This report examines current practices and emerging actions to reduce vulnerability and exposure to natural hazards through the integration of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction (DRR). These actions are diverse but rest on a common foundation of accessible and up-to-date information, sufficient funding and insurance incentives, and coordinated and collaborative governance. Current risk management approaches may be insufficient to prepare for future disasters, particularly where hazards overlap. Integrated approaches have potential to be more impactful, stretching limited resources further.
The Panel indicated several findings in this report. Firstly, an ongoing failure to fully integrate climate change adaptation into DRR activities, policies, and tools reduces the efficiency and impact of public investments in disaster resilience, leaving Canadian communities at risk. Secondly, successfully integrating adaptation and DRR requires overcoming barriers such as disciplinary and departmental silos, conceptual and terminological differences, and jurisdictional misalignments while accounting for perceptions and cognitive biases that affect decision-making. Thirdly, the integration of adaptation and DRR requires a combination of i) information systems adapted to the needs of decision-makers and ii) flexible funding, financing, and insurance arrangements that support proactive investment. Finally, a whole-of-society collaboration as well as government mandates are necessary to operationalize integration.