Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction into Food Security Sector

  • Sisira Madurapperuma Arachchilage

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Disasters and their effects are rising worldwide, particularly in developing nations. Climate change is causing more frequent, severe, intense, and recurrent disasters than ever. Developing countries are disproportionately affected due to low coping capacities. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change were adopted in 2015 to prioritise resilience-based sustainable development outcomes. "Zero Hunger," the second SDG, highlights the precarious state of food security and the need for investments to achieve it. The food security sector has been disproportionately affected by disasters and climate change due to its inherent and systemic vulnerability. This study has recognised that district governments and other sub-national key stakeholders are crucial to achieving zero hunger and food security. Despite growing recognition that subnational actors play a critical role in advancing SDGs, several issues related to insufficient contributions and efforts in mainstreaming climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) into development work have been reported. Therefore, this research aims to develop a framework for mainstreaming CCA and DRR into food security sector planning at the sub-national level.The research adopts the multiple case studies strategy and investigates three districts in Sri Lanka. Documents, archival records, and key informant interviews in the case districts were used to collect data. Semi-structured interviews with national experts supplemented case study findings. According to the study findings, district administrations and their local stakeholders face many challenges, limitations, and issues in mainstreaming CCA and DRR into the food security sector. Therefore, the study proposes a comprehensive framework to mainstream CCA and DRR into food security sector planning at the sub-national level. The study also makes several recommendations for reforming and restructuring existing planning processes to make them climate and disaster inclusive. The study shows the importance of identifying specific roles, mandates, and enabling environments for each stakeholder at different levels, including end users like community groups and farmer organisations. Governance issues, multi-stakeholder coordination issues, technical knowledge and know-how, fragmented approach to integration, lack of communications and awareness, data and evidence, financial solutions and resource efficiency, institutional mechanisms and mandated institutions, policy and legal provisions and related tools and methodologies should be addressed as a priority to advance CCA and DRR mainstreaming agendas.
Date of Award6 Nov 2023
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorDilanthi Amaratunga (Main Supervisor) & Richard Haigh (Co-Supervisor)

Cite this