Research Project Team
  • Tommaso Natoli (MSCA CAROLINE Fellow)
  • Dug Cubie (Academic Mentor – UCC)
  • Isabelle Granger (Secondment Mentor – IFRC)
  • Maarten van Aalst (Placement Mentor – RCRC Climate Centre)

Developing Climate-Smart/Disaster Risk Management Laws that Protect People in Vulnerable Situations for a Comprehensive Implementation of the UN Agenda 2030

June 2019 – May 2021

Acknowledgement of funding

This project has received funding from the Irish Research Council and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 713279


Project Academic Partner

Relevant Events





Overview of the Project

This Fellowship will investigate links, coherence and potential overlaps between two key international frameworks adopted in 2015, namely the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the UNFCCC Paris Agreement on Climate Change, assessed through the lens of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The project will chart the application of those frameworks in national/sub-national legislation and policy decisions; provide scientific outputs on informal law-making dynamics; develop research-based analysis and advocacy and guidance tools to promote Agenda 2030’s objective of leaving no one behind.

The centrepiece of the UN’s Agenda 2030 are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in 2015. Among the numerous references to climate-related disasters contained therein, SDG 1.5 stresses the need to “build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate related extreme events and other […] environmental shocks and disasters”. As explicitly required by SDG 13.2, laws which address the root causes of disasters should be integrated “into national policies, strategies and planning”. This highlights the need to strengthen institutional resilience and coordination, ensure clarity in responsibilities and prioritise activities.


This research project will support legal and policy reforms for local and national authorities by providing evidence-based guidance and tools aimed at establishing comprehensive, cross-sectoral and inclusive measures. It will focus on the need to promote concrete advocacy actions and capacity-building activities aimed at supporting the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ (IFRC) efforts in providing concrete guidance to national and local institutions in the adoption and implementation of innovative climate-smart DRM laws that protect the most vulnerable. This will stimulate integration and synergies between wider governance arrangements, e.g. the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) processes and the risk reduction strategy processes (Sendai Framework, Target E).


  • Identification and scientific assessment of synergies between international frameworks aimed at anticipating the adverse effects of climate change (Climate Change Adaptation – CCA) and those taking appropriate action to prevent or minimise the damage caused by disasters (Disaster Risk Reduction – DRR);
  • Empirical research in four countries will provide concrete findings in national/sub-national contexts, collecting best practices and main challenges in the inclusion of CCA perspectives within Disaster Risk Management (DRM) laws/policies;
  • Development of advocacy and guidance tools for the adoption of “Climate-smart/DRM laws”, supporting the activities of the IFRC’s Disaster Law Programme;
  • Dissemination of research key-findings mainly addressing governments interested in launching legislative reforms processes; Red Cross/Red Crescent (RCRC) entities and other non-governmental stakeholders, scholars and academic communities.

Dissemination activities

Dr Natoli presentation at the Climate RED Summit (9_10 Sept 2020) Wednesday, 9 September 2020 Time 17:00- 18:30 CEST, Panel on “Using Law and Policy to Reduce Risk, Enhance Coherence and Protect People”.

Dr Natoli presentation at the IFRC – UNDRR – AU Webinar on ‘Governance for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation – Achieving target E of the Sendai Framework Experiences from Sub-Saharan Africa’ (3 November 2020)

The IFRC also wishes to thank and acknowledge the support provided by the German Government for the completion of this project.