Friday, April 20, 2012

Children, climate and disasters

Institute of Development Studies: A new IDS In Focus PolicyBriefing, launched today, sets out the right conditions for a child-centredapproach to disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation.
Children, Climate Change and Disasters, uses case studiesfrom two disaster-prone countries, the Philippines and El Salvador, to examinethe different roles that children can play in DRR and adaptation. The briefingidentifies key factors that will support a child-centred approach acrossdifferent scales; from households and communities, to national andinternational levels.
Launching the briefing to climate change and developmentexperts at the Sixth International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation(CBA6) in Hanoi, Vietnam, IDS Research Fellow Tom Tanner said: ‘We have tostart putting children at the heart of DRR and climate change adaptation work.Climate-related extreme events pose one of the greatest threats to futuregenerations. Programmes need to recognise that children are especiallyvulnerable to disasters and need protection. But more than that, childrenthemselves have a critical role to play in tackling extreme events and climatechange. They have the right to participate in decision-making, as citizens andactive agents of change.
‘Our research, in partnership with Plan International, hasshown the variety of ways that children can be involved – whether throughdesigning and implementing projects, analysing risk, or mobilising others totake action. The new In Focus Policy Briefing highlights the range of factorsacross different scales that will support this.
‘At a local level, these include facilitating youth groups,identifying community champions and creating safe spaces to build trust.Actions are also required at national and international levels, for examplenational DRR frameworks should train and resource those working in othersectors, such as health and education, with the skills to effectively engagewith communities, including children.’...
Children standing on the edge of flooded areas in Torwood, Brisbane, 1893.

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