It is now widely acknowledged that is indispensable to address disaster risk in order to advance development efforts. Alongside other issues such as poverty, food security and land use planning, disaster risk needs to be mainstreamed into the development agendas of urban centres worldwide. The indissoluble bond between disasters and climate change has encouraged this mainstreaming to be carried out through the coordination of efforts between Disaster Risk Reduction DRR and Climate Change Adaptation CCA. The unequal paths of evolution and institutional arrangements for DRR and CCA in Colombia have rendered obstacles for their coordination. DRM started by focusing on response and recovery while forgoing the discourse about the social construction of disasters. In regards to CCA, an initial and needless focus on mitigation rather than adaptation, delayed the development of the adaptation agenda in Colombia. However, the recent acknowledgment of concepts such as vulnerability and resilience in the equation of risk have begun to pave the way for framing disasters as an issue of development. The linkage between climate change and disasters in Colombia, although with previous experiences, became evident with the extensive damages that the country experienced during La Niña 2010-2011. This series of events prompted the most recent efforts for development policy and practice that have targeted the coordination of DRR and CCA in the country to achieve sustainable development. Efforts for DRM at the city level have emerged as examples with the potential to prepare the Colombian urban settings for the challenges and uncertainties of future climate change impacts. For this potential to be materialised it is necessary to take advantage of the existing entry points for coordination of DRR and CCA and their mainstreaming into development planning. Since the same body in Colombia, the National Planning Department, leads the development of the guidelines for the advancement of the two fields, there are parallel levels of intervention amongst them that can facilitate joint actions. Targeting the vulnerability and the resilience building of populations in urban contexts must be the main objective of such efforts to effectively deal with disaster risk in Colombia as a way to advance development.
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