The devastating effects of Super Typhoon Odette (International name “Rai) in Lapu-Lap City, Cebu, Philippines. Photo: Carl Kho / Unsplash .

The building resilience through inclusive and climate-adaptive disaster disk reduction in the Asia-Pacific (BRDR) programme focuses on establishing evidence-based methods, tools and practices for building resilience of the most vulnerable communities in two pilot countries (Nepal and the Philippines) and on sharing the lessons learned at regional forums in order to replicate the approaches across the region.

The programme puts gender equality and rights-based approaches at the forefront of improving disaster risk reduction and seeks to support the implementation of innovative and inclusive measures that link stakeholders engaged in development, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and emergency preparedness.

Additionally, the BRDR programme aims to enhance the role of the Regional Consultative Committee on Disaster Management  in supporting member countries in implementing global frameworks and serving as a conduit for South-South learning, transboundary disaster risk reduction, and knowledge sharing.

SEI is currently working in the following areas:

  • Rights and equality in disaster risk reduction. Together with BRDR partners, SEI works to promote the integration of rights and gender equality into disaster risk reduction. A key contribution is the development of the Framework for Integrating Rights and Equality (FIRE) and its application in the context of risk assessment, risk-sensitive and climate-adaptive land-use planning and emergency preparedness for response.
  • Disaster risk reduction and health. SEI leads research on understanding the links between public health and disaster risk reduction in Asia and specifically seeks to understand the current Covid-19 pandemic from a disaster risk perspective and explore resilience strategies through urban and land-use planning.
  • Women environmental human rights defenders for transformative resilience. SEI works to mobilize the knowledge and experiences of front-line women environmental defenders to inform development and disaster risk policies and programming that support women environmental defenders in transforming the unequal power structures underlying socio-environmental injustices.
  • Reframing disaster risk assessment and land-use planning. SEI examines the structural causes of vulnerability and exposure to disasters to inform the development of more inclusive and equitable land-use and disaster risk planning processes.
  • Disaster preparedness and response. SEI looks at how rights and equality are integrated into national disaster preparedness and response policies and actions in six member countries under the Asian Preparedness Partnership and through this highlights enabling conditions and barriers to integration.

The programme is supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and implemented jointly by the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre, SEI, the Raoul Wallenberg Institute and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency.

The Framework for Integrating Rights and Equality (FIRE) offers a guiding framework to promote the integration of human rights and gender equality into disaster risk reduction and climate resilience measures.

Disasters and climate change are not natural phenomena; they are induced and exacerbated by human activities under different environmental, social, economic and cultural contexts. Policies and institutions governing wider development processes, such as urbanization, natural resource use, and poverty reduction, play a critical role in shaping disaster risks.

Social inequality is a key driver of exposure and vulnerability. It leads to unequal distribution of benefits and costs of economic processes, disasters and climate change impacts, as well as disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate resilience (CR) measures. Marginalized groups who do not equally benefit from economic development face higher levels of risk and vulnerability.

Human rights and gender equality are core principles reflected in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, as well as other frameworks that make up the post-2015 development agenda, including the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals. However, approaches that have been developed to promote the integration of human rights and gender equality into DRR and CR, and sustainable development more generally, tend to focus on one, with limited engagement with the other.

These briefs present FIRE and its applications in the Building Resilience through Inclusive and Climate-adaptive Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia-Pacific (BRDR) Programme. The FIRE approach, consisting of six dimensions, is intended as a guiding framework for DRR and CR decision-makers at national, sub-national and local levels to use in the development and implementation of laws, policies, procedures and practices related to DRR and CR.

FIRE is an output of the Building Resilience through inclusive and climate-adaptive Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia-Pacific (BRDR) Programme, jointly developed by the BRDR consortium partners consisting of SEI, the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre, the Raoul Wallenberg Institute and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency.

Under the BRDR programme, SEI spearheads the initiative, ‘Together Defenders’, a quarterly newsletter that gives updates on environment and human rights issues in Asia and on the work conducted by defenders in the region, with a focus on Nepal and the Philippines. The content of the newsletter is based on submissions from our partner organisations.

If you wish to send the contents for this newsletter, please contact us at envdefenders@sei.org.