Peer-reviewed Article
GAR19
Topics: Region/Country: Language:
English

An assessment of mainstreaming climate change concerns into institutions and policies for disaster risk reduction in ASEAN

In UNISDR Global Assessment Report 19 Contributing Paper Series: 2019-05

This paper evaluates the current institutional and policy environment in the ASEAN region, which is known as one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change impacts in the world. The future projections indicate that the region is prone to severe weather events including floods, typhoons, and droughts. Considering the importance of strengthening the disaster risk reduction (DRR) in a changing climate, the ASEAN and JICA jointly implemented a study to assess the current institutional and policy environment in the ASEAN region to inform future decision making in the region.
The assessment consisted of a series of consultations with important stakeholders including governments, NGOs, bi- and multilateral donors, and reconnaissance surveys for interaction with communities in the hazard-prone areas and important river basins of the ASEAN Member States (AMS). The assessment was made based on six categories of areas that were derived based on the risk reduction priorities of the ASEAN and the priorities enshrined in the GFDRR.
The assessment indicated that the AMS is at different levels of strengthening the DRR prioritizing the long-term risk mitigation. Among the six assessment areas, institutional arrangements for DRR and CCA in terms of policy formulation and organizational setup from national to subnational levels were found to be well developed in all the AMS. As horizontal and vertical coordination are being still strengthened, the limited progress was found to hamper the synergistic actions between climate change adaptation (CCA) and DRR-related focal points. Consequently, the actions on the ground, especially at the river-basin level, were either fragmented or redundant. Risk assessments for hydrological disasters were well advanced in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam through the integration of climate change concerns into risk assessments is still very limited in countries other than The Philippines, Malaysia and Viet Nam. Development of guidelines incorporating disaster and climate risk was well developed in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, though these need to be strengthened for a scientific basis and the analytical rigor. Despite these limitations, the region has been able to harbor several good practices in all the six assessment areas due to the rich presence of the civil society organizations and strong willingness to collaborate by the governments. Three important policy relevant messages emerged were a) need to scale up good practices through engagement and recognition, b) strengthening risk and vulnerability assessments through standardizing, employing spatial approaches, and by integrating the climate change projections, and c) enhancing support for pilot projects that showcase watershed and river-basin level integrated risk assessments and risk management considering the importance of the natural resources in the health and welling of the region. The also paper presents a work plan, which was approved by the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management, to strengthen the DRR in the region.

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