IUCN is working to enhance ecosystem management for disaster risk reduction at national and local scales around the world. IUCN’s disaster risk reduction work is supported by the environmental expertise available across the Union’s thematic programmes (e.g. Marine, Forest, Water, Protected Areas) various Members and a Commission on Ecosystem Management which has a Thematic Group on Disaster Risk Reduction. These provide a strong international expert network for building IUCN's work on disaster risk reduction. Some of IUCN's recent and current activities related to disaster risk reduction include:
IUCN's Water and Nature Initiative (WANI) aims to help reduce poverty and protect the environment by helping people to manage river flows and improving access to all communities. It promotes integrated water resources management and good water governance for ecosystem sustainability and livelihood security. In doing so, it helps reduce human vulnerability to floods, droughts and storms. IUCN is also actively involved in international dialogues that promote the consideration of the role of water management in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, including UNFCCC discussions and the World Water Forum.
IUCN promotes a rights-based approach to conservation and works to evaluate the impacts that climate change will have on human communities and especially poor and vulnerable people – including indigenous peoples and women – and aims to increase their resilience.
IUCN, with WEDO, UNDP and UNEP, is a core member of the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA) which aims ensure that climate change policies, decision-making and initiatives at the global, regional and national levels are gender responsive.
IUCN with IISD, SEI-US and Intercooperation jointly developed the Community-based Risk Screening Tool – Adaptation and Livelihoods (CRiSTAL), a tool developed to integrate risk reduction and adaptation strategies into development projects.
IUCN supports Mangroves for the Future (MFF) in Asia and the Pacific Mangrove Initiative (PMI) in Oceania. These are coastal ecosystem conservation projects for sustainable development, which include special focus on adaptation.
IUCN recognizes that islands are central to global conservation efforts and offer lessons learnt for resilience and adaptation. It has established an Islands Initiative to enhance environmental management and livelihood security on islands in the face of climate change impacts.
IUCN also recognizes the importance of drylands as diverse ecosystems that support livelihoods of some of the poorest people on the planet. It works towards conservation, sustainable use and adaptation of dryland systems, including their human pastoralist communities, to a changing climate. See more on drylands
IUCN is working to improve its capacity to assess and address the impacts of climate change and disasters on vulnerable communities, including development of innovative metrics to assess ecosystem-related elements of community vulnerability.
IUCN has launched the Ecosystems and Livelihoods Adaptation Network (ELAN), a collaboration with WWF and other conservation and development organizations to advance the science and practice of ecosystem-based adaptation and to better link adaptation science, practice and policy.