Confronting the Rising Threat of Climate Disasters

Background

Recent devastating floods and storms in Asia and the Pacific—notably in the Philippines, Thailand, India, Pakistan and Australia—have vividly highlighted how severe and frequent climate-related natural disasters are wreaking havoc on lives, livelihoods and property. The increased frequency of intense floods and storms has been observed amid the spectre of climate change. Confronting the many development and policy challenges of climate impacts is an immediate concern and not one for the distant future.

Evidence is accumulating that the risks from weather-related disasters are the result of a confluence of three factors:

  • the changing nature of such hazards
  • the rising exposure of populations
  • the limited adaptive capacity of many countries—especially developing countries.

The rising incidence and severity of climate-related disasters are eroding progress on poverty reduction and other development gains in the region. These empirical findings point to the urgent need for action by national and local governments and communities to strengthen their preparation and resilience to natural disasters, improve adaptive capacities, and implement climate mitigation measures. To achieve this, disaster management needs to be viewed not as a cost, but as a necessary investment for saving lives and livelihoods, reducing disaster threats to critical infrastructure, and promoting sustainable and inclusive development.

Objectives

Aimed at knowledge sharing and with a focus on the Philippines, this forum will address the rising challenges and risks from climate-related natural disasters. The panel of experts will discuss the increasingly pressing issues of post-disaster compensation in reconstruction and recovery, needed pre-disaster investments in risk reduction, as well as innovative disaster finance measures being discussed in the wider development community. Experiences will be shared on how disaster risk mitigation and adaptation are being used in development strategies at the national, local, and community levels.

A key message of the event is that political leaders and economic managers need to be aware of the vital link between climate-change response and economic success—and start investing in disaster risk management, including climate mitigation as well as adaptation.

This event is co-hosted by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies and the Independent Evaluation Department of the Asian Development Bank.

Participation

Expected to attend the conference are policymakers, legislators, business leaders, representatives of civil society organizations, officials of government agencies, development partners, and the media.

Agenda

9:30–10:00 Registration
10:00–10:10 Welcome Remarks 
Dr. Josef Yap
President, Philippine Institute for Development Studies
10:10–11:10

Panel Discussion

Moderator
Cecilia Orena-Drilon
Broadcast Journalist

Panelists 
Elisea G. Gozun
Presidential Assistant for Climate Change and Former Secretary
Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Jose Ma. Clemente “Joey” Salceda
Governor, Province of Albay, the Philippines

Vinod Thomas
Director General, Independent Evaluation
Asian Development Bank

11:10–11:50 Open Forum
11:50–12:00 Closing Remarks 
Richard Bolt
Advisor, Southeast Asia Department
Asian Development Bank
12:00–13:30 Lunch