Reducing disaster risks

Mountain lakes and marshes reduce peak flooding. Mangroves reduce the impacts of tsunamis, hurricanes and storms. And in arid regions wetlands are life-savers during extreme droughts. Natural and man-made disasters affect millions of vulnerable people in the world.
It is our aim to ensure that natural ecosystem based solutions 
are integrated in disaster risk reduction (DRR) plans.   

The impacts of natural and man-made disasters are expected to increase not only due to climate related extreme weather, but also due to the loss of wetlands and forests. The vital role of ecosystems is however hardly taken into account in DRR. We have therefore made ‘ecosystem smart disaster risk reduction’ a core focus of our work. We demonstrate that sustaining and restoring wetlands is a cost-effective strategy for DRR and climate change adaptation, with strong benefits for poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation. 

Partners for Resilience: partnership with humanitarian sector

Since three years we have joined forces with CARE, Cordaid, the Red Cross and the Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre. From 2011-2015 we collaborated in nine countries across three continents to strenghten community resilience, empowering civil society and policy dialogue.

Together the partners have reached more than a half a million people with activities that integrate climate change adaptation, ecosystem management and restoration into disaster risk reduction. We call it 'integrated risk managment'. 

See for more information:


We also joined PEDRR, a global alliance of UN agencies, NGOs and specialist institutes which plays a vital role in steering DRR Action frameworks and global activities on reducing the risk of disasters. Read more.


What we achieved

  • In the mountains of China (Ruoergai) and India (Jhelum Basin, Kashmir), we restore wetlands in order to regulate water flows and accommodate glacial melt.

  • In coastal West Africa and Indonesia, we replant mangrove forests for protection against extreme storms and sea level rise.  

  • In Mali, we demonstrate the role of the Inner Niger Delta floodplains in regulating extreme river flows in this arid region.



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