Up-scaling Eco-DRR

Up-scaling Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction

The degradation of ecosystems – such as forests, wetlands, coastal and marine systems, and drylands – is a major driver of disaster risk and a key component of disaster vulnerability.

Over the past decade, disasters linked to natural hazards have exacted a significant toll on human lives, livelihoods, assets and economies. Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR) is an approach where the regulatory functions of ecosystems (such as forests, wetlands and mangroves) are systematically harnessed to mitigate, prevent, or buffer against disasters. Ecosystem-based solutions can provide disaster risk reduction services as well as offer other services of productive and cultural value, which also contribute to building communities' resilience to disasters and climate change impacts.

UN Environment and Partners for Resilience are working together to increase communities' resilience and reduce disaster risks through ecosystem-based solutions. The programme started in May 2019 and will run until December 2021. The programme is funded by the European Commission (EU DEVCO).

The programme contains three components and will be managed by UN Environment’s Crisis Management Branch. The Netherlands Red Cross is the coordinator of PfR for programme component 2, focussing on generating, documenting and disseminating models for scaling-up Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction with local actors.

PfR is an alliance founded by 5 Netherlands-based NGOs: the Netherlands Red Cross, CARE Netherlands, Cordaid, the Red Cross Climate Centre and Wetlands International. Since 2010, PfR has been implementing field projects and policy dialogues that integrate ecosystem management, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

UN Environment’s Crisis Management Branch houses the secretariat of the Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR). PEDRR is a global alliance of 24 international agencies, NGOs, and specialist institutes. PEDRR has a well-established community of practice and project lessons learned will also be disseminated through their channels (newsletter and social media). PEDRR is creating Eco-DRR regional networks to boost regional capacity and communities of practice.

Main Project Components

1. Leveraging: public and private investment for scaling up Eco-DRR

Eco-DRR approaches will be integrated in planned or ongoing large-scale public and private investments for poverty alleviation, development, risk reduction and climate change mitigation/ adaptation in India and the Philippines.


2. Demonstrating: models for scaling-up Eco-DRR with local actors

Projects that demonstrate community-based Eco-DRR will be planned and implemented in 5 countries. Building on existing pilot projects of PfR partners, the approach will be implemented across broader landscapes, to demonstrate the full potential of Eco-DRR and create and document models for scaling-up community-based Eco-DRR.

Countries key activities

  • Ethiopia: upscaling Eco-DRR through integration in existing planning and risk management processes to prevent drought, diseases and conflict over water sources. Find here more information: Case studyResults sheetSuccess story


3. Mainstreaming: catalyse new investments in ecosystems and new Eco-DRR initiatives through capacity-building.

  • Developing and upscaling Eco-DRR capacities through universities, training institutions and on-line courses.
  • Eco-DRR Opportunity Mapping Tool identifies areas for ecosystem protection and restoration to attract public and private sector investments in project countries.
  • Developing guidelines and trainings to support implementation of Eco-DRR-related components of key international framework agreements.
  • Creating a Virtual Global Support Center providing technical assistance on Eco-DRR globally through the PEDRR secretariat.

Contact person Partners for Resilience: Vincent van Haaren, Netherlands Red Cross, vvanhaaren@redcross.nl





  • Dialogue and Dissent Strengthening the capacity of civil society to engage in dialogues with stakeholders for improved disaster risk reduction policies, practices, and investments.
    Read more
  • Up-scaling Eco-DRR Increasing communities resilience and reducing disaster risks through ecosystem-based solutions.
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  • EU
  • UNEP
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