Putting Nature to Work: Integrating Green and Grey Infrastructure for Water Security and Climate Resilience

Cyclone Idai shows why long-term disaster resilience is so crucial

Cyclone Idai struck Beira, the fourth largest city in Mozambique, in mid-March with torrential rains and winds of more than 190 km per hour. It took days for the sheer size of the resulting disaster to be understood.

Dramatic pictures and video showed that the cyclone had left behind an inland sea up to 6 meters deep. Hundreds of people died in the storm and its immediate aftermath, and millions will be affected, potentially for years to come .

Increases in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, such as Cyclone Idai, are increasingly viewed as a consequence of climate change . This is true globally, but particularly for areas like southern Africa.

Climate related disasters harm growth and development prospects. Climate change, with its more extreme weather events and rising seas, will both broaden and intensify these impacts on poor communities – and entire countries. Poor people in poor countries are most vulnerable to disasters such as Cyclone Idai…


The Weather is Getting Worse: the Price of Inaction

The US was hit by 14 “billion-dollar disasters” in 2018, including hurricanes Florence and Michael; intense heatwaves and fires caused more than 1600 deaths in Europe, Japan and the US, Image: Getty Images

It looks like we’re in for more devastation. After an unprecedented “cyclone bomb” ravaged the Midwest and its farms in March, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting “historic, widespread flooding” in the United States through May.

“Nearly two-thirds of the lower 48 states face an elevated risk for flooding through May, with the potential for major or moderate flooding in 25 states,” according to NOAA’s US Spring Outlook. NOAA expects increased rainfall and melting snow, two consequences of a warmer average earth temperature due to the high concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere…


Putting Nature to Work: Integrating Green and Grey Infrastructure for Water Security and Climate Resilience

When it comes to tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges, nature can be one of our strongest allies. That is one of the main takeaways from a World Bank and WRI report ‘Integrating Green and Grey – Creating Next Generation Infrastructure.’ The report – which will be released on March 21st, on the eve of World Water Day – shows how putting nature to work can help deliver infrastructure services with greater impact and lower cost, all the while reducing risks from disaster, boosting water security and enhancing climate resilience…

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