‘The difficult truth is that the way we are approaching disaster risks today is almost certainly not good enough to meet tomorrow’s challenges’. For a holistic approach to resilience building, it is important to integrate climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) because it would encompass a wider range of present and future risks. Several tools, methodologies and approaches have been developed which are targeted at mainstreaming CCA and DRR but the need for increased awareness and capacity in managing climate and disaster risks at various levels of governments in Southeast Asia still remain.
In the context of river management, rivers are susceptible to both natural and human-induced impacts. Yet, in turn, rivers can pose several challenges and can be very destructive if not managed properly. In order to reduce risks to human health, food security, environmental services, as well as social and economic development, there is a need to manage disaster risks and hazards in river systems.
As a continuation of capacity-building efforts in addressing needs in Southeast Asia, ICLEI Southeast Asia Secretariat (ICLEI SEAS), a sub-regional node of the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network, organized a training workshop titled, a Training-Workshop titled “Resilience Building in River Management” was organized within the 2nd International River Summit: “Riviving Rivers, Rebuilding Civilization” on 19-21 November 2014 in Marikina City, Philippines. The workshop was aimed at building capacity on integrating climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction (CCA-DRR) into policies, programs and projects in the context of river management.
The event was attended by around 40 participants from nine countries, mostly from Southeast Asia, including some local executives as well as personalities from climate change offices and other relevant national agencies. Experts and practitioners in the field and some academics provided rich information about the linkages between CCA and DRR, existing CCA-DRR initiatives in the Southeast Asia and the application of these concepts in river management through case studies. Moreover, participants were guided into a practical and step-by-step guide on mainstreaming CCA-DRR into development planning as well as land use planning. Key points that surfaced in the discussions include the importance of evidence-based decision-making, multi-stakeholder engagement, recognition that resilience building needs a holistic approach and that it can be a strategy for poverty alleviation