Red Cross/ Red Crescent Climate Centre

Climate-smart disaster risk reduction for the 21st century

13/04/2012 - by Netherlands Red Cross

The Pledge Project  2008-11 - Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia

The Netherlands Pledge Project was born in 2007. At its core was a pledge to assist National Societies in three countries suffering climatic impacts – Colombia, Ethiopia and Indonesia – to combine disaster risk reduction with climate change adaptation. Its educational component included life-size board games. To help people most affected by disasters, the Pledge Project wanted to achieve three objectives that are encapsulated in the words knowledge, action and capacity. Knowledge means people learn about climate change and variability and their impact on human well-being. This includes knowledge of long-term climate trends and phenomena such as El Niño and La Niña. It’s important because if, for example, Indonesian villagers know that storm surges are likely to increase in frequency and intensity, they may not cut down protective vegetation for fuel or sale. Action means communities develop the skills and the capacities needed to confront disaster, especially when hazards are related to climate. A Colombian village that often experiences floods will need a contingency plan and systems that warn people when to evacuate. Finally, building capacity means National Societies will learn how to mobilize communities and other stakeholders to address climate-related disaster risk. In Ethiopia, the Red Cross effectively mobilized communities through the innovative use of audiovisual material and worked hand in hand with the local authorities to implement Pledge activities. The Netherlands government and Red Cross saw Pledge as a pilot from which we hoped to learn valuable lessons about the reduction of climate-related disaster risk. These lessons may help a wider group of actors within the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement as a whole, the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, the DRR and CCA community, and other humanitarian and development agencies. Download the leaflet here.

Contact Bruno Haghebaert of the Netherlands Red Cross for more information: bhaghebaert@redcross.nl.