Using ICTs for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk

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Using ICTs for Climate Change Adaptation and
Disaster Risk Reduction
Arthur W. Rolle
Definition of ICT
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a wide
term that includes any communication device or application,
for example, Internet, radio, television, cellular phones,
computer and network hardware and software, satellite
systems, and so on, as well as the various software services and
applications associated with them (ICT and Virtual Organization,
Carmen de Pablos Heredero, 2009). These products can store,
retrieve, manipulate, transmit or receive information
electronically in a digital form.
What are natural disasters (hazards)
Natural disasters (hazards) are naturally occurring
physical phenomena caused either by rapid or slow
onset events which can be geophysical (earthquakes,
landslides, tsunamis and volcanic activity),
hydrological (avalanches and floods), climatological
(extreme temperatures, drought and wildfires),
meteorological (cyclones and storms/wave surges) or
biological (disease epidemics and insect/animal
International Federation of Red Cross and Red
Crescent Societies
Applications of ICTs to Disaster Risk
Disaster Risk Reduction is defined as a
conceptual framework of elements considered
with the possibilities to minimize vulnerabilities
and disaster risks throughout society, to avoid or
to limit the adverse impacts of hazards, within
the broad context of sustainable development
(ISDR, 2008)
Bahamas Early Warning System For Tropical cyclones
The early warning system is a 24-hr operation designed to alert
communities of a potential danger, to identify areas likely to be
affected and to call the community to action by warning messages
and recommendations of specific actions. A news item is issued to
provide information to the media and preparedness authorities that
a cyclone has formed. The information is contained in low-key
statements issued three times daily to arouse initial interest and
create a climate of expectancy should the system move within the
area of warning responsibility. An alert is issued when the potential
threat is 60 hours away. A watch is issued when a tropical cyclone
that is likely to affect the community is 48 hours away. A warning is
issued when a tropical cyclone that is likely to affect the community
is 36 hours away. The authority for the issuance of the warnings is
the Bahamas Department of Meteorology
Communication Channels used in Disaster Warning in
The Bahamas
• Radio and television- used widespread therefore
quick in spreading warning
• Telephones- quick message delivery
• Satellite radios- high reachability
• Internet/email- interactive (accuracy could be
• Amateur radios- excellent for rural and remote
• Emergency Managers Weather Information
Network (EMWIN)
• Sirens
Applications of ICTs to Climate Change
• Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) is
defined as adjustments in natural or
human systems in response to actual
or expected climatic stimuli or their
effects, which moderates harm, or
exploit beneficial opportunities
(IPCC, 2007)
What is Climate Change?
Climate Change according to the IPCC is any
change in climate over time whether due to
natural variability or as a result of human activity.
It is considered by many scientists to be the most
serious threat facing the world today.
The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that global
warming is "unequivocal" and that human activity
is the main driver of this warming.
Potential Sectoral Impacts of Climate Change in The
Marine Ecosystems ( coral reefs, mangroves, sea- grasses,
Terrestrial Ecosystems (forests)
Biodiversity (population size, species distribution, habitats and ecosystems)
Water Resources (change in soil moisture, siltation and contamination of water
Agriculture (reduction in soil moisture & decrease in crop yield, sea water
intrusion for coastal soils)
 Fisheries (habitat loss)
Coastal Resources (coastal erosion, saline intrusion, flooding)
 Infrastructure & Settlements (More than 50% of the pop. live within 2 km of the
increasing density of populations living in coastal areas has made The Bahamas
more vulnerable to natural disasters
Human Health (heat strokes, vector– borne diseases- malaria, dengue, yellow
Habitat becomes
less favourable
Dolphin fish
Improved understanding of the early warning systems; disaster preparedness; and risk
reduction strategies.
Partnerships with the Financial/Insurance sector to develop schemes to spread risks, reduce
insurance premiums, expand insurance coverage and increase financing for post-disaster
reconstruction and rehabilitation.
Cooperation among other small island developing states for dissemination of best practices
and lessons learnt could also be explored/strengthened.
Mainstream adaptation and risk reduction strategies into policy development into key
sectors (agriculture, tourism, water resources, health and fisheries);
Sustainable development planning should include,
disaster prevention and management, integrated coastal management, and health care
Develop new and review existing legislation, development standards and building codes;
Improve public education and awareness programmes
 Land
use planning, building codes and public
Retrofitting or improved standards at the
development stage could achieve considerable
reductions in emissions;
A shift from fossil fuel to renewable sources of
energy where possible;
More stringent efficiency standards and a
compulsory energy rating scheme could be
employed in hotel buildings
The future we want
Measures included in the Paris Agreement as follow would
help us in securing the future we want:
• To peak greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible and
achieve a balance between sources and sinks of greenhouse
gases in the second half of this century
• To keep global temperature increase "well below" 2C (3.6F)
and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5C
• To review progress every five years
• $100 billion a year in climate finance for developing
countries by 2020, with a commitment to further finance in
the future.

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