The Strengthening Resilience of Coastal and Small Island Communities towards Hydro-Meteorological Hazards and Climate Change Impacts (StResCom) Project

© Dr. Emmanuel Luna, Typhoon Reming

The StResCom project is a three-year project that aims to reduce disaster risks and increase the resilience of coastal and small island communities against hydro-meteorological hazards and climate change impacts. It focuses on linking indigenous knowledge – such as lifestyle, survival, coping and mitigation strategies – with science, creating policies on disaster risk reduction and climate change for communities.

This project is unique in its focus on integrating both scientific and traditional knowledge and know-how to enable communities to better deal with hazards and climate change, thus enabling them to mitigate risks and increase their resilience when disasters strike. Coastal and small island (CSI) communities are the focus of the project because they are the most vulnerable to climate–related hazards such as storm, cyclone and sea level rise.

Funded by the Japanese Government through the Japan Funds-in-Trust (JFIT) and officially launched in March 2011, the StResCom project is being implemented by the Science for Society Unit and Disaster Risk Reduction Unit in close collaboration with partners in three countries namely Indonesia, the Philippines and Timor Leste. These countries were identified as project sites considering that they share common characteristics evident in their cultural diversity, vulnerabilities as well as their exposure to hydro-meteorological hazards.

The expected results of the projects are the following: (a) Integration of local and indigenous knowledge (LINK) on hydro-meteorological hazards and climate change adaptation (CCA); (b) Assessment tools for integrating LINK with scientific knowledge for CSI in three countries; (c) Awareness-raising and educational materials; and (d) capacity building of stakeholders on knowledge-based risk reduction for CSI communities.

The activities for the three-year project are as follows:

  • Year 1 Activities: Baseline study on DRR efforts contributing to CCA, Regional Workshop, National Workshops, Action Research to identify and document LINK related to DRR and CCA;
  • Year 2 Activities: Assessing and validating LINK related to hydro-meteorological hazards and climate change, self-assessment tool for CSI communities, pilot tools, and develop educational and awareness-raising materials;
  • Year 3 Activities: dissemination of educational & awareness raising materials, demonstration activities, capacity building of relevant stakeholders on knowledge-based risk reduction for CSI communities, lessons learned.

In the first year of the StResCom project, activities focussed on identifying and developing the conceptual framework on how to best use the available local and indigenous knowledge (LINK) in each country to improve the capacity of coastal and small island (CSI) communities in dealing with hydro-meteorological hazards and climate change impacts. The action research in Indonesia was implemented in four locations: Lipang Island and Kendahe Village (Sangihe Island), Sayung, Demak (Northern Coast of Java) and Pengastulan (Bali). The research in the Philippines was conducted in three locations: Rapu Rapu island, Alabat Island and Angono, Rizal. In Timor Leste, the research was undertaken in Seical of the sub district of Baucau and Laisorulai Decima and Laculiu of the sub district of Quelicai.

In the second year, activities have begun in November 2012 in the three countries to develop: (1) LINK self-assessment tool (to assess and validate LINK) and guidelines (to use the assessment tool), or checklists (to identify and analyze LINK for addressing hydro-meteorological hazards and climate change impacts); and (2) awareness-raising and educational materials targeting CSI communities in their local languages. The second phase’s implementation is planned to end in April 2013 with a regional workshop.

Related Link
Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)
Sciences for Society (SCS)
Japanese Funds-in-Trust in the field of science

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