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With new climate change impact and climatic disaster events up almost daily, even seasoned practitioners are bound to run into a term or acronym that leaves them thinking. For those head-scratching moments, we are creating the ultimate glossary of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation terms.

Climate change adaptation

Climate change adaptation is the process of adjusting to the impacts of climate change, such as rising sea levels and more frequent extreme weather events. This can involve a variety of activities, such as building more resilient infrastructure, developing new technologies to reduce carbon emissions, and implementing policies to support sustainable development. The goal of climate change adaptation is to minimize the negative impacts of climate change and help communities and ecosystems thrive in a changing world.

Community resilience

Community resilience to natural hazards refers to the ability of a community to prepare for, withstand, and recover from the impacts of natural disasters. This can include measures such as risk assessment and planning, building codes and land-use planning, public education and outreach, early warning systems, emergency management, and post-disaster recovery and reconstruction. It also includes the capacity of the community to provide basic services, such as food, water, and medical care, during and after a disaster. Technical measures that can enhance resilience include hardening of infrastructure and buildings, development of redundant systems, and the use of natural systems (such as wetlands, dunes, and forests) to reduce risk. Additionally, community resilience can be enhanced through investments in social capital, such as strong networks of mutual aid, trust, and social cohesion.

Disaster risk reduction

Disaster risk reduction is the process of identifying and mitigating the potential risks and hazards associated with natural disasters, such as wildfires, heatwaves, and floods. This involves implementing strategies and measures to reduce the likelihood and impact of these events, such as building codes, emergency preparedness plans, and early warning systems. The goal of disaster risk reduction is to protect individuals and communities from the harmful effects of natural disasters, and to minimize the damage caused by these events.

Social vulnerability

Social vulnerability to natural disasters refers to how likely a community or population is to be affected by natural disasters, such as wildfire, heatwaves, floods, or landslides. This vulnerability is often determined by a combination of social, economic, and environmental factors that make certain communities more prone to the negative impacts of natural disasters.

For example, communities with high levels of poverty or disadvantaged groups may be more vulnerable to natural disasters because they may have fewer resources or less access to resources to prepare for or recover from these events.

Urban forest

An urban forest is a collection of trees, shrubs, and other vegetation that are found in urban areas. They can be found in places like parks, along streets, in neighborhoods, and on other public and private lands. Urban forests play a vital role in protecting communities from heatwaves, improving air and water quality, increasing biodiversity, and improving the overall livability of urban areas. They also provide important habitats for wildlife, and can help to reduce noise and air pollution. Urban forests are an important part of any sustainable city and are crucial for our health and well-being, as well as for the health of the environment.

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