Integrating Climate Change Adaptation with the SDGs and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

Vositha Wijenayake

Three landmark global agendas were produced in 2015: the ParisAgreement, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within the framework of the2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Sendai Framework for DisasterRisk Reduction 2015–2030.[1]

The ParisAgreement aims to mitigate climate change and to adapt to adverse effects ofclimate change, as well as making finance for climate action consistent for climate-resilientdevelopment.[2] TheSDGs are 17 goals that have been modeled after the success of the UnitedNations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). They address global challenges andaim to provide a blueprint for a more sustainable future, with goal 13 inspecific focusing on addressing climate change and its impacts.[3]


The SendaiFramework is the successor instrument to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA).It notes that climate change exacerbates many disasters and increases boththeir frequency and intensity, which hinders sustainable development.[4]


Integratingclimate adaptation, SDGs, and the Sendai Framework


Many countriesand stakeholders have noted an interest in integrating approaches toadaptation, sustainable development, and disaster risk reduction.[5]Experts consider that these three agendas should not be applied separately[6]and should instead be implemented as components of one agenda. Enhanced coherence,coordination, and integration among the three agendas could bring a number ofadvantages. It could contribute to identifying and reducing actions that furtherone set of goals while undermining others; it could avoid contradictions amongthe three agendas[7];and it could increase overall efficiency and facilitate a better use ofresources and available capacities.[8]


NationalAdaptation Plans (NAPs) process under the UNFCCC process is considered[9]an option for improving medium-term and long-term integration of the threeagendas by reducing vulnerabilities to adverse impacts of climate change,building resilience, and safeguarding development.[10]Resilience and resilient ecosystems could act as core motivation forintegration and tie it to national and international disaster risk reductionefforts.

Capacity building

Effectiveand efficient integration of adaptation, SDGs, and the Sendai Frameworkrequires planning and coordinated efforts across multiple levels. Cross-sectoraland inter-ministerial collaboration could be challenging requiring capacity buildingof stakeholders.[11]


Theunavailability of data on many indicators has been pointed out as a majorproblem, especially in Africa and SIDS (Small Island Developing States). Capacitybuilding to address gaps and constraints related to data availability[12],and allocating resources for the collection and management of data are pivotalfor integrating the three agendas.[13]Capacity building on climate model projections, trainings on climatescience, and climate information also contribute to achieving the targets ofall three agendas.[14]


Furthermore,capacity building on the NAP process is important for integrating climatechange adaptation with the SDGs, and the Sendai Framework in medium- andlong-term planning processes.[15]



Countriesare interested in integrating the three post-2015 agendas and common themes ofresilience and ecosystems. NAPs could be a tool that facilitates organising integratedplanning, which could in turn contribute to resilience building acrosssocieties.[16]


However, challengesexist. Capacity building and resource support are necessary to ensure multi-stakeholder driven, efficientlycoordinated actions at national and sub-national levels. Access to finance,technology development, and technology transfer are crucial for the effectiveintegration of climate change adaptation with the SDGs and the SendaiFramework, particularly for developing countries.[17]

[1]Available at:

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] UnitedNations General Assembly resolution 69/283, paragraph 16

[5]Available at:

[6]Youssef Nassef, Director of Climate Change Adaptation Programme, UNFCCC.Available at:

[7]Available at:

[8] Ibid.

[9] ClimateChange Secretariat of Sri Lanka. 2016. National Adaptation Plan for ClimateChange Impacts in Sri Lanka. Available at

[10]Youssef Nassef, Director, Adaptation Programme of the UNFCCC. Available at:

[11]Available at:

[12]Available at:

[13]Available at:

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid.

[17]Available at:

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About the Author
Vositha Wijenayake

Vositha is an attorney-at-law specialising in public international law, with a focus on international environmental law, UN human rights law, refugee law and EU law. She has over a decade of experience in working on climate change, at national and international level.