Upscaling community resilience through ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction

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From 6 to 18 November countries met in Egypt at the UN Climate Conference, COP27 to discuss climate adaptation and mitigation opportunities to achieve the Paris agreement. The European Union and its member states participated and discussed EU climate policies and projects in a dedicated EU pavilion. Wetlands International Europe contributed to the EU pavilion discussions with a COP27 EU side event on Upscaling Community Resilience through Ecosystem-Based Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR): an integrated approach” on 11 November 2022.

This is an EU funded project (2019-2022) to UNEP, and implemented in collaboration with Partners for Resilience (PfR) in five countries: Uganda, Ethiopia, Haiti, India and Indonesia.

The event presented replicable, successful models to upscale eco-DRR and nature-based solutions from Africa and Asia, aiming to inspire the audience to replicate the models and interventions in other countries. The event sought to showcase that integrating climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by implementing nature-based solutions can be highly beneficial in building resilience across societies.

The overall results of the project have exceeded the established targets. In total, the activities have reached 168,167 beneficiaries, 47% of which are women, 32,996 hectares of ecosystems have been restored or protected, and 193 community-based organisations have been trained on eco-DRR / nature-based solutions.

One of the messages from the project partners was that “strong engagement and partnership are required so that communities can identify and address the risk of disasters in the landscape”.  Eco-DRR activities can be upscaled in different landscapes by engaging with national programmes.

The project has shown that strong engagement and partnership are required between local beneficiary communities, civil society, educational institutions, and local and national government. This supports communities to identify disaster risks and address them. These partnerships are important for advocating for and creating an environment that enables community and landscape resilience. The models for upscaling eco-DRR and nature-based solutions are available for sharing with others. An information package is available here.


The eco-DRR upscaling model consists of three pillars. Each has been adapted to the particular country as part of its implementation.


An important aspect is water issues, and their implications for soil, as a common driver of risk. Water is a cross-cutting issue and targeting it has allowed the project partners and communities to achieve more impact across different areas, from reducing disaster risks to improving food and water security, health and supporting livelihoods.

Event participants:

Malikah Amril (UNEP) – Moderator – Field Project Coordinator EcoDRR
Jochen Luther (EC, DG INTPA) – Programme Officer, Disaster Risk Reduction
Vincent van Haaren (Red Cross Netherlands) – EcoDRR Programme Manager
David Omega (CARE Uganda) – EcoDRR Programme staff
Sirak Temesgen (Red Cross Netherlands, Ethiopia) – Integrated Risk Management Delegate
Dhruv Verma (Wetlands International South Asia, India) – Senior Technical Officer
Eko Buti Prianto (Wetlands International Indonesia) – Wetlands Restoration and Community Empowerment Coordinator

For more information:

Project information
The event recording is available to watch here
Event presentations can be downloaded here