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There is a growing consensus that insurance, risk transfer, and sharing mechanisms have an important and growing role to play, particularly in offsetting the economic impacts associated with extreme events. What is less clear is the extent to which such instruments encourage adaptation programmes and policies that would serve to minimise future loss and damage and, hence, contribute to sustainable development. This paper does not pretend to offer answers, but rather contributes to the emerging discussion and brings to that discussion a water lens.
Across West and Central Africa, surface temperatures have increased significantly over the last 50 years. The primary impacts of climate change are mostly felt through water. Climate-related events such as droughts and flooding are already having a significant and diverse impact across the region, exacerbating existing challenges such as rapid population growth, extreme poverty, water shortages, rapid urbanisation and conflict.
Water insecurity costs the global economy roughly US$ 500 billion annually and causes the death and displacement of more people than cyclones, floods and earthquakes combined. In particularly vulnerable economies, a 50% reduction in drought effects could lead to a 20% increase in per capita GDP over a period of 30 years. Therefore, mechanisms to enhance integrated drought management are more critical than ever.
This document presents case studies that have incorporated environmental (ecological) aspects in flood management. The four case studies focus on:
Trinity River Restoration Program, USA
Channel-widening and open check dam in the Upper Drau River, Austria
Integrated sediment management in the Mimikawa River, Japan
Creating a secondary channel in the Waal River under the Room for River concept, Netherlands