptake and use of climate information services in development planning and practice in Africa is due in part to the paucity of reliable and timely climate information”, says Vera Songwe, the executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa– Climate News Network

This article was originally posted on the Climate News Network.
Cover photo by Georgina Smith/CIAT (public domain), via Climate Visuals
Prioritising stakeholder engagement and securing funding for creating responses to climate change: Virtual structured dialogue for Belize’s Country Programme

Prioritising stakeholder engagement and securing funding for creating responses to climate change: Virtual structured dialogue for Belize’s Country Programme

As a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), Belize is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Research indicates that climate change impacts could cost the twenty-four island nations of the Caribbean a total $11 billion by 2025, but these figures are likely to be an underestimate. The costs of inaction cannot be ignored. Exposure to rising sea levels and the increasing frequency and intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes put the entire population and the future of the island at ever increasing risk. Their agriculture and tourism sectors are also highly sensitive to climate-related impacts, heightening vulnerability to rising temperatures and associated consequences on the country’s valuable natural resources. Any measures taken to address climatic impacts must make sure that they truly protect the vulnerable, and tailor resilience building to suit the needs of each community.

The world’s largest fund dedicated to taking action on climate change is the Green Climate Fund (known as the GCF). Currently capitalised at USD 9.7 billion, the GCF offers a life-line for these countries who have massive exposure to climate change impacts and little resource to adapt to them. But identifying the right actions for communities requires ensuring the sustained involvement from a range of stakeholders

Belize is receiving GCF-funding to support a variety of activities. As well as having projects like the  International Fund for Agriculture and Development’s (IFAD) project on climate-smart agricultural production, other projects exist to build the decision-making processes that Belize has, enabling them to continue to make participation accessible and sustainable for a whole range of stakeholders. Other projects, for example, seek to boost the country’s capacity for accessing international finance for investments in climate change projects, as part of the Fund’s Readiness programme, and is coordinated by the country’s National Designated Authority (NDA), the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum (MEDP), in collaboration with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC). A Country Programme has also been developed to guide Belize’s engagement with the GCF, including an initial pipeline of project ideas that could be submitted to the Fund.

The second phase of Readiness activities sees new projects being implemented to strengthen Belize’s capacities to effectively and efficiently access, manage, disburse and monitor climate financing. One of these is a year-long project being delivered with Acclimatise, where a range of activities are being hosted, including virtual training events and structured dialogues, to help develop the country programme and develop sustainable ways for engaging with a range of stakeholders.

These Structured Dialogues start with presenting the Country Programme to range of stakeholders – from civil society, to private organisations, and other ministerial departments. Stakeholders are then encouraged to submit ideas for projects that could be funded by the GCF programme. Stakeholders, including the Belize National Climate Change Committee (BNCCC) then meet to gain a greater understanding of how the GCF works, and to discuss, refine, and prioritise the project ideas. The prioritised pipeline will be included in the Country Programme and validated in early 2021 through a second Structured Dialogue. By project completion, Belize will have developed a robust pipeline of projects and programmes for submission to the GCF as part of the fund’s first replenishment period of 2020-2023. Acclimatise is also helping Belize in their capacity for hosting these Structured Dialogues to help them facilitate their own stakeholder engagement in the future. The very first of these structured dialogues took place 20th-22nd October, 2020, and happened virtually due to the ongoing restrictions as a result of COVID-19.

Other on-going Readiness activities in Belize include support for the accreditation of the Development Finance Corporation and Social Investment Fund of Belize, readiness Support to the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT)- Capacity Building, and readiness Support for Strengthening Belize Private Sector Access to Climate Finance.

Image by James Willamor on Flickr.
How to reduce the impact of climate risks on business: takeaways from the Russian Chapter roundtable

How to reduce the impact of climate risks on business: takeaways from the Russian Chapter roundtable

The roundtable “Questions to Assist Non-Executive Director Oversight of Physical Risk Climate Management”, was held on 15 October 2020, hosted by the Directors’ Climate Forum Russian Chapter in cooperation with Deloitte CIS, Acclimatise and MinterEllison. Experts from Russia and the UK discussed with independent directors of the largest Russian and international companies how face new climate challenges, how to enhance risk management processes, as well as what procedures and practices need to be implemented today not to jeopardize the company’s activities in the near future.

Physical climate risks are currently one of major business concerns. Climate change affects productivity and asset values, increases the cost of capital, and changes the supply and demand curve of products and services. At the Russian Chapter roundtable, their views on this problem, as well as their experience in developing a sustainable business strategy were shared by:

  • Olga Pascault, Founder and Chair of Management Board at Russian Chapter, Member of the International Advisory Board at APQ Global, Independent Director at NESsT UK;
  • Elena Haykin (Sapozhnikova), Founder and Member of Management Board at Russian Chapter, partner of the Digital Horizon investment group, independent director of PJSC Inter RAO;
  • Ian Colebourne, Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte CIS;
  • Andrey Yakushin, Head of Corporate Affairs Development Division at the Central Bank of Russian Federation;
  • Richard Bater, Climate Risk Analyst , Acclimatise (UK);
  • John Firth, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Acclimatise (UK);
  • Ellie Mulholland, Senior Associate, MinterEllison, Executive Director of the Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative.

Opening the event, Olga Pascault and Elena Haykin (Sapozhnikova) emphasized that in terms of the probability of occurrence and possible scale of losses, climate risk is among the most significant.

On the one hand, companies’ actions aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other negative impact on the environment help to avoid physical consequences, but at the same time lead to significant transitional risks – market, technological or regulatory. On the other hand, the inability to reduce emissions can limit transitional risks, but will aggravate climate change, and it is very important for the company to find a reasonable balance.

Ian Colebourne told the participants about Deloitte’s international initiative WorldClimate, which drives responsible climate choices within and beyond the company by focusing on four principles: Net-zero by 2030, operating green, empowering individuals and engaging ecosystems.

Ian noted that Deloitte also contributed by supporting its clients on their paths to a low-carbon future with climate risk assessment and management, and climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.

In his speech Andrey Yakushin emphasized how the Bank of Russia helped in financing sustainable development. In particular, special attention was paid to the Bank of Russia Regulation No. 706-P, “On Securities Issue Standards”, which provided a legal basis for issuance of labeled green and social bonds; Recommendations of the Bank of Russia on the implementation of principles of responsible investment, as well as creating in the Russian Federation a taxonomy of green activities and a verification system for green projects carried out jointly with the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia and VEB RF.

Dr. Richard Bater outlined the most likely physical climate risks facing the Russian Federation and noted that in our country the average temperature is rising at more than twice the global average rate and the number of climate-related extreme events also increasing. So, businesses ought to honestly answer themselves today if they have the right intelligence and knowhow to remain competitive and compliant in the face of a changing climate, when environmental adaptation has already become an important part of the political agenda at the federal level.

John Firth introduced the Guidance for Directors, prepared by Acclimatise, and set it within the context of wider global action by corporates, financial institutions and regulators to better manage and disclose physical climate risks. He also highlighted the role of the independent Board of Directors in shaping this agenda and tracking results.

Ellie Mulholland presented on the governance and liability issues that arise from a warming world, rising expectations of investors and regulators in global capital markets, responsibilities of independent directors in the context of climate change and how different warming scenarios in the future will impact resilience of assets and capitalization of the company.

In conclusion, the speakers answered the questions of the participants and invited them to the next Russian Chapter event – the webinar “Addressing Climate Change Issues: Impact on the Audit and Risk Committees’ Agenda”, which will be held on November 12, 2020.

The roundtable was supported by DLA Piper and international public relations agency PBN H+K Strategies. The recordings of the event can be found at the Russian Chapter’s site.

Download the report here.

Russian Chapter serves as the Russian hub for the global platform on climate change for board members, that operates under the auspices of the World Economic Forum. By implementing the Climate Governance Initiative (CGI), the World Economic Forum supports the growing awareness and competencies of boards of directors for effective climate governance.

Cover image by Michael Dam on Unsplash.
UNDRR’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction – 2020 Edition

UNDRR’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction – 2020 Edition

Tomorrow marks the UNDRR’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction. Held every 13 October, the day celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face.

This year’s edition continues as part of the “Sendai Seven” campaign, focusing on Target E: “Substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020.”  This year’s theme is about conveying that many disasters can be avoided if there are disaster risk reduction strategies in place to manage and reduce existing levels of risk.

You can find dedicated resources, stories, articles and events taking place around this day, here.
UCCRTF delivers COVID-19 patient transfer vehicles to Marawi City

UCCRTF delivers COVID-19 patient transfer vehicles to Marawi City

By UCCRTF Secretariat

Marawi City, capital of the Philippine province of Lanao del Sur, is still recovering from the five-month long armed conflict in 2017 three years onward.

​The Battle of Marawi, fought between Philippine Government forces and groups affiliated with Islamic State terrorists, left the city’s critical infrastructure systems in crisis. The city has therefore struggled to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, which struck as its resilience was low. As part of ongoing reconstruction efforts in Marawi, ADB’s Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund (UCCRTF) has delivered patient monitoring and transport vehicles to Marawi City Health Office and Lanao del Sur Integrated Provincial Health Office on 27 February 2020 and 3 April 2020. The timely arrival of the vehicles is expected to strengthen the already weakened local health system to respond to the ongoing pandemic.

​Part of ADB’s “Emergency Assistance for Reconstruction and Recover of Marawi (EARRM)”, the initiative saw the ceremonial hand over of the vehicles’ keys at the Center for Health Development Northern Mindanao, Cagayan de Oro City. According to Undersecretary Abdullah B. Dumama Jr., the vehicles will be used to create a more efficient community health service in the province. He added that the Department of Health (DOH) is also due to provide ambulances and mobile health clinics to improve patient access to health care, and strengthen disaster preparedness and response capacity.

​The Center for Health Development Northern Mindanao, along with the DOH Project Management Team, is committed to regularly monitoring the usage of these vehicles, making sure they are fulfilling the need that they have been provided for.


The delivery of the medical vehicles – From left to right: Dir. Mar Wynn Bello, Dir. Leonita Gorgolon, Undesecretary Abdullah Dumama Jr., Dr. Ali Dalidig, Dr. Alinader Minalang, Dir. Adriano Suba-an, Dir. David Mendoza

The EARRM Project will also fund the construction of two local health units, with essential medical equipment and supplies, ensuring access to essential health services for the community. “The DOH have been with us since the start of the Marawi Siege,” said Dr. Alinader Minalang, IPHO Lanao del Sur Provincial Health Officer. He added: “They have been providing support to our health care operations, including through managing the fund assistance available from various development partners such as the Asian Development Bank”.

This article was originally posted on ADB’s Livable Cities Blog.
Cover photo of Marawi City from Wikimedia Commons.