Enhancing the Integration of Disaster Risk and Climate Change Adaptation in Irish Emergency Planning


Enhancing the Integration of Disaster Risk and Climate Change Adaptation in Irish Emergency Planning

Start Date

March 2020

End Date

May 2021

Funding Body

EPA Research

Research Partners

MaREI Centre, UCC School of Law, UCC Environmental Research Institute

Project Partners

Irish Red Cross Society, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre

Principal Investigators

Dr. Martin Le Tissier

Dr. Dug Cubie

Project Manager

Peter Medway 

Research Area

Disaster Risk and Climate Change Adaptation


The Government’s National Risk Assessment 2019 highlighted climate change as one of the nation’s highest strategic priorities. Significant research and policy development work has occurred in Ireland to identify the linkages between Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA). The links and dependencies are reflected in a range of Irish policies such as the Strategic Emergency Management (SEM) Framework, National Adaptation Framework, and Local Authorities’ adaptation strategies.

However, the integration of DRR and CCA policies and practices into emergency and risk management systems can be challenging, in areas such as:

  • Integration and coordination of DRR and CCA across sectors;
  • Integration and coordination of DRR and CCA within and between multiple levels of government;
  • Achieving a universal understanding of terminology, such as resilience, risk, and vulnerability, across systems and policy areas;
  • Facilitating the participation of vulnerable groups;
  • Establishing coherent systems for measurement and financing of risk reduction and adaptation.
  • Creating systems to risk-proof investment in sectors vulnerable to climate-induced extreme events.

The EPA has funded the MaREI Centre and the UCC School of Law to undertake research over the coming 12 months to assist key stakeholders in further integrating DRR and CCA in planning for risk management in the most vulnerable sectors and communities.

Enhancing DR & CCA integration in Irish Emergency Planning project brief.


Our objective is to help relevant institutions to further climate-proof the emergency planning and risk management systems in Ireland to the increasing risks of extreme events. The research will address the national policy and decision-making processes, as well as the local and regional planning and response mechanisms. The research will provide guidance and recommendations to address critical gaps, identified by the key stakeholders, in the medium- to longer-term, looking beyond the five-yearly National Risk Assessment process.

Work Packages

Work Package 2

2.1. Undertake a comprehensive review of literature dealing with the juxtaposition of CCA (UNFCCC and Paris Agreement focussed) with DRR and DRM (Sendai Framework focussed) in the context of strategies associated with emergency planning in Ireland.

2.2. Mapping key interactions between climate change assessments and SEM typology in collaboration with Climate Ireland and the RCRC movement.


Work Package 3

3.1. The project will engage with stakeholder communities identified as being at particular risk to climate change and undertake three case studies to understand how integration of disaster risk and climate change adaptation may be strengthened. The case studies will focus on recent climate-induced disaster events, specifically:

  1. Storms (Desmond 2015, Ophelia 2018, and Ciara 2020) affecting Counties Donegal and Mayo.
  2. Floods (2011, 2013, and 2019 events) affecting Dublin.
  3. Heatwave and drought (2018 event) affecting County Cork.


Work Package 4

4.1‐ Project Webpage: The project will the MaREI and Climate Ireland websites.

4.2 – Integration with Stakeholders: Emergency planning (and CCA) involve many agencies in Government and across sectors and society. The web page and other media will be used to promote the project activity and outputs to all interested parties.

4.3 – Production of Guidelines document: to synthesise the outputs from the project and proposing how emergency planning can be climate proofed through mainstreaming of CCA policies, and practice.

4.4‐ Academic Paper: Outputs from the project will be used for at least one academic paper.

4.5 – Final outputs: Final Technical Report, Synthesis Report, End of Project Questionnaire, Infographic, Policy Brief, Datasets, Metadata.

4.6 – Final conference: UCC participation at an international conference on DRR and CCA linkages (Post project completion)

Engagement and Outreach

The project aims to engage with a wide variety of stakeholder groups at the national, regional, and local levels, including organizations within and outside of the government system. Comprehensive disaster risk management is best achieved through the systematic inclusion of and coordination with vulnerable communities or systems and the responsible authorities. It is also important to achieve both vertical (i.e. within specific service systems or sectors) and horizontal integration (i.e. between related service systems or sectors) among disaster risk and climate change adaptation actors at all levels of government. The project will seek to collaborate with relevant organizations to identify ways to further improve inclusion and coordination for optimal integration of disaster risk and climate change adaptation through the three case studies. Any face-to-face engagement will be conducted in line with the prevailing rules on COVID 19 safety and the Government of Ireland’s phasing of the re-opening of the country.


Dr. Martin Le Tissier, Co-P.I., ei.ccu@reissitel.nitram

Dr. Dug Cubie, Co-P.I., ei.ccu@eibuc.d

Peter Medway, Research Support Officer, ei.ccu@yawdem.retep