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Disaster risk reduction in the ASEAN region: Understanding and assessing systematic risks of floods and landslides in a river basin context

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Lao PDR
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UNDRR
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Introduction

Introduction The Southeast Asian Nations are undergoing rapid socio-economic transformations with associated dynamic changes in the hazard, vulnerability and risk characteristics. Climate change and human induced factors such as dense human settlements and socio-economic activities near fragile areas are expected to exacerbate these risks acting as a threat multiplier. Institutions in Southeast Asian countries are putting in place overarching disaster risk reduction plans and policies from national to local level; and rapidly progressing towards localizing them to specific sectors with robust implementation at the community level. There is a need to strengthen these efforts by addressing the systemic risks brought by climate change affecting the disaster vulnerability.

This project followed a recent study on the status of disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) integration in institutional and policy framework in ASEAN, identifying, flood and landslide as two most common disasters in the ASEAN region (JICA 2019). Furthermore, it also pointed to hazard and risk assessments integrating future climate change projections as the region’s highest priority. ASEAN Member States (AMSs) concurred with these findings and further committed their efforts to address the direct effect of climate change on disasters by linking DRR and CCA as outlined in the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Programme 2016-2020. Backed up by these evidences from the ground, ASEAN Leaders, through the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) stepped up efforts towards further study.

Keeping the above background in view, a project was implemented to assess the systemic risks of floods and landslides in selected river basins by integrating climate change projections into risk assessments in cooperation with the ASEAN Working Group on Prevention and Mitigation (WG P&M) of the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management with support from the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF). This paper presents the results of the project succinctly and outlines the guidelines developed for practitioners and decision-makers to understand systemic risks and address systemic risks through planning processes. Developing forward-looking risk assessments equipped decision-makers with the ability to manage rapidly changing risk profiles because of climate change and related uncertainties.