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Local approaches to harmonising climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction policies: Lessons from India

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The Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society (SEEDS) conducted research in the disaster-prone arid zones of India, Leh and Barmer to determine how best to overcome the challenges of integrating effective disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation into development planning. This brief describes the team’s research and observations, and suggests how other communities can address similar challenges by using windows of opportunity in post-disaster situations. The paper argues that special planning and response mechanisms need to be developed at the national level to meet the increasingly unprecedented nature of climate change-induced disasters in India. Also that local knowledge and innovation can help provide effective risk reduction approaches to both disasters and long-term climate change impacts. The paper argues that rapid and poorly planned urbanisation has increased the risk of flash floods in some areas, while others suffer the effects of less dramatic ‘invisible disasters’, which go unreported.

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