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Title: Assessing disability inclusive disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation capabilities in Singapore
Authors: Lee, Chelsea Wen Si
Keywords: Social sciences::Geography::Natural disasters
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Abstract: With the onset of climate change, disaster risks, especially from hydro-meteorological disasters are expected to intensify (Pachauri et al., 2014; Van Aalst, 2006) . The impacts of disasters are most felt by groups with higher social vulnerability, such as people with disabilities and there is a need to include them in disaster risk reduction efforts (WHO, 2011). People with disabilities thus feel the impacts of disasters the most and there is a need to include them in disaster risk reduction efforts. In recognition of the increased risk of people with disabilities to natural hazards, their associated disasters and climate change, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) 2015-2030 mandates stronger inclusion of people with disabilities in all stages of the disaster risk reduction (DRR) cycle (Laura M. Stough & Kang, 2015). The Natural Hazards Group in the School of Geosciences at The University of Sydney has been leading Australian and South East Asian focused case study work on this topic. Singapore serves as a special and unique case study of a relatively disaster-free, small island country located in South East Asia, one of the most active and disaster-prone regions in the world (Centre, 2005; UNESCAP, 2017a). Having ratified and signed the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (SFDRR), the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement and the United Nations Convention of Rights for People with Disabilities (UNCRPD), the government of Singapore has obligations to fulfil these agreements that specifically includes articles supporting the rights of people with disabilities in emergency and humanitarian situations. However, to the authors best knowledge, no research is currently being undertaken on disability inclusive disaster risk reduction (DIDRR) initiatives in Singapore and it is not known to what extent, if any, Singapore’s disaster and climate change policies and plans are inclusive of people with disabilities. Thus, a significant gap exists. To address this gap, in this project, the DiDRR readiness of the Singapore government and Disability People’s Organisations (DPOs) was examined using a mixed methods approach including policy analysis, content analysis, interviews and desk top analysis. The results showed that Singapore faces threats mainly from hydro-meteorological hazards such as floods, droughts, heatwaves, sea level rise, haze as well as biological hazards such as pandemics and infectious diseases. Despite facing threats from these hazards, Singapore does not have a comprehensive national disaster legislation or policy framework and there is no dedicated disaster agency that oversees Singapore’s disaster risk reduction effort. Without proper disaster and climate change legislation and policies, it would then be difficult to ensure that people with disabilities are included in these efforts. Hence, Singapore currently is unable to ensure that the needs of people with disabilities are met in situations of disasters and climate change as people with disabilities are not explicitly included. Therefore, there is a need for the government of Singapore to ensure that the rights of people with disabilities are met by enacting national disaster laws and plans that explicitly include people with disabilities.
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:ASE Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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