Building Pacific Resilience — The Strategy for Climate and Disaster Resilient Development in the Pacific

Up until Tonga made the first strides in 2009 and 2010, national and regional institutional structures in the Pacific reflect the fact that Disaster Risk Management (DRM) and response to Climate Change (CC) have largely been addressed separately (separately from each other and from other development sectors). CC and DRM practitioners have formed separate communities of practice.

In recent years, the above mentioned structures and partnerships have started to change, in reflection of the progressive integration of CC and DRM, prompted by the recognition of the significant overlaps between these cross-cutting ‘disciplines’.

At national level, Tonga as well as some other Pacific island countries have either developed, or are developing integrated approaches to DRM and CC, some through Joint National Action Plans on CC and DRM (JNAPs) or other integrated policies and plans. Some countries have also updated their national institutional structures to promote integrated DRM and CC approaches.

Pacific DRM and CC ‘communities’ and regional intergovernmental mechanisms agreed to combine their efforts to develop a Strategy for Climate and Disaster Resilient Development by 2015 to succeed the Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Management Framework for Action 2005–2015 and the Pacific Islands Framework for Action on Climate Change 2006–2015.

SPREP, SPC and UNISDR convened an inaugural Joint Meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management & Pacific Climate Change Roundtable in 2013 as part of the process to develop the abovementioned strategy.

The agreement and initiative taken to develop an integrated regional strategy for DRM and Climate Change makes the Pacific the first region in the world to take constructive steps towards combining regional, national and sub national efforts to reduce the risks to sustainable national development posed by disasters and climate change. The process through which the Strategy is being developed is currently referred to as the “Roadmap”.

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