Helping nature help us: Transforming disaster risk reduction through ecosystem management

Monty, F, Murti, R. & Furuta, N. | IUCN | 2016 | Peer Reviewed | Book (chapter) |


With the increasing threats that disasters present particularly in the light of climate change, there is an urgent need to prioritise proactive disaster risk reduction over reacting to disaster events. Healthy ecosystems in particular are increasingly being recognised as important tools to prevent and minimise disaster risk. However, the use of the ecosystem approach for disaster risk reduction (Eco-DRR) is still underdeveloped worldwide and in need of scaling up. With the overlap in practice and common challenges that need to be addressed, there is great scope to enhance the co-benefits between Eco-DRR and biodiversity conservation by scaling up and mobilising actions for the integration of both fields. This publication documents the importance of biodiversity in disaster risk reduction and makes a case for the implementation of common approaches that contribute to both conservation and risk reduction. Assessments of regional experiences on Eco-DRR also highlight the opportunities and entry-points to scale-up integrated approaches. Part 1 of this report provides a conceptual background on the importance of biodiversity in disaster risk reduction, and opportunities to mainstream Eco-DRR as a crosscutting issue into policy and practice. Part 2 of the report provides a summary of individual regional assessments on the role of biodiversity in disaster risk reduction. The summaries particularly highlight key disaster challenges in each region, experiences with Eco-DRR, and use regional examples to make a case for the adoption of Eco-DRR approaches. Each regional summary concludes with key messages and recommendations to implement integrated approaches.