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Dealing with disasters and climate change

“We need urgent action on climate change adaptation. Some of the most dramatic effects of climate change will occur in regions with weak governance structures, environmental degradation, poverty and violent conflict. And to all of that we now have to add the accelerating consequences of climate change”.

29/02/2008 :: “Changing the way we develop: dealing with disasters and climate change” was the title of the Oslo Policy Forum 2008. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Norway today and yesterday hosted a conference which is part of the follow-up to the Bali Action Plan and the preparations for Climate Summit in Copenhagen in 2009.

“Climate change is altering the face of disaster risk. In order to take global challenges of disaster risk reduction seriously, we need to integrate disaster and climate risk management with foreign policy and development cooperation,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway Jonas Gahr Støre. 

The focus of the conference was on the political and economic challenges involved in adaptation to climate change and the need for more proactive efforts in this area. The conference is expected to result in practical recommendations on how adaptation to climate change and prevention of humanitarian crises can be integrated into development cooperation.

Ghana, Malawi, Vietnam and Norway was represented at political level. Bangladesh, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, India, Italy, Indonesia, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK are among the countries that will be represented at senior-official level.

The Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the UNDP directors of development policies and crisis prevention, and the Secretary-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) also participated, as well as Professor Jeffrey Sachs (Columbia University) and others.

“We need urgent action on climate change adaptation. Some of the most dramatic effects of climate change will occur in regions with weak governance structures, environmental degradation, poverty and violent conflict. And to all of that we now have to add the accelerating consequences of climate change,” Støre stated in his opening speech.

“The brutal paradox is that the most vulnerable societies have contributed relatively little to global warming. Rich and industrialized nations including my own must take the lead and bear the heaviest burden. We are committed to taking the global challenges of disaster risk reduction seriously. I believe we have to change the architecture of both foreign policy and development cooperation,” Støre said.

Støre’s speach can be found here.

The conference was arranged in cooperation with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and ProVention Consortium. More information on the programme and the participants is available at www.oslopolicyforum.no

 

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