Story | 18 Apr, 2017

Representatives from seven South American countries gathered to strengthen their knowledge, capacities and management on Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction

In the city of Buenos Aires from March 15 to 17, 2017, IUCN organized the Regional Workshop "Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction for sustainable development: the role of biodiversity". The event was held within the framework of the project: “Resilience through investment in ecosystems: knowledge, innovation and transformation of risk management - RELIEF Kit”- with the support of the Argentinian Native Forests for Biodiversity Foundation and Argentina’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development. 

Forty representatives of nongovernmental organizations and governmental institutions responsible for risk management, environment (biodiversity - climate change) and planning sectors in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay participated in the event.

The workshop sought to promote the adoption and scaling up of the ecosystem-based approach to disaster risk reduction (Eco-DRR) and to promote its integration with biodiversity conservation. It also aimed at improving understanding, knowledge and skills for the design, implementation and scaling-up of Eco-DRR strategies.

Workshop participants highlighted the enabling conditions for promoting and scaling Eco-DRR and AbE (Ecosystem-based Climate Change Adaptation); among these, comprehensive public policies for territorial and spatial planning are required, with a multi-sectoral and multilevel perspective. It is also necessary to have participatory processes and to consider the role of traditional and local knowledge, together with capacity building schemes for different actors to ensure legitimacy, ownership and sustainability.

It was also highlighted that it is key to conduct an analysis of the effectiveness of these approaches, including economic assessments, which enable decision makers to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of ecosystem-based solutions, thus promoting their financing. Finally, it is crucial to strengthen the implementation and ongoing institutionalization of these approaches as well as mainstreaming them across sectors.

This workshop generated interest in a first group of South American participants, promoting the exchange of experiences and learning for the integration of disaster risk reduction, adaptation to climate change, ecosystem management and biodiversity conservation for sustainable development from a multi-sectoral planning perspective.

RELIEF Kit is a 3 year initiative (2015-2018) funded by the Japan Biodiversity Fund under the Secretariat of Convention on Biological Diversity. It is documenting linkages between biodiversity and disasters and establishing capacity development knowledge products for policy makers, practitioners and other relevant stakeholders.

For more information: