Cooperation on climate change and disaster risk reduction in Central Asia
June 21, 2016. Almaty, Kazakhstan. Within the framework of International conference on the occasion of CAREC’s 15th Anniversary, participants attended a side event to discuss cooperation on climate change and disaster risk reduction in Central Asia.
Climate change and variability leads to changes in frequency, intensity, scale and duration of climate induced disasters. Over the past 35 years, a number of natural disasters around the world was almost doubled. Mr. Stanislav Kim, UNDP Programme Specialist on Recovery, Early Warning Systems and Response within the Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Team, highlighted that “Little resources is allocated to prevent climate-induced disasters. Major bulk is however spent on recovery. The governments of Central Asia have to pay more attention to the prevention of natural disasters rather than on recovery. It goes without saying that one dollar invested in the disaster risk reduction and prevention might save seven dollars for recovery”.
In 2015 CAREC, in close cooperation with international organizations and national counterparts initiated the so-called Paris process at the level of Central Asia region. The process resulted in participation of the countries at a joint REC/CAREC’s side-event (COP 21, December 4, 2015: Paris), where they expressed their willingness to enhance regional cooperation to cope with climate change and highlighted opportunities for joint actions in implementation of the Paris Agreement. The countries of Central Asia emphasized that risks of food and energy security are particularly high to climate change impacts and stand at the core of the common regional agenda. At the same time, climate-related disasters represent a threat to all areas of sustainable development in Central Asia. In this context it was suggested to maintain a regional dialogue on Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) on a regular basis.
The objective of the side event was to discuss and explore opportunities for CAREC to support climate change and disaster risk reduction (DRR) dialogue at the level of Central Asia and feed in the global and regional agenda on climate change and sustainable development.
During the discussions participants agreed that there is an importance to strengthen coordination and promote joint regional efforts on climate change and respective aspects of development and risks to successfully implement the Paris Agreement and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They have also acknowledged the importance to perform regular assessments and research on respective climate-dependent aspects of development and risks in a consolidated and regional manner. Examples may include and not limited to the topics of disaster risk reduction, food and energy security, climate investments, principles of “green economy” and joint efforts in greenhouse gas emission reduction and meeting the pledges of INDCs.