Convergent Agency: Encouraging Transdisciplinary Approaches for Effective Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction uri icon


  • Three recent global agreements have been established to facilitate the implementation of global-level responsibilities to deal with disaster risk reduction (DRR), human development, and climate change adaptation (CCA) respectively. While these agreements have a common goal of reducing social, economic, and environmental vulnerability, they have been developed by largely independent communities of practice. This has limited cross-fertilization despite the inherent multidimensional nature of global challenges and the considerable thematic overlap. We argue that developing a transdisciplinary strategy that effectively integrates disciplines, approaches, and knowledge systems will lead to greater and more sustainable impacts, together with a more efficient use of financial resources. Hybrid approaches should be encouraged during planning of future development efforts so that risk reduction is conducted simultaneously with CCA. Transdisciplinary processes are central to generating context-sensitive knowledge to support decisions on CCA and DRR options that minimize trade-offs and maximize synergies and complementarities required to guide sustainable development trajectories. Finally, building codes together with climate and risk-smart research, education, and awareness raising, are identified as priority entry points to materialize the blending of DRR and CCA approaches and effectively reduce risk while mitigating and adapting to climate change.

publication date

  • 2016
  • 2016

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