by Dr Maarten van Aalst, Director, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre
For those of us working on the humanitarian impacts of climate change, last week provided some very gloomy reading, including a stark headline above an Economist leader that ‘The world is losing the war against climate change’.
by Shaban Mawanda, Climate Centre, Kampala
The Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) last Friday became the latest National Society to sign a memorandum of understanding with its National Meteorological Authority (UNMA), expanding its existing operational support in critical areas and reflecting a joint desire to “develop cooperation in fields related to their mandates”.
This story is a press release issued by the WWA partnership on Friday, along with a technical summary of the attribution study.)
Man-made climate change and its effect on rainfall made the drought in South Africa’s Western Cape province over the past few years about three times more likely, according to a new study by an international group of climate scientists.
The Partners for Resilience country team in Indonesia this week published a compendium of case studies of PfR work in the country – “examples of how communities are uniquely affected by climate change and how PfR and its stakeholders work together and come up with unique solutions,” an introduction says.
It adds that measures based on the principal PfR operating model of integrated risk management “further help strengthen community resilience and secure livelihoods”.
Lead authors from the IPCC’s Working Group I, covering the science of climate change, Friday ended their first meeting of the current assessment cycle in Guangzhou, China.
The Caribbean is moving closer to a regional strategy to “strengthen people-centred early warning systems across the islands”, according to an expert review led by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and its partners unveiled at the Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas, in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, late last month.
The ICRC Brussels delegation and the Red Cross EU Office took part in a major high-level event organized by the European External Action Service that “drove home both the urgency and importance of tackling the risks that climate change poses to security and peace,” the EEAS said.
“Ministers from around the world, top United Nations officials, and leading experts testified to the many real and potential security threats deriving from climate change,” it added.
With parts of the country suffering extreme cold and heavy snow in the southern winter, the authorities in Peru Wednesday declared a state of emergency that included two districts, Santa Lucia and Callalli, where – ten days earlier – the Red Cross had carried out a humanitarian distribution under forecast-based financing (FbF).
The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) says it has now launched a recovery operation to assist 50,000 people affected by the recent monsoon-season floods, and for the first time it is using a drone to help volunteers gauge the full extent of the disaster.
The National Society said in a press release last week it was allocating nearly US$ 400,000 for a four-month operation to assist 2,800 household in Puttalam, Kalutara, Kegalle, Ratnapura, Gampaha and Colombo districts, identified as the worst affected.
by Catalina Jaime, Climate Centre, at CHOGM, London
The UK Department for International Development (DFID) has announced new measures highlighting how “science, innovation and the City of London” can help countries build resilience against and recover from disasters.
Governments last Thursday ended two weeks of talk in Bonn on operational guidelines for realizing the Paris Agreement to be presented at COP24 in Katowice, Poland in December.
UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa told a closing press conference that some progress had been made in Bonn, but “many voices are underlining the urgency of advancing more rapidly on finalizing the operational guidelines.
by Roop Singh, Climate Centre, New York
With devastating seasonal rains in Kenya yesterday reported by the Kenya Red Cross (KRC) to have displaced nearly 300,000 people and killed 158, scientists with the World Weather Attribution (WWA) programme have begun analysing the unusually intense rainfall to determine whether climate change played a role.
by Olivia Warrick, Climate Centre, New Zealand
The Climate Centre is working with Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) to boost the capacity of the Solomon Islands Meteorological Services (SIMS) to monitor and communicate on drought through an “early-action rainfall watch”, including seasonal outlooks.
04/05/2018 - by Roop Singh, Climate Centre, New York
US- and Netherlands-based scientists have used the latest computer technology to estimate the time frame in which the world’s low-lying atolls – mostly in the Indian and Pacific Oceans – might become uninhabitable with saltwater intrusion from rising sea-levels and bigger waves contaminating already-limited fresh water.
Pre-monsoon rains fell last week on what is now regarded as the most densely populated refugee settlement in the world – and certainly among the most acutely vulnerable – near Cox’s Bazar on Bangladesh’s southern coast.
On Wednesday, a “bout of rain lasted only an hour, but brought strong winds and left destruction in its wake,” the UK Guardian’s Kaamil Ahmed reported from the city.
by Tessa Kelly, IFRC-Climate Centre, Sharm el-Sheikh
Only about 10 per cent of the climate finance available from international donors is channelled to the local level, and vulnerable communities are not receiving finance at the volume or pace needed to adapt effectively.
This was the view presented at the NAP Expo 2018 in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh late last week by Gebru Jember Endalew of Ethiopia, Chair of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) negotiating group at the UN climate talks.
05/04/2018 - by Fleur Monasso, Climate Centre, The Hague
South Sudan’s Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management (MHADM) last week published its Strategic Plan 2018–20 for saving life and reducing the impacts of disaster across the country.
It was launched at a special event in Juba on Wednesday – sponsored by Partners for Resilience (PfR) – that also included an exhibition by all the ministry’s collaborators.
by Irene Amuron and Catalina Jaime, Climate Centre, Nairobi
Ten national African meteorological services were last month represented at the first dialogue platform for forecast-based financing (FbF) to be held on the continent, hosted by the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) in Nairobi.
by Juan Bazo, Climate Centre, Lima
The Ecuadorean Red Cross has begun scoping work for a new German-supported forecast-based financing (FbF) programme to centre on the danger from volcanic ash clouds.
The ERC is the first National Society anywhere in the world to deploy FbF for this hazard.
Ecuador has several active or eruptive volcanoes and the FbF assessment mission focused on one of the most active: Cotopaxi, 50 kilometres south of Quito.
12/03/2018 - by Irene Amuron, Climate Centre, Lusaka
Zambia last week became the latest country to embrace the forecast-based financing (FbF) model as a component of its national strategy for managing flood risk.