Photo Credit: Flickr: UN ISDR

On March 18, 2015, the Third UN World Conference adopted The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. The framework is a 15-year, voluntary, non-binding agreement that aims to substantially reduce loss of lives, livelihoods, health outcomes, and physical, economic, environmental, social, and cultural assets stemming from disasters, both natural and man-made.
The framework builds on the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters and sets forth seven global targets:

  1. A substantial reduction in global disaster mortality by 2030; this target aims to lower the average global disaster mortality per 100,000 people in the period 2020-2030 compared to the period 2005-2015;
  2. A substantial reduction in the number people affected by disasters globally by 2030; this target aims to lower the average global figure per 100,000 people in the period 2020 -2030 compared to the period 2005-2015;
  3. A reduction in direct economic losses due to disasters in relation to global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030;
  4. A substantial reduction in disaster-related damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services, including health and educational facilities, by 2030;
  5. A substantial increase in the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020;
  6. Substantial enhancement of international cooperation to help developing countries implement the framework by 2030; and
  7. A substantial increase in the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments by 2030.

Reaching these targets will require coordinated action and cooperation at the national, regional, and global levels. The framework lays out four priorities for action:

  1. Understanding all dimensions of disaster risk: These include vulnerability, capacity, exposure of persons and assets, hazard characteristics, and the environment. Proper understanding of all of these dimensions of risk can help policymakers and the international community conduct proper risk assessment, prevention, mitigation, and preparedness and response activities.
  2. Strengthening governance to manage disaster risk: Addressing global disaster risk will require clear vision, plans, competence, guidance, and coordination within and across sectors, as well as coordination participation of all relevant stakeholders at the national, regional, and global levels. Strengthening disaster risk governance for prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery, and rehabilitation will be key in fostering collaboration and partnership to implement policies, programs, and instruments for disaster risk reduction and sustainable development. This action will include the establishment of national and local disaster risk reduction strategies, as well as the development and strengthening of transparent assessment and reporting procedures.
  3. Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience: Managing disaster risk successfully will require both public and private investment in measures to enhance the resilience of individuals, communities, countries, and the environment. This investment can also drive innovation, economic growth, and job creation, furthering countries’ overall development goals while reducing disaster-related losses and protecting lives and livelihoods.
  4. Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response in recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction efforts: Experience has shown that recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction plans need to be established prior to a disaster; these phases present a critical opportunity for communities and countries to “build back better” and increase their resilience to future disasters. Enhancing disaster preparedness will include integrating disaster risk reduction priorities into larger development measures, as well as ensuring that women and minority population groups are included in equitable response, recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction plans.

Over the next 15 years, practical, evidence-based guidance will be provided by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) to support the implementation and monitoring of the Sendai Framework. This will include the development of targeted Sendai Framework implementation guides.

The UN Conference in March recommended the establishment of an open-ended intergovernmental working group made up of experts from Member States, the UNISDR, and relevant private and civil sector stakeholders, to develop a set of possible indicators with which to measure global progress in the implementation of the framework.

By: Sara Gustafson, IFPRI

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