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A Landscape Approach for Disaster Risk Reduction in 7 Steps

The use of a landscape approach, although not new, is gaining prominence as an approach to effectively reduce disaster risk, adapt to climate change and enhance community resilience. Based on the experience of CARE and Wetlands International in the Partners for Resilience alliance, and on best practices developed by other experts, this paper synthesizes the main characteristics of the landscape approach and suggests seven steps when adopting a landscape approach. Although this paper focuses specifically on disaster risk reduction to help increase community resilience, the landscape approach is applicable to other types of programming.

The landscape approach is an interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral and holistic approach. For disaster risk reduction purposes, the approach facilitates an inclusive and participatory learning process for shared risk understanding and risk intervention scenario planning. An inclusive and participatory process allows for more innovative and integrated, and therefore more impactful, solutions to risk (e.g. ecosystem-based or hybrid measures and optimized initiatives on water governance as part of disaster risk management strategies and investments). Applying the landscape approach helps to overcome barriers by sector and contributes to effective risk management by connecting all stakeholders involved, starting with the communities at risk in the landscape.