Extreme weather events and climate variability threaten millions of livelihoods. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization is developing a new tool that helps attenuate the impact of disasters before they occur. Andreas Wüstenberg, FAO Programme Officer for Early Warning Early Action, explains how it works and what results the team obtained from first projects.
Cities are already facing the brunt of a range of interacting risks from criminal violence, terrorism and war to demographic pressures, to climate and environmental change. Coastal megacities are especially at risk given the specific impacts of climate change they face, such as sea-level rise, increased storm frequency and severity, and destruction to infrastructure such as ports, rail and road networks. These risks are amplified as urban populations become ever larger.
Changes in global weather patterns are now projected to have potentially devastating impacts on agriculture in the coming years and decades. The rising “double burden” of malnutrition already threatens to dampen global progress toward better health. Demographic change—a bulging population of youth in Africa and rapid urbanization—is creating opportunities for an economic growth spurt that will affect food demand and organized protests when food security is endangered.
Cities are on the sharp end of a range of risks from criminal violence, terrorism and war to demographic pressures, to climate and environmental change. Coastal megacities are especially at risk given the specific impacts of climate change they face, including accelerated global sea-level rise, increased storm frequency and severity, and destruction to critical infrastructure such as port facilities, rail and road linkages, and energy installations, all of which are amplified as urban populations become ever larger.
The science is clear: To prevent major disruption, the global community must take steps to address climate change. But it is also increasingly clear that efforts to address climate change can have major effects on societies that are not always anticipated.
The G20 is at a crossroads. Since its inception, the exclusive group has had the chief objective of avoiding a new financial crisis. But a looming crisis of a different nature could now threaten international stability just as much: climate change, a risk factor deeply intertwined with other hazards such as slow growth and rising inequality.
In December, the leading lights of the climate and security community launched an unprecedented declaration to catalyse action in the field in front of 350 participants at the Planetary Security Conference.
The world's foremost gathering on reducing disaster risk and building the resilience of communities and nations, the Global Platform for Disaster Reduction was first held in 2007. It takes place every two years, with the 2015 edition rolled into the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. Its fifth session will be held in May 2017 in Mexico.
Over 80 percent of countries consider environmental crime a national priority, with most recognizing that new and more sophisticated criminal activities are increasingly threatening peace and security. INTERPOL and UN Environment surveyed close to 70 countries for their latest joint report on the issue.
The theme of ECCA 2017 is "Our Climate Ready Future". The vision is that this conference will inspire and enable people to work together to discover and deliver positive climate adaptation solutions that can strengthen society, revitalise local economies and enhance the environment. We will bring together the people who will deliver action on the ground – from business, industry, NGOs, local government and communities – to share knowledge, ideas and experience with researchers and policymakers.
This report takes stock of key developments since the publishing of the independent report A New Climate For Peace commissioned by G7 members. It provides a concise risk horizon scan, and an overview and assessment of key policy developments in 2015 and 2016 that are of relevance for addressing climate-fragility risks and fostering the global resilience agenda.