Aligning the Global Delta Risk Index with SDG and SFDRR global frameworks to assess risk to socio-ecological systems in river deltas

Sustain Sci. 2023 Mar 3:1-21. doi: 10.1007/s11625-023-01295-3. Online ahead of print.


River deltas globally are highly exposed and vulnerable to natural hazards and are often over-exploited landforms. The Global Delta Risk Index (GDRI) was developed to assess multi-hazard risk in river deltas and support decision-making in risk reduction interventions in delta regions. Disasters have significant impacts on the progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, despite the strong interlinkage between disaster risk reduction and sustainable development, global frameworks are still developed in isolation and actions to address them are delegated to different institutions. Greater alignment between frameworks would both simplify monitoring progress towards disaster risk reduction and sustainable development and increase capacity to address data gaps in relation to indicator-based assessments for both processes. This research aims at aligning the GDRI indicators with the SDGs and the Sendai Framework for Disaster and Risk Reduction (SFDRR). While the GDRI has a modular indicator library, the most relevant indicators for this research were selected through a delta-specific impact chain designed in consultation with experts, communities and stakeholders in three delta regions: the Red River and Mekong deltas in Vietnam and the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) delta in Bangladesh and India. We analyse how effectively the 143 indicators for the GDRI match (or not) the SDG and SFDRR global frameworks. We demonstrate the interconnections of the different drivers of risk to better inform risk management and in turn support delta-level interventions towards improved sustainability and resilience of these Asian mega-deltas.

Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11625-023-01295-3.

Keywords: Exposure; Framework integration; Risk; River deltas; SDGs; Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction; Vulnerability.