When: Tuesday, 4 December, 11:30 – 13:00
Where: International Congress Centre, Room: Warmina, Katowice, Poland

Disaster risk reduction (DRR) and recovery efforts are profoundly influenced by climate change, but the DRR and climate communities remain divided. This panel will demonstrate how water can serve as a mechanism to find common ground and take action to confront new threats and reduce long-term risks.

Both the UNFCCC Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction acknowledge the role that climate change plays in altering the frequency, timing and duration of both fast and slow-onset hazards. However, despite calls for greater coherence between the two, as bodies of policy and as communities of practice the climate change and DRR communities remain divided, distinct, and largely incoherent.

Water forms a connective tissue between these arenas. Water has always been the primary instrument of natural disaster and climate change is having a transformative effect on the water cycle. At the same time, water and wetlands play an important role in buffering communities and ecosystems from the adverse effects of climate change and help communities prevent, respond and recover from disaster. Resilient water resources management practices and tools can improve outcomes both for climate mitigation and adaptation activities as well as for disaster reduction and recovery efforts.

This discussion features experts working in cities and regions across the globe to reduce disaster risk and improve climate resilience within their communities. These “bottom up” activities are well underway and can provide positive examples and inspiration for Parties looking to improve their NDCs, NAPs, and national disaster risk reduction strategies, reduce competition for investment, and lessen the risk of project failure or mal-adaptation.

Moderator: John Matthews, Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA)


  • Anil Mishra, UNESCO
  • Kenzo Hiroki, Coordinator, UN High Level Experts Panel on Water and Disasters
  • Karounga Keita, Wetlands International, Mali
  • Sonja Koeppel, UNECE
  • Kevin M. Adams, SEI research associate, will speak on the evolving linkages between climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, viewed through the lens of the European Platform on Climate Adaptation and Risk Reduction (PLACARD), the Stockholm Climate and Security Hub, and the SEI Initiative on Transforming Development and Disaster Risk
  • Sara Candiracci, Associate Director, International Development, Arup