OCHA Commissioned Report on Humanitarian Implications of Climate Change Released

Humanitarian Implications of Climate Change 22 August 2008: A report commissioned by the UN Office for

the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and CARE International finds

that climate change greatly complicates, and could undermine, efforts to manage

the challenges presented by droughts, floods and cyclones. The study identifies

the most likely humanitarian implications of climate change for the next 20-30

year period.

The authors use Geographical Information Systems to map specific

hazards associated with climate change, place them in relation to factors

influencing vulnerability, and identify hotspots of high humanitarian risk

under changing climatic conditions. The authors state that the intensity,

frequency, duration and extent of weather-related hazards will increase,

although their location is unlikely to vary greatly, and identify affected

communities' decreased resilience as an important threat. The study aims to

improve policy makers' knowledge and understanding of the climate change challenge,

and ensure humanitarian actors' response strategies adapt to the realities of

climate change. It notes, however, that the results of the study are indicative

due to the complexity of climate change science and measurements of human

vulnerability. The authors call on policy makers to increase the resilience of

populations in these climate change hotspots, and the aid community to become

more flexible in responding to new and increased disaster risks arising from

climate change. [The