Minimum standards for local climate-smart disaster risk reduction

Report / Paper

Minimum standards for local climate-smart disaster risk reduction

ORGANISER: Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre


November 2013


Climate change is increasing the risk of extreme events and disasters. The most vulnerable people in communities will be hit hardest. Disaster risk reduction can make an important contribution to national and local level efforts to adapt to a changing climate and strengthen the resilience of communities.

Many national climate change adaptation plans stress the need to address the rising risk of extreme events and disasters and also acknowledge the essential role of local communities in addressing these changing risks. Yet in many cases, opportunities for reducing the risk of extreme events and adapting to climate change are missed.

The Minimum Standards for climate-smart disaster risk reduction serve as an essential bridge between national climate policy and local capacities for DRR. The standards are not idealized solutions, but rather practical approaches to implementing climate-smart DRR activities in a way that is achievable by many communities with relatively limited external support.

Using these Minimum Standards, national actors can now effectively incorporate local community action on DRR into national adaptation strategies. The standards provide assurance that DRR goes beyond business as usual and truly addresses changing risks. If the Minimum Standards are met, local DRR actions are climate smart and contribute to climate change adaptation. What is more, the national strategies that consider these standards will be able to go to scale, knowing that they are realistic and achievable.

For local actors, and their counterparts in local governments and civil society organizations, the minimum standards are intended as a practical tool, allowing them to integrate changing climate risks into their efforts to support communities reduce risk to extreme events and disasters.

The minimum standards are based on ample local experience and consultation, including lessons learned during the first years of the Partners for Resilience  programme, the largest programme of its kind focusing on local-level climate-smart DRR. Notably, the standards are a living document that continues to be discussed in many countries