Issues Brief - Natural Disaster Preparedness

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  • 1. RIO 2012 Issues Briefs Produced by the UNCSD Secretariat No. 8 Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience Building 2 and its Plan of Action was adopted at the World Conference on1. Introduction Natural Disaster Reduction, building on the mid-term review of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction.Droughts are threatening food security in West Africa; sea levelrise might take away the livelihoods of Small Island Developing 1999 The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction 3States (SIDS); flash floods and mudslides inflict death and (ISDR) was launched by the Economic and Social Council anddestruction on informal settlements in cities of a number of endorsed by the General Assembly as an internationaldeveloping countries; severe heat waves have swept across framework for responding to the challenge presented to theEurope and Russia in recent years; and strong hurricanes have international community by the increasing incidence and scalecaused large economic losses in the USA and the Caribbean. of disasters. UNISDR was created as an inter-agency secretariatEnvironmental degradation and climate change contribute to of ISDR together with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Disasterthe increasing occurrence of disasters linked to natural hazards. Reduction. The UNISDR mandate was then expanded to serveNo country is immune, regardless of the level of economic and as a focal point within the United Nations System for thesocial development. However, the vulnerability of communities coordination of disaster reduction and to ensure synergiesand societies to disasters caused by natural hazards is closely among the disaster reduction activities of the UN system andand inversely related to the level of social and economic regional organizations and activities in socio-economic anddevelopment. Sound disaster risk management has been humanitarian fields. Further mandates are to promote publicrecognised as an area deserving greater attention on the global awareness and commitment, to expand networks andsustainable development agenda. partnerships, and to improve knowledge of disaster causes and options for risk reduction, building on the Yokohama StrategyThis brief aims at providing an overview of the existing and Plan of Action and as follow-up to the International Decade 4international commitments in the area of disaster risk for Natural Disaster Reduction.reduction and resilience building looking into progress ofimplementation, remaining gaps and proposed goals within the 2002 The World Summit on Sustainable Developmentcontext of sustainable development, with a view to facilitating (WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa, noted that “anconstructive discussion around the issue in the course of the integrated, multi-hazard, inclusive approach to addresspreparation for the UNCSD (Rio+20). vulnerability, risk assessment and disaster management, including prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery, is an essential element of a safer world in the twenty- 52. International Efforts on Disaster Risk Reduction first century.” The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and Resilience Building provided UNISDR and the Inter-Agency Task Force with a concrete set of objectives for integrating and mainstreaming risk reduction into development policies and processes.1989 Given the increasing concern about the impact ofdisasters, the UN General Assembly declared 1990-1999 the 1 2International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) . A/CONF.172/9 3 General Assembly resolutions 59/231, 58/214, 57/256, 56/195, 54/219.Initially, IDNDR was influenced largely by scientific and 4 Today, at the HQ level, UNISDR leads inter-agency country-specific andtechnical interest groups. However, the broader global thematic discussions as well as contributes to the development of UNawareness of the social and economic consequences of programming tools, such as guidelines on risk reduction for United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and post-disaster needsdisasters caused by natural hazards developed as the decade assessments. It regularly provides UN Country Teams with strategic andprogressed. operational support for the development of country programs. It also develops a close partnership with the UN regional commissions, in particular the1994 The Yokohama Strategy for a Safer World: Guidelines Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). UNISDR is alsofor Natural Disaster Prevention, Preparedness and Mitigation closely associated with a wide network of scientific and development organizations researching on disaster risk and monitoring risk information, which also support the preparation of the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction.1 5GA resolutions 42/169 and 44/236 A/CONF.199/20, paragraph 37. See Box 1. 1
  • 2. Table 1. Three Strategic Goals, Five Priorities for Action and Four2005 The World Conference on Disaster Reduction was held Cross Cutting Issues of Disaster Risk Reduction and Resiliencein Kobe, Hyogo, Japan and adopted the “Hyogo Framework forAction 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Three Strategic GoalsCommunities to Disasters”, which is currently serving as theguiding document in strengthening and building international • The integration of disaster risk reduction in sustainablecooperation to ensure that disaster risk reduction is used as a development policies and planning;foundation for sound national and international development • Development and strengthening of institutions, mechanismsagendas. and capacities to build resilience to hazards; • The systematic incorporation of risk reduction approaches into the implementation of emergency preparedness, responses2007 The UN General Assembly established a biennial and recovery programmes. 6Global Platform on disaster risk reduction to support theimplementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action, allowing Five Priorities for Actiongovernment representatives, NGOs, scientists, practitioners,private sector, IFIs and UN organizations to share experiences, 1. Ensure that disaster risk reduction (DRR) is a national and a localidentify remaining gaps, formulate strategic guidance and priority with a strong institutional basis for implementationadvice for the implementation of the HFA. Six Regional • DRR institutional mechanisms (national platforms); designatedPlatforms and over 80 National Platforms have also been responsibilities 7established as multi-stakeholder forums. Regional Platforms • DRR part of development policies and planning, sector-wisealso assess progress but focus on the details of the regional and multi-sector • Legislation to support DRRplans of implementation and National Platforms act as the • Decentralization of responsibilities and resourcesnational coordinating body for disaster risk reduction. • Assessment of human resources and capacities • Foster political commitment • Community participation3. Internationally Agreed Commitments and Plans 2. Identify, assess and monitor disaster risks and enhance early of Actions8 warning • Multi-risk assessments and maps: elaboration andAt the World Conference on Disaster Reduction of 2005, the disseminationStates and participating actors resolved to pursue for the • Indicators on DRR and vulnerabilityfollowing 10 years the “substantial reduction of disaster losses, • Data & statistical loss informationin lives and in the social, economic and environmental assets of • Early warning: people centered information systems and policycommunities and countries.” 9 • Scientific and technological development: data sharing, space- based earth observation, climate modeling and forecasting,This pursuit was translated into three strategic goals, five early warningpriorities for action and four cross-cutting issues as shown in • Regional and emerging risksTable 1. It summarizes the Hyogo Framework of Action (HFA), 3. Use knowledge, innovation and education to build a culture ofwhich still serves as the guideline for States, regional and safety and resilience at all levelsinternational organizations, civil society, the scientific • Information sharing and cooperationcommunity, the private sector and various other stakeholders, • Networks across disciplines and regions; dialogueto contribute to the achievement of the internationally agreed • Use of standard DRR terminologygoals by 2015. Vulnerability is often concentrated among lower • Inclusion of DRR into school curricula, formal and informalincome countries or other groups. Special attention therefore educationneeds to be given to disaster-prone Small Island Developing • Training and learning on DRR: community level, localStates (SIDS), Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Africa. authorities, targeted sectors; equal access • Research capacity: multi-risk; socio-economic • Public awareness and media6 The Global Platform replaced the earlier Inter-Agency Task Force for Disaster 4. Reduce the underlying risk factorsReduction7 • Sustainable ecosystems and environmental management See http://www.unisdr.org/we/coordinate/regional-platforms for moreinformation on regional multi-stakeholder forums. • DRR strategies integrated with climate change adaptation8 Based on ISDR Summary of the “Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: • Food security for resilienceBuilding the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters”, • DRR integrated into health sector and safe hospitalshttp://www.eird.org/cdmah/contenido/summary%20.pdf9 • Protection of critical public facilities As per the final report of the World Conference on Disaster Reduction • Recovery schemes and social safety nets(A/CONF.206.6). 2
  • 3. • Vulnerability reduction with diversified income options also proliferated and have made a substantial contribution to • Financial risk-sharing mechanisms reducing disaster losses and increasing disaster resilience as • Public-private partnership well as protecting public assets and livelihoods. Examples • Land use planning and building codes include: (i) Social protection measures such as cash transfers • Rural development plans and DRR that have been successfully adopted in Chile and Nicaragua as a5. Strengthen disaster preparedness for effective response at all strategy to reduce household vulnerability to disasters whilelevels tackling structural poverty. Similar social protection • Disaster management capacities: policy, technical and programmes exist in many countries in Africa, Asia, Latin institutional capacities America and the Caribbean region with the potential for • Dialogue, coordination & information exchange between significantly increasing resilience; (ii) governments are also disaster managers and development sectors taking concrete steps to integrate disaster reduction in public • Regional approaches to disaster response, with risk reduction investments and sustainable development plans; e.g., Peru has focus systematically integrated risk reduction into its public • Review & exercise preparedness and contingency plans investment programme, amounting to more than US$10 billion • Emergency funds in 2008 alone, (iii) several countries are building the much • Voluntarism & participation required evidence for national disaster risk managementFour Cross-cutting Issues planning; e.g. Indonesia has developed the Indonesian Disaster Data and Information Management Database that is now used • Multi-hazard approach • Gender perspective and cultural diversity for national policy, planning and budgeting; and (iv) the • Community and volunteers’ participation Province of Albay in the Philippines has adopted a zero casualty • Capacity building and technology transfer policy and has allocated 4.5 percent of its 2010 budget to risk 14Source: ISDR (www.unisdr.org) reduction and climate change adaptation. Despite some progress, the implementation is still not sufficient 4. Progress of Implementation given the fact that the world’s exposure to natural hazards is growing faster than its vulnerability to these can be 15 reduced. Effective implementation of the internationally Many governments have recognized that disaster risk reduction agreed goals on disaster preparedness and resilience requires a and risk management through concrete action and political cross-ministerial, multi-stakeholder and multi-hazard approach commitment can accelerate development, protect investments and there is still a long way to go to achieve this. and reduce poverty. Recognition is reflected in the outcomes of 10 the 2010 MDG Summit , the 2011 Istanbul Programme of 11 Action for the Least Developed Countries , and the High-Level 5. Way Forward Review Meeting on the Implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island The UNCSD is seen by many stakeholders as an opportunity to 12 Developing States . go one step further in disaster risk reduction and resilience building. In particular, it has been suggested that Rio+20 could The Third Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk contribute in the following ways: Reduction (May 2011), as well as the Mid-Term Review of the HFA demonstrated that the international community has made 5.1 Incorporate Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience some progress in addressing disaster risk reduction. Through into Sustainable Development Goals 13 more than 130 country reviews , progress has been reported by many governments, particularly in strengthening disaster There is general support for greater political attention to management and the institutional and legislative arrangements disaster risk reduction within the context of sustainable 16 and mechanisms that uphold it. Regional and sub-regional development. In particular, Japan calls for the formulation of strategies, frameworks, plans and programmes have been a “Post-Hyogo Framework” to provide guidance beyond 2015, 17 developed. National and local government led initiatives have which should be “clearly integrated in the Post-MDGs” . There 10 14 A/RES/65/1 2011 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 11 15 A/Conf/219/3 Idem 12 16 A/RES/65/2 See submissions to Rio+20 from G77 & China, European Union & its Member 13 Preparing for Rio+20: Redefining Sustainable Development, UNISDR States, Caribbean Community and Pacific Island Forum on www.uncsd2012.org 17 Discussion Paper 10 October 2011. See also www.preventionweb.net See Japan’s input to Rio+20 outcome document. /english/hyogo http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/content/documents/113Japan.pdf 3
  • 4. is also considerable support for the elaboration of a set of • Making sure relevant information is disseminated inSustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at Rio+20 or at least to an effective way to policy-makers, the general publicset a process in motion to this end to secure a post-2015 global and communities at risk, and integrated in theirsustainable development agenda. In order to ensure that any decision making processes;development gains are sustainable, it is important that disaster • Enhancing research, statistical analyses and reportingrisk reduction and resilience building be integrated at all levels on long-term changes and identifying emerging issuesthrough integrated sustainable development planning across that might increase vulnerabilities and risks or disastersectors, including but not limited to public infrastructure responsiveness of authorities and communities;investments, sustainable agriculture, health, education and • Encouraging probabilistic risk assessments that allow 18sustainable urbanization . for financial innovation on risk-sharing and insurance, to improve financial resilience.5.2 Build an enabling international environment 5.4 Encourage social inclusionDeveloped countries are often better equipped financially andinstitutionally to adopt explicit measures to respond effectively Vulnerability to disasters has many drivers. Socioeconomic,and adapt to changes in exposure, vulnerability, and climate demographic, and health-related factors as well as governanceextremes than developing countries. Rio+20 should strive to institutions can have a major influence on coping and adaptivemaintain an enabling international environment, which capacity in local communities. Rio+20 should reinforce theencourages: message that: • The transfer of knowledge, technology and expertise • Communities and local governments should be to enhance capacity building for disaster risk empowered to manage and reduce disaster risk by reduction; having access to the necessary information, resources • The sharing of best practices and lessons learned; and authority to implement actions for disaster risk • The flow of appropriate support to and between reduction; developing countries for enhancing governance for • Disaster risk reduction should be included as an disaster risk reduction and awarenessat all levels. intrinsic part of formal and informal education, including adult education and community level5.3 Encourage better knowledge on disaster risks and awareness training.improve access to information • Adaptive social protection and safety nets can significantly reduce community vulnerability inRio+20 could reinforce the importance of improved disaster-prone areas, protect household’s assets andunderstanding and monitoring of disaster risks. This will require ensure access to basic services in times of crises.capacity building in the knowledge community and improvedcommunication of information, including: 5.5 Encourage investment for disaster risk reduction • Strengthening networks within and between scientific Donors, governments, UN system, IFIs and private sector communities, experts on socioeconomic issues and should consider disaster risk reduction as an investment for practitioners working on disaster related issues; safer future and sustainability, not as an additional cost. • Mobilizing resources for capacity building to research, observe, analyse, map and, where possible, forecast __________________________ natural and related hazards, vulnerabilities and disaster impacts; The purpose of the Rio 2012 Issues Briefs is to provide a channel for policymakers and other interested stakeholders to discuss and review • Developing early warning systems, disaster risk issues relevant to the objective and themes of the conference, monitoring facilities and indicators, building on full including a green economy in the context of sustainable development and open exchange and dissemination of data at and poverty eradication, as well as the institutional framework for international, regional, national and local levels; sustainable development. For further information on this Brief, please • Establishing national disaster loss databases that contact Meng Li (li39@un.org). provide a comprehensive accounting of disaster loss and damage as well as probabilistic risk assessments;;18 See UNISDR’s World Disaster Risk Reduction Campaign 2010-2015, MakingCities Resilient:”My city is getting ready” at http://www.unisdr.org/english/campaigns/campaign2010-2015 4