By: Maggie .M. Mwape
Disaster risk and climate change are two threats to human well-being that adversely reinforce each other. Disaster risk is an intrinsic characteristic of human society, arising from the combination of natural and human factors and subject to exacerbation or reduction by human agency.
While the adverse impacts of climate change on society may increase disaster risk, disasters themselves erode environmental and social resilience, and thus increase vulnerability to climate change. Although the relationship between climate change and extreme events remains uncertain, it is difficult to distinguish variability and changes in climate-related hazards from the impacts of long-term climate change.
Improved knowledge on the linkages between extreme weather events and climate change is needed and can facilitate strategies to reduce vulnerability. Yet it is increasingly acknowledged that both preparatory actions and responses to climate variability and long-term climate change may often be similar.