Linking risk communication and sustainable climate change action: a conceptual framework
Volenzo, Tom E.
Odiyo, John O.
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Combating climate change is one of the critical goals under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda. This is on account that several of the targets under the climate change action overlap and impinge targets envisioned under other SDGs in itself a social policy dilemma. The overlapping targets include the need to consider environmental impacts and sustainability outcomes on land and land-based resources, ecosystems and biodiversity as well as agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale farmers. Transforming the socio-ecological systems towards sustainability is thus critical. While risk communication has successfully been applied in emergency management, especially the crisis phase, little of the concept has been adapted in natural resource management. Using the case of smallholder farmer adaptation to climate change, this article explores how risk communication can resolve cognitive failure among multiple actors in climate change action in the context of adaptation mitigation-sustainable development frameworks. Combined with communication for development approaches, risk-communicationmediated pathways have the potential to enhance risk assessment and development of multihazard early-warning systems in climate change action. In this regard, risk communication offers a seamless support system for the integration of the precautionary and disaster risk reduction principles in the pursuit of sustainable development agenda.