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Climate change adaptation: Beyond greening humanitarian response

Source(s):  National University of Singapore (NUS)

Humanitarian response traditionally provides immediate relief and protection to a population affected by conflict and/or natural disaster.  The worrying trend of increasing frequency and severity of climate-induced disaster events in recent years provides all the more reason for humanitarian response to be more sensitive and attentive to climate change adaptation efforts. After all, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 calls for “enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction." This sets the tone for humanitarian action to look beyond short-term relief and take an active role in building the climate resilience of the affected communities.

While efforts to greening humanitarian response are underway, it is important not to lose sight of the ultimate one-step-ahead climate-sensitive Build Back Greener goal. Adapting to climate change is more challenging than greening initiatives as the former needs to take account of future climate events in its bid to build preparedness and resilience. Against this backdrop, engagement with the scientific community becomes critical. As science and technology are often able to offer solutions to projected climate scenarios, dialogues between scientists and humanitarian actors will enable the formulation of climate-sensitive humanitarian response strategies and approaches. This way, humanitarian response will move beyond greening its operations to being the first actors in building climate resilience in the aftermath of disasters.

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  • Climate change adaptation: Beyond greening humanitarian response
  • Publication date 2017
  • Author(s) Sembiring, Margareth; Cook, Alistair D. B.
  • Number of pages 4 p.

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