Climate affects multiple sectors including agriculture, food security, water resources, health and land use. Climate variability triggers crop failures, food insecurity, malaria epidemics, and shortage in hydro-power and irrigation. These types of impacts affects the ability of developing countries to achieve Millennium Development Goals related to poverty, hunger and human health. Impacts across multiple sectors associated with drought, flooding and cyclones frequently accumulate into disasters. Over the 20th century, disasters involving climate-related hazards were seven times as frequent as those involving non-climatic hazards globally and accounted for nine times as many deaths. The economic losses associated with climatic hazards were three times higher than those associated with non-climatic hazards and the number of people affected 55 times greater. Better management of climate-related risks is key to preventing disasters and protecting development.
CRM seeks to promote the achievement of sustainable development goals by helping to manage societal vulnerability associated with both short term climate variability and longer term climate change. It involves proactive, precautionary programs to realize positive outcomes for communities and societies in climate-sensitive areas such as agriculture, water resources, food security, health, the environment and livelihoods. The approach integrates three aspects of climate and sustainable development that are often considered in isolation.