Integrating climate change planning into disaster risk reduction

Dr Taryn Kong (AWARD) facilitating a group activity on a simple participatory mapping exercise disaster managers can use to identify flood risk hot spots, at the Mpumalanga Disaster Management Learning Network for the Olifants Catchment workshop on 14 July 2017

Climate change will likely increase disaster risks through exposure to floods and droughts, and indirectly through increased vulnerability and decreased adaptive capacity of social-ecological systems. A functional disaster management system of municipalities is essential to reduce disaster risks in the Olifants River Catchment because communities rely on municipalities for disaster preparedness and action.

In recognition of this, the Integrating climate change into disaster risk reduction project was implemented from late 2015 to early 2018 to integrate and upscale the embedding of climate change adaptation in disaster management practices by building and enhancing networks for learning, collaboration and coordination amongst local disaster managers. This included supporting and building horizontal connections (from local disaster management centres to National Disaster Management Centers) and vertical connections (involving the local municipality, disaster management center and disaster management advisory forums at pilot municipalities) within the disaster management system of the Olifants Catchment.

Group photo of participants and AWARD staff at the final workshop of the disaster management learning network for Mpumalanga and Limpopo, held on 26 July 2018 at the Mopani Disaster Management Centre.

We acknowledge the collaboration and continual support in terms of planning, logistics and facilitation from key stakeholders whom we worked with for this project:

  • National Disaster Management Centre; Disaster Management Institution of South Africa (DMISA)-Limpopo, particularly its Chairperson for her proactive and resourceful leadership;
  • Mpumalanga Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs (DARDLEA);
  • Disaster Management Centres and District Municipalities from Mopani, Ehlanzeni, Gert Sibande, Capricorn and Nkangala;
  • Maruleng Disaster Management Centre and Local Municipality.

Furthermore, we extend our sincere appreciation to all other district and local disaster management centres within Mpumalanga and Limpopo who participated in this project.