PfR Newsletter, fall 2019

Het Nederlandse Rode Kruis
Dear <<Full name>>,

With great pleasure we are sending you the second Partners for Resilience (PfR) newsletter, sharing our ambitions and great examples to step up our work on disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and the protection of ecosystems.

This second PfR newsletter comes at the end of a year of unprecedented public and political attention towards the climate and environmental crisis. Disasters are on the rise, and in 2019 we have observed the impact of a changing climate and the degradation of eco-systems. From enormous fires in the Amazon, California and Australia; to devastating tropical storms in Mozambique, India and Japan; and deadly heatwaves in Europe and Russia, just to mention a few examples. The urgency for climate action is felt globally. Especially young people are raising their voices and are expressing concerns for their future. People in the streets are calling for action and raised ambition in the many climate strikes organised around the world. An additional concern is to reach out to those people most at risk, whose voices often go unheard, people who are already vulnerable due to the conditions, places, or political context in which they live. Inclusion of the most vulnerable should be central to all climate action plans.

However, there are also solutions! People find ways to adapt. Watch this short movie about people that find ways to live with new realities: "They bend, they do not break".

In this newsletter, we hope to inspire you by sharing stories of civil society organisations, knowledge institutes and policy makers who work together with the most vulnerable communities in reducing disaster risks, in becoming resilient and in making sure that their voices are being heard.

We invite you to subscribe to this newsletter, and in doing so, support us to expand the network of change-makers.

Juriaan Lahr
Chairman Partners for Resilience
Maintaining momentum after the COP25
As 2019 draws to a close we reflect back on a year of global attention towards the climate crisis. After the outcomes of the UN Climate Action Summit in New York in September, all eyes were on the recently concluded COP25 in Madrid. “We welcome the small steps made at this year’s COP, but the reality is that these are not enough to address the local realities our staff and volunteers face on the front lines of the rising risks”, says Maarten van Aalst, director of the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre at the end of COP25.

Despite the limited progress globally, the needs at national and local level are more pronounced than ever and Partners for Resilience will continue to contribute to better addressing local risks and empowering vulnerable communities to ensure their voices are heard. PfR representatives from different parts of the world participated in several meetings and events, especially to share local experiences. For example, Donna Lagdameo from PfR Philippines participated in a discussion on the Risk-informed Early Action Partnership (REAP). Carina Bachofen provided the local perspective in the launch of the Dutch Fund for Climate and Development. PfR co-convened the Development and Climate Days, always one of the places of truly joint work between grassroots organisations and influential policy makers to shape global and local solutions, and to build capacity to put these solutions into practice. The five take-ways echo many of the accomplishment and continuing efforts of our local partners, also reflected in many other parts of the COP25.

This year’s COP meeting coincided with the 33rd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, where signatory states of the Geneva Conventions and National Societies met to discuss the future of humanitarian action. Climate was high on the agenda of this year's conference. Outcomes included a resolution on climate-smart disaster law which builds on the work PfR has done at national level supporting partners and civil society organisations to advocate for an enabling policy environment for resilience building. The IFRC’s Strategy 2030 has climate as one of the key areas of focus for the coming decade. Minister Kaag attended both meetings, and showed the importance of Dutch leadership on climate and humanitarian action.

Partners for Resilience continues its work on empowering communities to build their resilience to climate induced disasters, and paves the way to continue the conversations into the upcoming Year of Action on Adaptation and the Climate Adaptation Summit, hosted by the Netherlands in October 2020.

Click "read more" to learn about the virtual meeting between top leadership from COP25 in Madrid and the Red Cross Red Crescent International Conference in Geneva.
The Great Green Wall initiative
The African Union-led initiative, the Great Green Wall for the Sahel and Sahara (GGWSS) has seen renewed commitment from Member States and partnering stakeholders in recent months. Established to restore Africa’s degraded landscapes and transform millions of lives, the initiative is gaining momentum in the face of the climate crisis. The renewed commitment of member states and partnering stakeholders was also noted during the United Nations High-Level Climate Summit in New York in September 2019.

From 19-22 November, African Union Member States and stakeholders, including the United Nations, NGOs, private sector and academia met in Senegal, reaffirming their commitment to accelerating implementation of the GGWSS to improve livelihoods of ordinary Africans and to strengthen efforts on ecosystem management. The GGWSS provides huge potential for reducing disaster risk and placing Africa on the path to sustainability. Partners for Resilience is seen as a key partner to build strong and resilient communities, due to its work with local CSOs anchored in communities, and its work on climate change adaptation and ecosystem management. Besides, Partners for Resilience is contributing to shaping policy discussions through the Network of African Women Environmentalists (NAWE) and the African Union-GGWSS Steering Committee and is aligning to the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030), which is seen as critical to strengthening action on environmental challenges and ultimately contributing to the achievement of the sustainable development goals.
PfR’s alliance member Wetlands International is building a consortium to mobilise the “Blue Lifelines for a Secure Sahel“ (BLiSS) initiative that will revive and safeguard the region’s rivers, flood plains, lakes, deltas and ponds — improving water and food security and building resilience for communities. This initiative links strongly to the Great Green Wall initiative.
Study finds: Increased community resilience in Ethiopia
Partners for Resilience has had a substantial positive impact on the resilience of communities in Ethiopia. This was one of the main findings from an independent evaluation which was conducted by the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) and Bahir Dar University two years after the end of the first phase of the PfR programme (2011-2015). On average communities experienced increased incomes, diversified livelihoods, improved access to credit and increased food security. 
Inter-University Platform Guatemala launched
Key institutions within the academic sector in Guatemala have joined the Inter-University Platform for Disaster Risk Management (Spanish acronym InterU-GRD). The main aim of the platform is to contribute to the development of Guatemalan society and the most vulnerable communities within it, and to further develop knowledge on disaster risk management, strengthening the national policies and practices. This initiative has been supported by Partners for Resilience Guatemala
Climate-resilient Chennai: Water as Leverage initiative
Once known as the ‘City of 1000 tanks’, Chennai now has one of the lowest levels of per capita water availability among the major Indian metropolitans. Last summer, trains of water were brought in as the city's water structures had run dry. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports the ‘Water as Leverage’ Programme, inviting internationally operating multidisciplinary teams to develop innovative, bankable and implementable design proposals for three Asian Cities facing acute water crisis. Partners for Resilience India is a knowledge partner for the design teams working on solutions for Chennai.
Knowledge and experiences sharing on urban resilience
Partners for Resilience Indonesia and Philippines recently organised an exchange on urban resilience. Delegations existing of government and CSO representatives came together in Indonesia, and shared their learnings and experiences to strengthen resilience in urban settings.

Among others a visit was made to PfR's Urban Farming programme in Jakarta. "I am amazed how they turned this slum area into a farm,” said Jose Eric C. Cordero, Chairman Committee on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Resilience from Guiuan City.
Climate Training Kit 2.0
The Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre launched an updated and expanded version of its principal training resource for National Societies, the Climate Training Kit. The training kit contains useful resources for organisations working on disaster risk reduction and climate related hazards.
IRM Advocacy Training Manual
This manual has been developed by the Partners for Resilience in the Horn of Africa with support from experts involved in the Horn of Africa Programme; specifically from Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan. The manual provides an overarching guide for delivering training on Integrated Risk Management (IRM) and particularly to strengthen the capacity to advocate for IRM.
Writing a great policy brief
This publication provides a suggested outline for structuring policy briefs with examples from the strategic partnership “Partners for Resilience”.  This guideline gives information about what should be in each section of a policy brief. Different topics may require a slightly different structure, so this outline might need to be adapted and contextualised.
PfR Library
The PfR library is a repository of resources on integrated risk management from Africa, Asia and Central America. It provides open access to the public to search for and download resources  without the need to sign up for an account. However, if you do sign up for an account then you get access to more advanced features, like being able to create your own collections of resources. Feel free to register - it is easy, free, and gives you access to many resources.
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