Disasters such as floods and earthquakes cause both loss of life and damage to the natural infrastructure upon which societies depend for their well-being. Protracted emergencies due to complex political instabilities and kinetic conflict, compounded with slow onset shocks like droughts, further weaken response and recovery. Evidence has increasingly shown that taking into account the resilience of nature before and after humanitarian action improves lives and livelihoods. This approach is particularly true in developing world economies where governance capacity is weakened by recurring climatic and geohazard shocks. Similarly, nature-based approaches to climate change adaptation — an idea known as “ecosystem-based adaptation” (EbA) — is gaining increased attention from development institutions, governments, and local communities.
This symposium will highlight the role of nature in humanitarian and development programming in the face of disasters. We discuss challenges and opportunities in identifying key intervention points within the humanitarian and development program cycles to to employ nature-based assessment tools and ecosystem-based adaptation.We will highlight in-country examples and key findings from the Coordination of Assessments for Environment in Humanitarian Action and USAID’s ecosystem-based adaptation evidence summaries and case studies.
Jennifer Kane, Biodiversity and Natural Resources Specialist E3 Bureau/Forestry and Biodiversity Office, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
Erika Clesceri, DCHA Bureau Environmental Officer (BEO), Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
Anita van Breda, Senior Director, Environment and Disaster Management, World Wildlife Fund
Ali Raza, Programme Manager, Ecosystem Based Adaptation, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Anne Koontz, Relief International