New Resource on Harnessing Nature to Manage Rising Flood Risk

APFM Support Base Partner World Wildlife Fund has released Natural and Nature-Based Flood Management: A Green Guide (Flood Green Guide)introducing an integrated framework for flood management, and drawing on policy, green infrastructure and conventional engineering to help communities adapt and better manage growing flood risk. The Flood Green Guide is an open-source resource supported by training and a resource library, and drew from the APFM IFM Tools during its development. APFM is working with WWF on developing a training curriculum based on the Flood Green Guide, specifically designed for those responsible for flood risk management, including municipal governments, community groups and non-governmental organizations worldwide.

“We can’t afford to continue to invest in short term solutions that don’t take into account how weather patterns, sea levels and land use are changing the nature and severity of flooding,” said Anita van Breda, World Wildlife Fund’s senior director of environment and disaster. “We need to design and develop systems that can adapt to changing circumstances while also keeping our communities, infrastructure, and environment safe. The most durable flood management strategies are locally specific and factor in what’s happening in the watershed, both upstream and downstream of individual projects.”

The Flood Green Guide, developed in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development Office of U.S.  Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), provides a step-by-step framework for flood managers to understand the factors contributing to flood risk in their region, and to pull together the appropriate policies, nature based solutions, and traditional engineering to address the problem.

The guide promotes using non-structural methods such as land use zoning as first step, and then integration of natural and nature-based methods, combined with hard engineering if needed, to manage flood risk. Natural and nature-based methods, like upstream reforestation, green roofs on downstream urban areas and wetland restorations and management can improve the function of – and reduce overall costs associated with – conventional engineering. They also allow communities to reap the co-benefits the environment can provide such as: cleaner water, reduced air temperatures and green space for human recreation while protecting livelihoods such as agriculture and fishing.

”Floods do not recognize national or administrative boundaries,” said Sezin Tokar, Senior Hydrometeorological Hazard Advisor for USAID/OFDA.  “Any action in one part of the watershed will affect everyone else living in the watershed.  That’s why an integrated and basin-wide approach is critical to save lives and protect the property of people living near the water.”

For more information about the guide or to view the resource library, visit: http://envirodm.org/flood-management

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