The Games are What Got Them Talking (and Thinking) about Green Recovery

BY EDM | 07 SEP 2016
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WWF and partners talk green recovery at World Conservation Congress 2016
The workshop on Disasters and Biodiversity: Integrating environment into disaster recovery and reconstruction for resilient solutions presented at the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016 promoted taking a more holistic approach to integrating environmental principles into disaster response and recovery.

The session highlighted WWF work surrounding green recovery and the Green Recovery and Reconstruction: Training Toolkit for Humanitarian Aid (GRRT), particularly in Nepal, where WWF and government agencies have used the GRRT extensively since the 2015 Nepal Earthquake. Judy Olgethorpe, Chief of Party for the Hariyo Ban Program, highlighted multiple case studies, including the 2010 Haiti Earthquake and the 2015 Rio Doce dam failure, to illustrate the linkages between disasters and the environment-- how disasters directly affect communities and the natural environment, and how ecosystem services can enable a more resilient recovery. Padma Mainalee, from the Nepal Department of Urban Development and Building Construction, discussed how they incorporated this approach into their planning and recovery efforts. Other ecosystem-based approaches to disaster risk reduction (DRR) were addressed by Radhika Murti of IUCN.

The highlight of the session included break-out game sessions adapted from the Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre. The facilitated games led to a deeper discussion and the realization by participants that the incorporation of disaster risk reduction measures are critical to ensuring the long-term viability of development investments and the need to regularly reassess risk as it changes due to factors such as land use or climate change.

The participatory nature of this session led to an in-depth conversation about what it means to include environmental principles in DRR, recovery, and reconstruction, and how it can be done.

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