Letters from Sendai – n°8
The post-2015 DRR framework got a new name: Sendai Framework for Action on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030
The final plenary and closing ceremony of the WCDRR in Sendai, originally scheduled for the morning of 18th March 2015 had to be postponed several times. It was nearly midnight when delegates gathered again after what was later called a ‘marathon negotiation’ to adopt the new ‘Sendai Framework for Action on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030’.
The new framework values the guidance and achievements that have been enabled by the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015. Moreover, it explicitly refers to the Rio Declaration of the Conference on Sustainable Development held in 2012 (‘The Future We Want’) and reaffirms all principles of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development of 1992. Thereby, disaster risk reduction (DRR) is clearly contextualized in a sustainable development context. Climate change is acknowledged as a main risk driver and adaptation to it (CCA) is seen as an opportunity to establish coherent approaches between DRR and CCA. However, the mandate to negotiate the climate change issues that are mentioned in the Sendai DRR framework is a matter of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Increased, timely, stable and predictable contributions to the United Nations Trust Fund for Disaster Reduction are stated in the document, however, without an explicit quantitative target.
For DRR, seven global targets are explicitly stated in the Sendai DRR framework. These are (Source: http://www.wcdrr.org/uploads/Sendai_Framework_for_Disaster_Risk_Reduction_2015-2030.pdf):
(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.© 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.
(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.
Hence, only two of the many quantitative indicators in the draft versions of the framework were finally agreed on. Still, it has to be questioned whether the data needed to monitor progress in these fields will be available in a satisfying quality and completeness (see below).
Guiding principals to achieve the above-mentioned goals are further outlined in the framework document including topics that have been addressed by the ENHANCE-project, such as partnerships, risk-informed decision making and the principal of ‘Building back better’ that strongly links recovery and rehabilitation after events to future disaster risk reduction – a linkage that is currently too weak.
The Sendai DRR framework puts four priorities of action on the agenda of stakeholders at the local, national, regional or global level; these are (Source: http://www.wcdrr.org/uploads/Sendai_Framework_for_Disaster_Risk_Reduction_2015-2030.pdf):
1. Understanding disaster risk;
2. Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk;
3. Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience;
4. Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
These four priorities constitute the core of the Sendai DRR framework; each is underpinned with a list of activities and recommendations. The framework ends with two sections on stakeholders as well as international cooperation and global partnerships, respectively.
Among many other topics, the demand for consistent, reliable, detailed and accessible data on disaster impacts as well as on risk information is outlined in the Sendai DRR framework. Particularly, reliable, complete and consistent data on impacts of natural hazards are currently often lacking. During the WCDRR in Sendai such data issues were addressed in working sessions and in several side events of the public forum. Large data gaps were identified with regard to impacts of natural hazards on the agricultural sector, despite the fact that crop losses in the developing world can further lead to insecure food provision and nutrition problems.
The side event on ‘Systematic collection of disaster loss data as essential asset in Disaster Risk Reduction’ organized by UNDP and UNISDR reflected on the use of DesInventar in different parts of the world. DesInventar is a disaster information management system hosted by UNISDR and supported by UNDP. Some very promising approaches, particularly from Sri Lanka and Ethiopia, were presented in Sendai. These two countries managed to set up procedures that strongly link loss data collection and derived municipal risk profiles to the allocation of national resources for DRR on the local level and further to the evaluation of the DRR measures undertaken.
In Europe, DesInventar has hardly been used and the situation on loss data is scattered and heterogeneous – a situation that has been criticized many times – not only during the WCDRR in Sendai. Only recently, the status of loss data recording in European Member States and best practice examples were compiled by the Joint Research Centre in Ispra (JRC; see http://drr.jrc.ec.europa.eu/Loss-Data), to which ENHANCE-partner Jaroslay Mysiak (FEEM) and Annegret Thieken (University of Potsdam) contributed. Currently, European standards for loss data are being discussed.
In Sendai, a well-developed partnership for risk data sharing was showcased by the French National Observatory for DRR (ONRN) during the side event ‘Platforms for risk data sharing and participative governance, from national to local’. The platform with data from the private and the public sector as well as from academia allows end-users to derive hazard and risk indicators and to identify gaps in risk prevention planning and management. In other European countries, e. g. in Germany, such data management systems are widely lacking. It will be interesting to learn how EU Member States are going to address the data issues that have now been put on the agenda by the Sendai DRR framework. Surely, impact data will be a topic for future research.
By Annegret Thieken, University of Potsdam, Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences
19th March 2015, 13:56 h, Sendai
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