Updated standards for climate-smart risk reduction unveiled at ‘buzzing, fruitful’ COP 19 side-event
18 November 2013
A new edition of the inter-agency Minimum Standards intended to bridge national climate policy and local capacities for disaster risk reduction (DRR) was rolled out this weekend at the popular Development and Climate Days (“D&C Days”) side-event at COP 19 in Warsaw.
First evolved in partnership with the Indonesian and Philippine groups involved in the Netherlands Partners for Resilience (PfR) alliance and launched just over a year ago, the latest Minimum Standards incorporate feedback from civil society and governments worldwide, as well as experience and dialogue across the PfR network – including a global work conference in The Hague in September.
“The Minimum Standards are not idealized solutions but practical approaches to implement DRR [that are] achievable by communities with relatively limited external support,” according to an introduction to the new document.
D&C Days has been a popular fixture at COP meetings for more than a decade and began Saturday at the Polonia Palace Hotel, Warsaw, with an expert-panel discussion, a mind-opening game session, a “world café” and more – all co-facilitated by the Climate Centre and partners the Global Environment Facility.
The day focused on the experience of adaptation practitioners in the field, and discussion included the implementation of National Adaptation Plans of Action, ecosystem-based adaptation and adaptation financing, and also included participatory games.
Participants in Saturday afternoon’s panel discussion on the “loss and damage” issue, which included the former Irish president, Mary Robinson, now chair of trustees of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, emphasized the need for global solidarity on climate impacts.
D&C Days was the second of two IFRC side-events at the 2013 UN climate talks in Warsaw. The first was held Thursday in the Cracow Room at the main National Stadium venue in Warsaw – a seminar entitled Linking Adaptation and Mitigation to Address Multiple Risks co-hosted with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).
The Sunday D&C Days session was devoted to “games-based approaches for action on climate-change education, learning and capacity building” and co-hosted with the International Institute for Environment and Development, which originated D&C Days 11 years ago at COP 8 in Delhi.
The Climate Centre team in Warsaw ran a selection of the 45 educational games developed with partners since 2011 that cover a wide range of humanitarian decision-making challenges. They included Paying for predictions and Ready!, and there was a special session on game design.
“It was a very buzzing event – well attended and very fruitful,” said Mairi Dupar, Global Public Affairs Coordinator for the London-based Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), who blogged about it for the CDKN website.
“Mary Robinson galvanized participants at D&C Days with her call for climate justice,” Ms Dupar wrote. “Speaking not only as an international figure but as an Irish grandmother-of-four, she said she could hardly look her grandchildren in the eye when she contemplated the dangerous climate they could face.”
“This is not just economic. It’s about lives, livelihoods, cultures and future generations,” she had added.
“As the climate continues to change, our colleagues have more and more work,” said Dr Pablo Suarez, the Climate Centre’s Associate Director for Research and Innovation, in an interview in Warsaw with RTCC (Climate Change TV). “There’s just no capacity in the humanitarian sector to deal with all the problems that are happening.
“Our colleagues from the Philippine Red Cross, who were supposed to be here, of course, need to be dealing with the consequences of an unprecedented typhoon.
“And this is consistent with what science tells us: we should expect more frequent, more intense, more bizarre extreme events.”
D&C Days was also supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Gameplay during Development and Climate Days Sunday at the Polonia Palace Hotel, Warsaw, one of two official COP 19 side-events co-hosted by the IFRC-Climate Centre. (Photo: Mariusz Patalan/Climate Centre)