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Third World Conference Adopts New International Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

Friday, 10 April 2015
The Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction* took place from 14 to 18 March 2015 in Sendai City, Japan. The World Conference was attended by over 6,500, including 2,800 government representatives from 187 governments as well as representatives of intergovernmental organizations, UN entities, NGOs, national platforms for disaster risk reduction, local governments, scientific institutions and the private sector. The objectives of the Conference were to complete assessment and review of the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action, to consider the experience gained through the regional and national strategies/institutions and plans for disaster risk reduction and their recommendations and last, but not least, to adopt a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction, that is the successor to the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015.

After marathon negotiations on the textual outcome of the Conference, the representatives from 187 UN member states came to an agreement and the Sendai Framework for Action 2015-2030 was adopted. The new international framework for disaster risk reduction consists of seven global targets to be achieved the next 15 years and draws on guiding principles** contained in the Yokohama Strategy for a Safer World. Specifically, the seven global targets are: (a) substantially reduce global disaster mortality by 2030, aiming to lower average per 100,000 global mortality between 2020-2030 compared to 2005-2015; (b) substantially reduce the number of affected people globally by 2030, aiming to lower the average global figure per 100,000 between 2020-2030 compared to 2005-2015; (c) reduce direct disaster economic loss in relation to global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030; (d) substantially reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services, among them health and educational facilities, including through developing their resilience by 2030; (e) substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020; (f) substantially enhance international cooperation to developing countries through adequate and sustainable support to complement their national actions for implementation of this framework by 2030; and (g) substantially increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to the people by 2030.

Moreover, the Sendai Framework for Action underlines that there is a need for focused action by States at local, national, regional and global levels in the following four priority areas***: (a) understanding disaster risk, (b) strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk, (c) investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience, (d) enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction. The Sendai Framework for Action acknowledges the environment as a cross-cutting issue in disaster risk reduction and puts emphasis on the importance of sustainable management of ecosystems as a method to build disaster resilience and environmental impact assessments as tools to accomplish risk-sensitive public and private investments.

Finally, the Sendai Framework recognizes the significant role of non state stakeholders**** in the implementation of the framework at local, national, regional and global levels and the significant role of international cooperation and global partnership as well.
Besides the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction resulted in two other documents, the Sendai Declaration***** and the Resolution of Voluntary Commitments of Stakeholders******.

As Margareta Wahlström, Head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), said at closing session of the Conference:“The adoption of this new Framework for disaster risk reduction opens a major new chapter in sustainable development as it outlines clear targets and priorities for action which will lead to a substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihood and health. Implementation of the Sendai Framework for action over the next 15 years will require strong commitment and political leadership”.

Notes

*In 1994 took place the first World Conference on Natural Disaster Reduction held in Yokohama, Japan. The main outcome of the Conference was the Yokohama Strategy for a Safer World and its Plan of Action. In 2005 took place the second World Conference on Disaster Reduction in Kobe, Japan. There was adopted the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 and the Hyogo Declaration.
**The Guiding Principles are 13, see:
http://www.wcdrr.org/uploads/Sendai_Framework_for_Disaster_Risk_Reduction_2015-2030.pdf
***For further information see:
http://www.wcdrr.org/uploads/Sendai_Framework_for_Disaster_Risk_Reduction_2015-2030.pdf
****Specifically, civil society, voluntary and community-based organizations, academia, business and the financial sector, philanthropic institutions, and the media.
*****For further information see: http://www.wcdrr.org/uploads/Political_Declaration_WCDRR.pdf
******For further information see:
http://www.wcdrr.org/uploads/Resolution_Voluntary_Commitment.pdf


Source: UNEP, ISSD Reporting Services, UN
For Further Information:
http://www.unep.org/newscentre/Default.aspx?DocumentID=26788&ArticleID=34814&l=en
http://www.iisd.ca/download/pdf/enb2615e.pdf
http://www.un.org/press/en/2015/iha1361.doc.htm


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