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Themes > Climate > Climate Risk Management

Climate Risk Management

In many parts of the world, natural hazards such as floods and droughts contribute to increasing socio-economic and ecological disturbances. Managing such risks is a major challenge, particularly for developing and least developed countries.

What is the climate information needed by each country and region and indeed, each sector? Does climate information get to the people at risk and to other potential end users, and is the information understood? To what extent do people at risk, and health and food officials adhere to the early warning information provided by the designated agencies? And: how do people live with climate variability and change?

While there have been a number of excellent fora for climate researchers from around the world to meet and discuss progress, knowledge gaps and research needs, there have not been many opportunities for climate information providers to meet with policy makers and user sector representatives. Climate researchers have made great efforts to produce the most reliable information on the state and variability of the climate system to provide guidance to policy makers to develop policies that will address challenging issues impacting livelihoods and food security.

Climate-related risk management often has a negative connotation. Human health, livelihoods and the local economy are threatened when rainfall events at certain times trigger malaria outbreaks and billions of desert locusts invade farmland in Africa leaving nothing but stalks behind; or when excessive rain swells the rivers in India and Bangladesh and washes away the annual agricultural production. But ‘climate-related risk management’ also bears a great potential to capture ‘benefits’ from the windows of opportunity offered by the climate. Appropriate climate information distributed through an efficient delivery system can alert health and food officials to optimise the allocation of medical resources to fight malaria outbreaks or assure food and water security long before the actual natural hazard sets in.

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