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R K Pachauri giving a presentation on ‘Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management’ on the sidelines of the COP18/CMP8 Conference at the QNCC yesterday. (Salim Matramkot)
DOHA: Experts recommend avoiding risks in order to minimise the damage caused by climate change, which has stronger impact in underdeveloped regions that are not prepared.
These are some of the conclusions of the report completed by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), with authors from 62 countries. The report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation, was the topic of discussion at the UN climate change conference yesterday.
Rajendra K Pachauri, Chairman of IPCC, said that the “increase in sea levels is not our only challenge”, adding that 95 percent of debt for natural disasters affects developing countries.
Maarten van Aalst, from Red Cross/Crescent Climate Centre, said that there are signs of extreme meteorological phenomena, which serve as warning and would avoid many damages. He added that there is need for stronger organisations to do things “smarter and better in the future”.
He talked about certain risk factors that should be taken into consideration, like cooling in public facilities or changes in infrastructure to cope with heat waves in Europe, given that research says that there is a likely increase in heat waves and warm days and nights across Europe.
He also referred to the growing number of hurricanes in US and Caribbean, listing risks like population growth, increasing property rules and higher storm surge with sea level rise. These issues can be addressed with better forecasting, stricter building codes and regional risk pooling.
In regard to the likely increase in heavy precipitation in East Africa, he recommended early warning, and not building in risk areas. On the sea level rise in tropical small island developing states, he suggested better management and, if necessary, relocation.