Human rights-based approaches (HRBA) are recognized as having a key role to play in responding to the climate emergency and contributing to societal transformations (Boyd, 2019). According to the Framework Principles on Human Rights and Environment developed by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment presented at the UN Human Rights Council in 2018, states have obligations to respect, protect and fulfil human rights in addressing environmental challenges and pursuing sustainable development (Knox, 2018). Similarly, increased gender equality has been acknowledged as a central aspect of addressing climate change (Dugarova, 2018). The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Paris Agreement identify human rights and gender equality as guiding principles yet neither text elaborates on the substance of the two approaches and how these should be integrated to achieve transformative outcomes.

This paper explains how FIRE has been applied over the course of a five-year regional learning and technical cooperation programme and that FIRE can be used at multiple levels of governance by state and non-state actors for enhancing disaster risk reduction (DRR), climate change adaptation (CCA) and sustainable development outcomes.

Addressed primarily to state actors, FIRE expressly integrates human rights and gender equality principles in a framework developed through the consolidation of international standards and guidelines and informed by feminist political ecology. This framework supports a practical approach to enhancing existing or developing new DRR and CCA operations from national to sub-national levels, including measures relating to risk assessment, risk-sensitive land-use planning, and emergency preparedness for response.