VARG Project: Linking Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management for Sustainable Poverty Reduction (2006)

In the context of VARG's current discussion focus on inter-linkages between disaster risk management and adaptation to climate change, country case studies were carried out in Kenya, Vietnam and Mexico. The studies were led by R. Few, H. Osbahr, L. Bouwer and D. Viner in collaboration with local partners J. Wakhungu and V. Orindi (Kenya), Nguyen Huu Ninh and Ngo Cam Thanh (Vietnam), B. Graizboard, A. Mercado, E. Wilkinson (Mexico).

Each report presents an overview of the existing exposure to natural hazards and projected climate changes and then explores adaptive capacity to current and future climatic risks at various levels. The studies benefitted from the feed-back and input of institutional representatives and other stakeholders in each country.

The studies were funded by the EC in support of the VARG work program. VARG members provided input to the discussions. The Steering Committee was comprised of M. Lamin (EC), F.Sperling (VARG Secretariat/World Bank), J. Troni (DFID), S. Agrawala (OECD) and M. van Aalst (Red Cross/Reed Crescent Climate Change Center).

Project outputs

Synthesis Report: EC VARG Synthesis Report.pdf

Country Studies: EC VARG Kenya Report.pdfEC VARG Mexico Report EC.pdfEC VARG-VietnamStudy.pdf Approach Paper: EC VARGStudy-ConsultancyReport on Approach.pdf

A discussion paper served as background document for the concluding workshop (see news), hosted by UN-ISDR in Geneva and supported by DFID, DGIS, GTZ, OECD and SIDA.
Draft Paper for discussion at workshop:VARGWorkshop-DiscussionPaper.doc Workshop Summary: VARG Workshop Summary.pdf

Documents/Publications by bi-lateral and multilateral organizations:

Department for International Development (DfID):
DFID, 2003. Climate Change & Poverty -- Key Sheets. Summary of the main issues concerning the interlinkages between climate change and poverty reduction:

DFID_CCinfo 01.pdfDFIDinfo_13.pdfDFID-CCinfo 03.pdfDFID-CCinfo 04.pdfDFID-CCinfo 05.pdfDFIDinfo_ 07.pdfDFIDinfo_06.pdfDFIDinfo_08.pdfDFIDinfo_09.pdfDFIDinfo_10.pdfDFIDinfo_11.pdfDFIDinfo_12.pdfDFID-CCinfo 02.pdf

European Commission (EC):
EC, 2003. Communication from the Commission to the Council and European Parliament: Climate Change in the Context of Development Cooperation. Brussels. COM (2003) 85 final,52 pp. CC&DevCooperation_EC-COM2003_0085(final).pdf(francais) COM2003_0085_F_FR_ACTE(version finale).pdf
(espanol) COM2003_85_F_ES_ACTE(final).pdf (portugues) COM2003_0085_F_PT_ACTE.pdf

German Development and Economic Cooperation (BMZ with implementing agencies GTZ and KfW):
Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH:
GTZ, 2003. Adaptation Brochure. Eschborn. (Fact Sheet on Climate Change Adaptation)
(english)Adaptation-Brochure-engl_GTZ.pdf (francais)AdaptBroch-french_GTZ.pdf(espanol)AdaptBroch-spanish_GTZ.pdf(deutsch)AdaptBroch-German_GTZ.pdf

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD):
Agrawala, S.,V. Raksakulthai, M. van Aalst, P. Larsen, J. Smith, and J. Reynolds, 2003. Development and Climate Change in Nepal: Focus on Water Resources and Hydropower. COM/ENV/EPOC/DCD/DAC(2003)1/FINAL, OECD, Paris. 64pp.

Agrawala, S., T. Ota, A.U. Ahmed, M. van Aalst, and J. Smith, 2003. Development and Climate Change in Bangladesh: Focus on Coastal Flooding and the Suburbans. COM/ENV/EPOC/DCD/DAC(2003)3/Final, OECD, Paris.


Agrawala, S. T. Ota, J. Risbey, M.Hagenstad, J. Smith, M. van Aalst, K. Koshy, and B. Prasad, 2003. Development and Climate Change in Fiji: Focus on Coastal Mangroves. COM/ENV/EPOC/DCD/DAC(2003)4/Final, OECD, Paris.


Agrawala, S. A. Moehner, A. Hemp, M. van Aalst, S. Hitz, J. Smith, H. Meena, S.M. Mwakifwamba, T. Hyera, and O.U. Mwaipopo, 2003. Development and Climate Change: Focus on Mount Kilimanjaro. COM/ENV/EPOC/DCD/DAC(2003)5/FINAL, OECD, Paris.


United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
UNDP. Reducing Disaster Risk: A Challenge to Development provides a comprehensive global analysis of natural disasters over the past decades in the context of development. The report and further background information can be obtained at

United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR):
UNISDR 2006. On better terms: A Glance at Key Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Concepts. Consultation Version 2006. A product of the Working Group on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction of the Interagency Task Force for Disaster Reduction. United Nations, Geneva.

World Bank:
Bettencourt, S. et al. 2006. Not If but When - Adapting to Natural Hazards in the Pacific Islands Region: A policy note. The World Bank. Washington DC.

Natural Hazards report FINAL.pdfExecutive summary FINAL.pdf

Burton, I., and M. van Aalst, 2004. Look Before You Leap: A Risk Management Approach for Incorporating Climate Change Adaptation into World Bank Operations. Draft. The World Bank, Washington, D.C.


Ajay Mathur, Ian Burton and Marten van Aalst (eds.), 2004. An Adaptation Mosaic: An Example of Emerging Bank Work in Climate Change Adaptation. Final Draft. The World Bank. Washington, D.C.


van Aalst, M., S. Fankhauser, S. Kane., and K. Sponberg, 2000. Climate Information and Forecasting for Development - Lessons from the 1997/98 El Nino. Environment Department Working Papers, No. 79, Climate Change Series, The World Bank, Washington, D.C.


Burton, I., and M. van Aalst, 1999. Come Hell or High Water - Integrating Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation into Bank Work. Environment Department Working Papers, No. 72, Climate Change Series, The World Bank, Washington, D.C.

Come Hell or High Water.pdf

World Health Organization (WHO):

WHO (in collaboration with UNEP and WMO), 2003. Climate Change and Human Health: Risks and Responses. Summary. World Health Organization - Europe, Rome.


Kovats. S., K.L.Ebi, and B. Menne (lead authors). 2003. Methods of Assessing Human Health Vulnerability and Public Health Adaptation to Climate Change. Health and Global Environmental Change. Series No.1. World Health Organization-Europe, Rome (in collaboration with Health Canada and UNEP).


Inter-agency Reports:
Sperling, F. (ed.), 2003. Poverty and Climate Change: Reducing the Vulnerability of the Poor through Adaptation. Inter-agency report by the African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Department for International Development (DFID, UK), Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ, Germany), Directorate-General for Development European Commission (EC), Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Development Cooperation (DGIS, The Netherlands), Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and the World Bank.

Poverty and Climate Change-Part 1.pdfPoverty and Climate Change - Parts 2&3.pdfPovertyAndClimateChange_ENGLISH_72dpi.pdf

Translations of the original Poverty and Climate Change Report are available in French and Spanish (courtesy of EC):

(franchais) PovertyAndClimateChange_2004_FRENCH_72dpi.pdf (espanol) PovertyAndClimateChange_2004_SPANISH_72dpi.pdf

Sperling, F. and F. Szekely, 2005. Disaster Risk Management in a Changing Climate. Informal Discussion Paper prepared for the World Conference on Disaster Reduction on behalf of the Vulnerability and Adaptation Resource Group (VARG). Washington, D.C.

DRM&ClimateChange_FNS&FS-VARG.pdf VARG-DRM&CC-FNS-FS_ 2005 full.pdf(Final version with addendum on Conference outcomes) WCDR-report-session-1-7.pdf