Integrating Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in the Philippines

Proceedings from the roundtable discussion, “A Sharing of Theory and Practice on DRR-CCA Work”, held on 13-14 April 2010, Quezon City, Philippines

In Anibong hundreds of people were killed when the storm surge destroyed dwellings and washed giant container ships ashore. Before the storm the government issued a 'storm surge' warning, however many residents did not understand the term and did not evacuate to higher ground.  Survivors were left homeless and without access to clean water and sanitation facilities. Oxfam is one of the leading agencies working to ensure people have safe water, hygiene and sanitation facilities (WASH work) following typhoon
Paper author: 
Oxfam International

Climate change impacts such as those that come in the form of stronger and more frequent typhoons are increasing natural hazards in many areas of the Philippines already highly prone to multiple disasters because of their location on both the typhoon path and earthquake and volcanic belt. Given the increasing vulnerability of many communities, the need for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation has become more urgent. It will not only save lives but also protect assets and livelihoods and prevent more people from becoming poorer than they already are. DRR and CCA are two complementary approaches that can be integrated to achieve the ultimate aim of development work — poverty reduction.

Disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) are two strategies that development workers in the country have been pursuing in response to the problems posed by disaster risks and climate change impacts. The two can be converged or integrated in programming but there are challenges to this, foremost among which is the fact that in the Philippines, DDR and CCA practitioners have been working in different institutional settings. DRR practitioners from civil society have been working mainly with the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) while CCA practitioners and advocates, with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). These settings have not only made for the different mind-sets and perspectives but also prevented practitioners from conversing with one another.