Why a Course on Disasters?

Why a Course on Disasters, Ecosystems and Resilience?

Disasters kill people, destroy infrastructure, damage ecosystems and undermine development. With climate change, the impacts of disasters are expected to grow. It is now well understood that in a world with a changing climate, no development can be sustainable if it has not factored in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

Since the adoption of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) by world nations in 2005, there has been significant progress in our knowledge about potential impacts of disasters and also about policies and instruments for reducing disaster risks. The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has also enhanced our understanding about the possibility of extreme and hazard events resulting from climate change. There is need for increased awareness amongst both policymakers as well as practitioners on the latest advances in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA). One significant advancement is promoting ecosystem-based approaches for reducing disaster risks and adapting to climate change, either as natural protective buffers or as supporting local livelihoods, food and water security for increased resilience against disaster impacts. Ecosystem-based approaches for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation (or Eco-DRR/CCA) are considered by the IPCC as a 'no-regrets solution', providing multiple social-economic benefits regardless of disasters, including carbon storage, biodiversity and poverty alleviation.

This MOOC enhances knowledge and skills for tackling complex issues such as resilience and transformation and how sustainable development, ecosystem management, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation are linked and can be operationalized. It would benefit disaster managers and practitioners, climate change adaptation professionals, development planners and project implementers, and policymakers.