Towards integrating disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation: Understanding flood risk and resilience in Eastern India
The Gorakhpur District is recognised as the most flood-prone district in eastern Uttar Pradesh, India. Flooding has become a regular occurrence, putting the lives and livelihoods of local communities at risk. The START-CDKN programme was initiated to incorporate climate change considerations into disaster management planning. The aim of the project was to respond effectively to more frequent and extreme flooding by planning proactively to minimise the loss of life and property damage. The programme spearheaded GEAG, improved understanding of how climate change impacts will be manifested at the sub-national level. The programme presented relevant scientific analysis of climate change projections in a form that conveyed the urgency, relevance and implications of climate change to the district’s plans and programmes. The active capacity building of local authorities to deal with climate-related uncertainties contributed to the programme’s success. This focused on the reallocation of financing, and also on the co-benefits of climate compatible development that allow local decision-makers to act, even in the face of uncertainty.
As a result of the strong buy-in and effective coordination, the programme went beyond simply making recommendations, to publishing a climate-sensitive District Disaster Management Plan. The project demonstrated that a suite of effective initiatives led by credible organisations can result in policy change.