Press release

International organizations focus on increasing resilience to climate impacts through environmental management

October 27, 2002

WINNIPEG — While government officials negotiate greenhouse gas emission reductions, poor communities are already feeling the impacts of a changing climate through increased incidence and severity of climate-related disasters such as hurricanes, floods and droughts.

The Winnipeg-based International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), along with project partners IUCN-The World Conservation Union and Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), are working together to demonstrate how community-based natural resource management can increase resilience to climate impacts.

"Because the poorest and the most vulnerable tend to rely more directly on natural resources for their livelihoods, and because many ecosystems can provide a natural buffer against climate hazards, sustainable environmental management can be important in building the resilience of these communities to climate-related disasters," says John Drexhage, Director of Climate Change and Energy at IISD.

The IISD, IUCN and SEI are undertaking a three-year international research project to highlight successful examples of locally based natural resource management activities that enable communities to cope with disasters and prepare for the anticipated impacts of climate change.

"The rising toll of current climate-related disasters foreshadows the likely adverse effects of climate change. We need to find a more proactive, anticipatory approach that helps vulnerable communities prepare for and withstand the impacts of such change," says Brett Orlando, IUCN's Climate Change Focal Point.

They will be presenting their joint initiative at the Eighth Conference of the Parties (COP-8) in New Delhi, India. An event will be held on October 28, 2002 at 6 p.m.

About IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 250 experts come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.