Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters
- The World Conference on Disaster Reduction was held from 18 to 22 January 2005 in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan, and adopted the present Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters (here after referred to as the “Framework for Action”). The Conference provided a unique opportunity to promote a strategic and systematic approach to reducing vulnerabilities and risks to hazards.It underscored the need for, and identified ways of, building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters.
A. Challenges posed by disasters
2. Disaster loss is on the rise with grave consequences for the survival, dignity and livelihood of individuals, particularly the poor, and hard-won development gains. Disaster risk is increasingly of global concern and its impact and actions in one region can have an impact on risks in another, and vice versa. This, compounded by increasing vulnerabilities related to changing demographic, technological and socio-economic conditions, unplanned urbanization, development within high-risk zones, under-development, environmental degradation, climate variability, climate change, geological hazards, competition for scarce resources, and the impact of epidemics such as HIV/AIDS, points to a future where disasters could increasingly threaten the world’s economy, and its population and the sustainable development of developing countries. In the past two decades, on average more than 200 million people have been affected every year by disasters.
3. Disaster risk arises when hazards interact with physical, social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities. Events of hydrometeorological origin constitute the large majority of disasters. Despite the growing understanding and acceptance of the importance of disaster risk reduction and increased disaster response capacities, disasters and in particular the management and reduction of risk continue to pose a global challenge.
4. There is now international acknowledgement that efforts to reduce disaster risks must be systematically integrated into policies, plans and programmes for sustainable development and poverty reduction, and supported through bilateral, regional and international cooperation, including partnerships. Sustainable development, poverty reduction, good governance and disaster risk reduction are mutually supportive objectives, and in order to meet the challenges ahead, accelerated efforts must be made to build the necessary capacities at the community and national levels to manage and reduce risk. Such an approach is to be recognized as an important element for the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration.
5. The importance of promoting disaster risk reduction efforts on the international and regional levels as well as the national and local levels has been recognized in the past few years in a number of key multilateral frameworks and declarations.
B. The Yokohama Strategy: lessons learned and gaps identified
6. The Yokohama Strategy for a Safer World: Guidelines for Natural Disaster Prevention, Preparedness and Mitigation and its Plan of Action (“Yokohama Strategy”), adopted in 1994, provides landmark guidance on reducing disaster risk and the impacts of disasters.
7. The review of progress made in implementing the Yokohama Strategy identifies major challenges for the coming years in ensuring more systematic action to address disaster risks in the context of sustainable development and in building resilience through enhanced national and local capabilities to manage and reduce risk.
8. The review stresses the importance of disaster risk reduction being underpinned by a more pro-active approach to informing, motivating and involving people in all aspects of disaster risk reduction in their own local communities. It also highlights the scarcity of resources allocated specifically from development budgets for the realization of risk reduction objectives, either at the national or the regional level or through international cooperation and financial mechanisms, while noting the significant potential to better exploit existing resources and established practices for more effective disaster risk reduction.
9. Specific gaps and challenges are identified in the following five main areas:
(a) Governance: organizational, legal and policy frameworks;
(b) Risk identification, assessment, monitoring and early warning;
(c) Knowledge management and education;
(d) Reducing underlying risk factors;
(e) Preparedness for effective response and recovery.
These are the key areas for developing a relevant framework for action for the decade 2005–2015.
II. World Conference on Disaster Reduction: Objectives, expected outcome and strategic goals
10. The World Conference on Disaster Reduction was convened by decision of the General Assembly, with five specific objectives:
(a) To conclude and report on the review of the Yokohama Strategy and its Plan of Action, with a view to updating the guiding framework on disaster reduction for the twenty-first century;
(b) To identify specific activities aimed at ensuring the implementation of relevant provisions of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development on vulnerability, risk assessment and disaster management;
(c) To share good practices and lessons learned to further disaster reduction within the context of attaining sustainable development, and to identify gaps and challenges;
(d) To increase awareness of the importance of disaster reduction policies, thereby facilitating and promoting the implementation of those policies;
(e) To increase the reliability and availability of appropriate disaster-related information to the public and disaster management agencies in all regions, as set out in relevant provisions of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.
B. Expected outcome
11. Taking these objectives into account, and drawing on the conclusions of the review of the Yokohama Strategy, States and other actors participating at the World Conference on Disaster Reduction (hereinafter referred to as “the Conference”) resolve to pursue the following expected outcome for the next 10 years:
The substantial reduction of disaster losses, in lives and in the social, economic and environmental assets of communities and countries.
The realization of this outcome will require the full commitment and involvement of all actors concerned, including governments, regional and international organizations, civil society including volunteers, the private sector and the scientific community.
C. Strategic goals
12. To attain this expected outcome, the Conference resolves to adopt the following strategic goals:
(a) The more effective integration of disaster risk considerations into sustainable development policies, planning and programming at all levels, with a special emphasis on disaster prevention, mitigation, preparedness and vulnerability reduction;
(b) The development and strengthening of institutions, mechanisms and capacities at all levels, in particular at the community level, that can systematically contribute to building resilience to hazards;
(c) The systematic incorporation of risk reduction approaches into the design and implementation of emergency preparedness, response and recovery programmes in the reconstruction of affected communities.
III. Priorities for action 2005–2015
A. General considerations
13. In determining appropriate action to achieve the expected outcome and strategic goals, the Conference reaffirms that the following general considerations will be taken into account:
(a) The Principles contained in the Yokohama Strategy retain their full relevance in the current context, which is characterized by increasing commitment to disaster reduction;
(b) Taking into account the importance of international cooperation and partnerships, each State has the primary responsibility for its own sustainable development and for taking effective measures to reduce disaster risk, including for the protection of people on its territory, infrastructure and other national assets from the impact of disasters. At the same time, in the context of increasing global interdependence, concerted international cooperation and an enabling international environment are required to stimulate and contribute to developing the knowledge, capacities and motivation needed for disaster risk reduction at all levels;
(c) An integrated, multi-hazard approach to disaster risk reduction should be factored into policies, planning and programming related to sustainable development, relief, rehabilitation, and recovery activities in post-disaster and post-conflict situations in disaster-prone countries;
(d) A gender perspective should be integrated into all disaster risk management policies, plans and decision-making processes, including those related to risk assessment, early warning, information management, and education and training;
(e) Cultural diversity, age, and vulnerable groups should be taken into account when planning for disaster risk reduction, as appropriate;
(f) Both communities and local authorities should be empowered to manage and reduce disaster risk by having access to the necessary information, resources and authority to implement actions for disaster risk reduction;
(g) Disaster-prone developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing States, warrant particular attention in view of their higher vulnerability and risk levels, which often greatly exceed their capacity to respond to and recover from disasters;
(h) There is a need to enhance international and regional cooperation and assistance in the field of disaster risk reduction through, inter alia:
- The transfer of knowledge, technology and expertise to enhance capacity building for disaster risk reduction
- The sharing of research findings, lessons learned and best practices
- The compilation of information on disaster risk and impact for all scales of disasters in a way that can inform sustainable development and disaster risk reduction
- Appropriate support in order to enhance governance for disaster risk reduction, for awareness-raising initiatives and for capacity-development measures at all levels, in order to improve the disaster resilience of developing countries
- The full, speedy and effective implementation of the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, taking into account the impact of disasters on the debt sustainability of countries eligible for this programme
- Financial assistance to reduce existing risks and to avoid the generation of new risks
(i) The promotion of culture of prevention, including through the mobilization of adequate resources for disaster risk reduction, is an investment for the future with substantial returns. Risk assessment and early warning systems are essential investments that protect and save lives, property and livelihoods, contribute to the sustainability of development, and are far more cost-effective in strengthening coping mechanisms than is primary reliance on post-disaster response and recovery;
(j) There is also a need for proactive measures, bearing in mind that the phases of relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction following a disaster are windows of opportunity for the rebuilding of livelihoods and for the planning and reconstruction of physical and socio-economic structures, in a way that will build community resilience and reduce vulnerability to future disaster risks;
(k) Disaster risk reduction is a cross-cutting issue in the context of sustainable development and therefore an important element for the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration. In addition, every effort should be made to use humanitarian assistance in such a way that risks and future vulnerabilities will be lessened as much as possible.
B. Priorities for action
14. Drawing on the conclusions of the review of the Yokohama Strategy, and on the basis of deliberations at the World Conference on Disaster Reduction and especially the agreed expected outcome and strategic goals, the Conference has adopted the following five priorities for action:
- Ensure that disaster risk reduction is a national and a local priority with a strong institutional basis for implementation.
- Identify, assess and monitor disaster risks and enhance early warning.
- Use knowledge, innovation and education to build a culture of safety and resilience at all levels.
- Reduce the underlying risk factors.
- Strengthen disaster preparedness for effective response at all levels.
15. In their approach to disaster risk reduction, States, regional and international organizations and other actors concerned should take into consideration the key activities listed under each of these five priorities and should implement them, as appropriate, to their own circumstances and capacities.
Ensure that disaster risk reduction is a national and a local priority with a strong institutional basis for implementation
16. Countries that develop policy, legislative and institutional frameworks for disaster risk reduction and that are able to develop and track progress through specific and measurable indicators have greater capacity to manage risks and to achieve widespread consensus for, engagement in and compliance with disaster risk reduction measures across all sectors of society.
(i) National institutional and legislative frameworks
(a) Support the creation and strengthening of national integrated disaster risk reduction mechanisms, such as multi sectoral national platforms, with designated responsibilities at the national through to the local levels to facilitate coordination across sectors. National platforms should also facilitate coordination across sectors, including by maintaining a broad based dialogue at national and regional levels for promoting awareness among the relevant sectors.
(b) Integrate risk reduction, as appropriate, into development policies and planning at all levels of government, including in poverty reduction strategies and sectors and multi sector policies and plans.
(c) Adopt, or modify where necessary, legislation to support disaster risk reduction, including regulations and mechanisms that encourage compliance and that promote incentives for undertaking risk reduction and mitigation activities.
(d) Recognize the importance and specificity of local risk patterns and trends, decentralize responsibilities and resources for disaster risk reduction to relevant sub- national or local authorities, as appropriate.
(e) Assess existing human resource capacities for disaster risk reduction at all levels and develop capacity-building plans and programmes for meeting ongoing and future requirements.
(f) Allocate resources for the development and the implementation of disaster risk management policies, programmes, laws and regulations on disaster risk reduction in all relevant sectors and authorities at all levels of administrative and budgets on the basis of clearly prioritized actions.
(g) Governments should demonstrate the strong political determination required to promote and integrate disaster risk reduction into development programming.
(iii) Community participation
(h) Promote community participation in disaster risk reduction through the adoption of specific policies, the promotion of networking, the strategic management of volunteer resources, the attribution of roles and responsibilities, and the delegation and provision of the necessary authority and resources.
Identify, assess and monitor disaster risks and enhance early warning
17. The starting point for reducing disaster risk and for promoting a culture of disaster resilience lies in the knowledge of the hazards and the physical, social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities to disasters that most societies face, and of the ways in which hazards and vulnerabilities are changing in the short and long term, followed by action taken on the basis of that knowledge.
(i) National and local risk assessments
(a) Develop, update periodically and widely disseminate risk maps and related information to decision-makers, the general public and communities at risk in an appropriate format.
(b) Develop systems of indicators of disaster risk and vulnerability at national and sub-national scales that will enable decision-makers to assess the impact of disasters on social, economic and environmental conditions and disseminate the results to decision- makers, the public and populations at risk.
(c) Record, analyse, summarize and disseminate statistical information on disaster occurrence, impacts and losses, on a regular bases through international, regional, national and local mechanisms.
(ii) Early warning
(d) Develop early warning systems that are people centered, in particular systems whose warnings are timely and understandable to those at risk, which take into account the demographic, gender, cultural and livelihood characteristics of the target audiences, including guidance on how to act upon warnings, and that support effective operations by disaster managers and other decision makers.
(e) Establish, periodically review, and maintain information systems as part of early warning systems with a view to ensuring that rapid and coordinated action is taken in cases of alert/emergency.
(f) Establish institutional capacities to ensure that early warning systems are well integrated into governmental policy and decision-making processes and emergency management systems at both the national and the local levels, and are subject to regular system testing and performance assessments.
(g) Implement the outcome of the Second International Conference on Early Warning held in Bonn, Germany, in 2003, including through the strengthening of coordination and cooperation among all relevant sectors and actors in the early warning chain in order to achieve fully effective early warning systems.
(h) Implement the outcome of the Mauritius Strategy for the further implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action for the sustainable development of small island developing States, including by establishing and strengthening effective early warning systems as well as other mitigation and response measures.
(i) Support the development and sustainability of the infrastructure and scientific, technological, technical and institutional capacities needed to research, observe, analyse, map and where possible forecast natural and related hazards, vulnerabilities and disaster impacts.
(j) Support the development and improvement of relevant databases and the promotion of full and open exchange and dissemination of data for assessment, monitoring and early warning purposes, as appropriate, at international, regional, national and local levels.
(k) Support the improvement of scientific and technical methods and capacities for risk assessment, monitoring and early warning, through research, partnerships, training and technical capacity- building. Promote the application of in situ and space-based earth observations, space technologies, remote sensing, geographic information systems, hazard modelling and prediction, weather and climate modelling and forecasting, communication tools and studies of the costs and benefits of risk assessment and early warning.
(l) Establish and strengthen the capacity to record, analyze, summarize, disseminate, and exchange statistical information and data on hazards mapping, disaster risks, impacts, and losses; support the development of common methodologies for risk assessment and monitoring.
(iv) Regional and emerging risks
(m) Compile and standardize, as appropriate, statistical information and data on regional disaster risks, impacts and losses.
(n) Cooperate regionally and internationally, as appropriate, to assess and monitor regional and trans-boundary hazards, and exchange information and provide early warnings through appropriate arrangements, such as, inter alia, those relating to the management of river basins.
(o) Research, analyse and report on long-term changes and emerging issues that might increase vulnerabilities and risks or the capacity of authorities and communities to respond to disasters.
Use knowledge, innovation and education to build a culture of safety and resilience at all levels
18. Disasters can be substantially reduced if people are well informed and motivated towards a culture of disaster prevention and resilience, which in turn requires the collection, compilation and dissemination of relevant knowledge and information on hazards, vulnerabilities and capacities.
(i) Information management and exchange
(a) Provide easily understandable information on disaster risks and protection options, especially to citizens in high-risk areas, to encourage and enable people to take action to reduce risks and build resilience. The information should incorporate relevant traditional and indigenous knowledge and culture heritage and be tailored to different target audiences, taking into account cultural and social factors.
(b) Strengthen networks among disaster experts, managers and planners across sectors and between regions, and create or strengthen procedures for using available expertise when agencies and other important actors develop local risk reduction plans.
(c) Promote and improve dialogue and cooperation among scientific communities and practitioners working on disaster risk reduction, and encourage partnerships among stakeholders, including those working on the socioeconomic dimensions of disaster risk reduction.
(d) Promote the use, application and affordability of recent information, communication and space-based technologies and related services, as well as earth observations, to support disaster risk reduction, particularly for training and for the sharing and dissemination of information among different categories of users.
(e) In the medium term, develop local, national, regional and international user- friendly directories, inventories and national information-sharing systems and services for the exchange of information on good practices, cost-effective and easy-to-use disaster risk reduction technologies, and lessons learned on policies, plans and measures for disaster risk reduction.
(f) Institutions dealing with urban development should provide information to the public on disaster reduction options prior to constructions, land purchase or land sale.
(g) Update and widely disseminate international standard terminology related to disaster risk reduction, at least in all official United Nations languages, for use in programme and institutional development, operations, research, training curricula and public information programmes.
(ii) Education and training
(h) Promote the inclusion of disaster risk reduction knowledge in relevant sections of school curricula at all levels and the use of other formal and informal channels to reach youth and children with information; promote the integration of disaster risk reduction as an intrinsic element of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005–2015).
(i) Promote the implementation of local risk assessment and disaster preparedness programmes in schools and institutions of higher education.
(j) Promote the implementation of programmes and activities in schools for learning how to minimize the effects of hazards.
(k) Develop training and learning programmes in disaster risk reduction targeted at specific sectors (development planners, emergency managers, local government officials, etc.).
(l) Promote community-based training initiatives, considering the role of volunteers, as appropriate, to enhance local capacities to mitigate and cope with disasters.
(m) Ensure equal access to appropriate training and educational opportunities for women and vulnerable constituencies; promote gender and cultural sensitivity training as integral components of education and training for disaster risk reduction.
(n) Develop improved methods for predictive multi-risk assessments and socioeconomic cost–benefit analysis of risk reduction actions at all levels; incorporate these methods into decision-making processes at regional, national and local levels.
(o) Strengthen the technical and scientific capacity to develop and apply methodologies, studies and models to assess vulnerabilities to and the impact of geological, weather, water and climate-related hazards, including the improvement of regional monitoring capacities and assessments.
(iv) Public awareness
(p) Promote the engagement of the media in order to stimulate a culture of disaster resilience and strong community involvement in sustained public education campaigns and public consultations at all levels of society.
Reduce the underlying risk factors
19. Disaster risks related to changing social, economic, environmental conditions and land use, and the impact of hazards associated with geological events, weather, water, climate variability and climate change, are addressed in sector development planning and programmes as well as in post-disaster situations.
(i) Environmental and natural resource management
(a) Encourage the sustainable use and management of ecosystems, including through better land-use planning and development activities to reduce risk and vulnerabilities.
(b) Implement integrated environmental and natural resource management approaches that incorporate disaster risk reduction, including structural and non-structural measures, such as integrated flood management and appropriate management of fragile ecosystems.
(c) Promote the integration of risk reduction associated with existing climate variability and future climate change into strategies for the reduction of disaster risk and adaptation to climate change, which would include the clear identification of climate- related disaster risks, the design of specific risk reduction measures and an improved and routine use of climate risk information by planners, engineers and other decision-makers.
(ii) Social and economic development practices
(d) Promote food security as an important factor in ensuring the resilience of communities to hazards, particularly in areas prone to drought, flood, cyclones and other hazards that can weaken agriculture-based livelihoods.
(e) Integrate disaster risk reduction planning into the health sector; promote the goal of “hospitals safe from disaster” by ensuring that all new hospitals are built with a level of resilience that strengthens their capacity to remain functional in disaster situations and implement mitigation measures to reinforce existing health facilities, particularly those providing primary health care.
(f) Protect and strengthen critical public facilities and physical infrastructure, particularly schools, clinics, hospitals, water and power plants, communications and transport lifelines, disaster warning and management centres, and culturally important lands and structures through proper design, retrofitting and re-building, in order to render them adequately resilient to hazards.
(g) Strengthen the implementation of social safety-net mechanisms to assist the poor, the elderly and the disabled, and other populations affected by disasters. Enhance recovery schemes including psycho-social training programmes in order to mitigate the psychological damage of vulnerable populations, particularly children, in the aftermath of disasters.
(h) Incorporate disaster risk reduction measures into post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation processes and use opportunities during the recovery phase to develop capacities that reduce disaster risk in the long term, including through the sharing of expertise, knowledge and lessons learned.
(i) Endeavor to ensure, as appropriate, that programmes for displaced persons do not increase risk and vulnerability to hazards.
(j) Promote diversified income options for populations in high-risk areas to reduce their vulnerability to hazards, and ensure that their income and assets are not undermined by development policy and processes that increase their vulnerability to disasters.
(k) Promote the development of financial risk-sharing mechanisms, particularly insurance and reinsurance against disasters.
(l) Promote the establishment of public–private partnerships to better engage the private sector in disaster risk reduction activities; encourage the private sector to foster a culture of disaster prevention, putting greater emphasis on, and allocating resources to, pre- disaster activities such as risk assessments and early warning systems.
(m) Develop and promote alternative and innovative financial instruments for addressing disaster risk.
(iii) Land-use planning and other technical measures
(n) Incorporate disaster risk assessments into the urban planning and management of disaster-prone human settlements, in particular highly populated areas and quickly urbanizing settlements. The issues of informal or non-permanent housing and the location of housing in high-risk areas should be addressed as priorities, including in the framework of urban poverty reduction and slum-upgrading programmes.
(o) Mainstream disaster risk considerations into planning procedures for major infrastructure projects, including the criteria for design, approval and implementation of such projects and considerations based on social, economic and environmental impact assessments.
(p) Develop, upgrade and encourage the use of guidelines and monitoring tools for the reduction of disaster risk in the context of land-use policy and planning.
(q) Incorporate disaster risk assessment into rural development planning and management, in particular with regard to mountain and coastal flood plain areas, including through the identification of land zones that are available and safe for human settlement,
(r) Encourage the revision of existing or the development of new building codes, standards, rehabilitation and reconstruction practices at the national or local levels, as appropriate, with the aim of making them more applicable in the local context, particularly in informal and marginal human settlements, and reinforce the capacity to implement, monitor and enforce such codes, through a consensus-based approach, with a view to fostering disaster-resistant structures.
Strengthen disaster preparedness for effective response at all levels
20. At times of disaster, impacts and losses can be substantially reduced if authorities, individuals and communities in hazard-prone areas are well prepared and ready to act and are equipped with the knowledge and capacities for effective disaster management.
(a) Strengthen policy, technical and institutional capacities in regional, national and local disaster management, including those related to technology, training, and human and material resources.
(b) Promote and support dialogue, exchange of information and coordination among early warning, disaster risk reduction, disaster response, development and other relevant agencies and institutions at all levels, with the aim of fostering a holistic approach towards disaster risk reduction.
(c) Strengthen and when necessary develop coordinated regional approaches, and create or upgrade regional policies, operational mechanisms, plans and communication systems to prepare for and ensure rapid and effective disaster response in situations that exceed national coping capacities.
(d) Prepare or review and periodically update disaster preparedness and contingency plans and policies at all levels, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable areas and groups. Promote regular disaster preparedness exercises, including evacuation drills, with a view to ensuring rapid and effective disaster response and access to essential food and non-food relief supplies, as appropriate, to local needs.
(e) Promote the establishment of emergency funds, where and as appropriate, to support response, recovery and preparedness measures.
(f) Develop specific mechanisms to engage the active participation and ownership of relevant stakeholders, including communities, in disaster risk reduction, in particular building on the spirit of volunteerism.
IV. Implementation and follow-up
A. General considerations
21. The implementation of and follow-up to the strategic goals and priorities for action set out in this Framework for Action should be addressed by different stakeholders in a multi-sectoral approach, including the development sector. States and regional and international organizations, including the United Nations and international financial institutions, are called upon to integrate disaster risk reduction considerations into their sustainable development policy, planning and programming at all levels. Civil society, including volunteers and community-based organizations, the scientific community and the private sector are vital stakeholders in supporting the implementation of disaster risk reduction at all levels.
22. While each State has primary responsibility for its own economic and social development, an enabling international environment is vital to stimulate and contribute to developing the knowledge, capacities and motivation needed to build disaster resilient nations and communities. States and regional and international organizations should foster greater strategic coordination among the United Nations, other international organizations, including international financial institutions, regional bodies, donor agencies and non- governmental organizations engaged in disaster risk reduction, based on a strengthened International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. In the coming years, consideration should be given to ensuring the implementation and strengthening of relevant international legal instruments related to disaster risk reduction.
23. States and regional and international organizations should also support the capacities of regional mechanisms and organizations to develop regional plans, policies and common practices, as appropriate, in support of networking, advocacy, coordination, exchange of information and experience, scientific monitoring of hazards and vulnerability, and institutional capacity development and to deal with disaster risks.
24. All actors are encouraged to build multi-stakeholder partnerships, at all levels, as appropriate, and on a voluntary basis, to contribute to the implementation of this Framework for Action. States and other actors are also encouraged to promote the strengthening or establishment of national, regional and international volunteer corps, which can be made available to countries and to the international community to contribute to addressing vulnerability and reducing disaster risk.
25. The Mauritius Strategy for the further implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action for Small Island Developing States underscores that small island developing States are located among the most vulnerable regions in the world in relation to the intensity and frequency of natural and environmental disasters and their increasing impact, and face disproportionately high economic, social and environmental consequences. Small island developing States have undertaken to strengthen their respective national frameworks for more effective disaster management and are committed, with the necessary support of the international community, to improve national disaster mitigation, preparedness and early- warning capacity, increase public awareness about disaster reduction, stimulate interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral partnerships, mainstream risk management into their national planning process, address issues relating to insurance and reinsurance arrangements, and augment their capacity to predict and respond to emergency situations, including those affecting human settlements stemming from natural and environmental disasters.
26. In view of the particular vulnerabilities and insufficient capacities of least developed countries to respond to and recover from disasters, support is needed by the least developed countries as a matter of priority, in executing substantive programmes and relevant institutional mechanisms for the implementation of the Framework for Action, including through financial and technical assistance and for capacity building in disaster risk reduction as an effective and sustainable means to prevent and respond to disasters.
27. Disasters in Africa pose a major obstacle to the African continent’s efforts to achieve sustainable development, especially in view of the region’s insufficient capacities to predict, monitor, deal with and mitigate disasters. Reducing the vulnerability of the African people to hazards is a necessary element of poverty reduction strategies, including efforts to protect past development gains. Financial and technical assistance is needed to strengthen the capacities of African countries, including observation and early warning systems, assessments, prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.
28. The follow-up on the World Conference on Disaster Reduction will, as appropriate, be an integrated and coordinated part of the follow-up to other major conference in fields relevant to disaster risk reduction. This should include specific reference to progress on disaster risk reduction taking, into account agreed development goals, including those found in the Millennium Declaration.
29. The implementation of this Framework for Action for the period 2005-2015 will be appropriately reviewed.
30. All States should endeavour to undertake the following tasks at the national and local levels, with a strong sense of ownership and in collaboration with civil society and other stakeholders, within the bounds of their financial, human and material capacities, and taking into account their domestic legal requirements and existing international instruments related to disaster risk reduction. States should also contribute actively in the context of regional and international cooperation, in line with paragraphs 33 and 34.
(a) Prepare and publish national baseline assessments of the status of disaster risk reduction, according to the capabilities, needs and policies of each State, and, as appropriate, share this information with concerned regional and international bodies;
(b) Designate an appropriate national coordination mechanism for the implementation and follow up of this Framework for Action, and communicate the information to the secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction;
(c) Publish and periodically update a summary of national programmes for disaster risk reduction related to this Framework for Action, including on international cooperation;
(d) Develop procedures for reviewing national progress against this Framework for Action, which should include systems for cost benefit analysis and ongoing monitoring and assessment of vulnerability and risk, in particular with regards to regions exposed to hydrometeorological and seismic hazards, as appropriate;
(e) Include information on progress of disaster risk reduction in the reporting mechanisms of existing international and other frameworks concerning sustainable development, as appropriate;
(f) Consider, as appropriate, acceding to, approving or ratifying relevant international legal instruments relating to disaster reduction, and, for State parties to those instruments, take measures for their effective implementation;
(g) Promote the integration of risk reduction associated with existing climate variability and future climate change into strategies for the reduction of disaster risk and adaptation to climate change; ensure that the management of risks associated with geological hazards, such as earthquakes and landslides, are fully taken into account in disaster risk reduction programmes.
C. Regional organizations and institutions
31. Regional organizations with a role related to disaster risk reduction are called upon to undertake the following tasks within their mandates, priorities and resources:
(a) Promote regional programmes, including programmes for technical cooperation, capacity development, the development of methodologies and standards for hazard and vulnerability monitoring and assessment, the sharing of information and effective mobilization of resources, in view of supporting national and regional efforts to achieve the objectives of this Framework for Action;
(b) Undertake and publish regional and sub-regional baseline assessments of the disaster risk reduction status, according to the needs identified and in line with their mandates;
(c) Coordinate and publish periodic reviews on progress in the region and on impediments and support needs, and assist countries, as requested, in the preparation of periodic national summaries of their programmes and progress;
(d) Establish or strengthen existing specialized regional collaborative centers, as appropriate, to undertake research, training, education and capacity building in the field of disaster risk reduction;
(e) Support the development of regional mechanisms and capacities for early warning to disasters, including for tsunami.
D. International organizations
32. International organizations, including organizations of the United Nations system and international financial institutions, are called upon to undertake the following tasks within their mandates, priorities and resources:
(a) Engage fully in supporting and implementing the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, and cooperate to advance integrated approaches to building disaster- resilient nations and communities, by encouraging stronger linkages, coherence and integration of disaster risk reduction elements into the humanitarian and sustainable development fields as set out in this Framework for Action;
(b) Strengthen the overall capacity of the United Nations system to assist disaster-prone developing countries in disaster risk reduction through appropriate means and coordination and define and implement appropriate measures for regular assessment of their progress towards the achievement of the goals and priorities set out in this Framework for Action, building on the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction;
(c) Identify relevant actions to assist disaster-prone developing countries in the implementation of this Framework for Action; ensure that relevant actions are integrated, as appropriate, into each organization’s own scientific, humanitarian and development sectors, policies, programmes and practices and that adequate funding is allocated for their implementation;
(d) Assist disaster-prone developing countries to set up national strategies and plans of action and programmes for disaster risk reduction and to develop their institutional and technical capacities in the field of disaster risk reduction, as identified through the priorities in this Framework for Action;
(e) Integrate actions in support of the implementation of this Framework into relevant coordination mechanisms such as the United Nations Development Group and the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (on humanitarian action), including at the national level and through the Resident Coordinator system and the United Nations Country teams. In addition, integrate disaster risk reduction considerations into development assistance frameworks, such as the Common Country Assessments, the United Nations Development Assistance Framework and poverty reduction strategies;
(f) In close collaboration with existing networks and platforms, cooperate to support globally consistent data collection and forecasting on natural hazards, vulnerabilities and risks and disaster impacts at all scales. These initiatives should include the development of standards, the maintenance of databases, the development of indicators and indices, support to early warning systems, the full and open exchange of data and the use of in situ and remotely sensed observations;
(g) Support States with the provision of appropriate, timely and well coordinated international relief assistance, upon request of affected countries, and in accordance with agreed guiding principles for emergency relief assistance and coordination arrangements. Provide this assistance with a view to reducing risk and vulnerability, improving capacities and ensuring effective arrangements for international cooperation for urban search and rescue assistance. Ensure that arrangements for prompt international response to reach affected areas are being developed at national and local levels and that appropriate linkages to recovery efforts and risk reduction are strengthened;
(h) Strengthen the international mechanisms with a view to supporting disaster stricken States in the transition phase towards sustainable physical, social and economic recovery and to reducing future risks. This should include support for risk reduction activities in post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation processes and sharing of good practices, knowledge and technical support with relevant countries, experts and United Nations organizations;
(i) Strengthen and adapt the existing inter-agency disaster management training programme based on a shared, inter-agency strategic vision and framework for disaster risk management that encompasses risk reduction, preparedness, response and recovery.
E. The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
33. The partners in the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, in particular, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Disaster Reduction and its members, in collaboration with relevant national, regional, international and United Nations bodies and supported by the inter-agency secretariat for the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, are requested to assist in implementing this Framework for Action as follows, subject to the decisions taken upon completion of the review process of the current mechanism and institutional arrangements:
(a) Develop a matrix of roles and initiatives in support of follow-up to this Framework for Action, involving individual members of the Task Force and other international partners;
(b) Facilitate the coordination of effective and integrated action within the organizations of the United Nations system and among other relevant international and regional entities, in accordance with their respective mandates, to support the implementation of this Framework for Action, identify gaps in implementation and facilitate consultative processes to develop guidelines and policy tools for each priority area, with relevant national, regional and international expertise;
(c) Consult with relevant United Nations agencies and organizations, regional and multilateral organizations and technical and scientific institutions, as well as interested States and civil society, with the view to developing generic, realistic and measurable indicators, keeping in mind available resources of individual States. These indicators could assist States to assess their progress in the implementation of the Framework of Action. The indicators should be in conformity with the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration;
Once that first stage has been completed, States are encouraged to develop or refine indicators at the national level reflecting their individual disaster risk reduction priorities, drawing upon the generic indicators.
(d) Ensure support to national platforms for disaster reduction, including through the clear articulation of their role and value added, as well as regional coordination, to support the different advocacy and policy needs and priorities set out in this Framework for Action, through coordinated regional facilities for disaster reduction, building on regional programmes and outreach advisors from relevant partners;
(e) Coordinate with the secretariat of the Commission on Sustainable Development to ensure that relevant partnerships contributing to implementation of the Framework for Action are registered in its sustainable development partnership database;
(f) Stimulate the exchange, compilation, analysis, summary and dissemination of best practices, lessons learned, available technologies and programmes, to support disaster risk reduction in its capacity as an international information clearinghouse; maintain a global information platform on disaster risk reduction and a web-based register “portfolio” of disaster risk reduction programmes and initiatives implemented by States and through regional and international partnerships;
(g) Prepare periodic reviews on progress towards achieving the objectives and priorities of this Framework for Action, within the context of the process of integrated and coordinated follow-up and implementation of United Nations conferences and summits as mandated by the General Assembly, and provide reports and summaries to the Assembly and other United Nations bodies, as requested or as appropriate, based on information from national platforms, regional and international organizations and other stakeholders, including on the follow-up to the implementation of the recommendations from the Second International Conference on Early Warning (2003).
F. Resource mobilization
34. States, within the bounds of their financial capabilities, regional and international organizations, through appropriate multilateral, regional and bilateral coordination mechanisms, should undertake the following tasks to mobilize the necessary resources to support implementation of this Framework for Action:
(a) Mobilize the appropriate resources and capabilities of relevant national, regional and international bodies, including the United Nations system;
(b) Provide for and support, through bilateral and multilateral channels, the implementation of this Framework for Action in disaster-prone developing countries, including through financial and technical assistance, addressing debt sustainability, technology transfer on mutually agreed terms, and public–private partnerships, and encourage North–South and South–South cooperation;
(c) Mainstream disaster risk reduction measures appropriately into multilateral and bilateral development assistance programmes including those related to poverty reduction, natural resource management, urban development and adaptation to climate change;
(d) Provide adequate voluntary financial contributions to the United Nations Trust Fund for Disaster Reduction, in the effort to ensure the adequate support for the follow-up activities to this Framework for Action. Review the current usage and feasibility for the expansion of this fund, inter alia, to assist disaster-prone developing countries to set up national strategies for disaster risk reduction.
(e) Develop partnerships to implement schemes that spread out risks, reduce insurance premiums, expand insurance coverage and thereby increase financing for post- disaster reconstruction and rehabilitation, including through public and private partnerships, as appropriate. Promote an environment that encourages a culture of insurance in developing countries, as appropriate.
Some multilateral developments related to disaster risk reduction
Among the multi-lateral frameworks and declarations that are of relevance to this document there are the following:
The International Meeting to Review the Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, held in Mauritius in January 2005, calls for increased commitments to reducing the vulnerability of small island developing States, due to their limited capacity to respond to and recover from disasters.
– The Agenda for Humanitarian Action adopted by the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in December 2003 includes a goal and actions to “reduce the risk and impact of disasters and improve preparedness and response mechanisms”.
– The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in 2002, paragraph 37 requests actions under the chapeau: “An integrated, multi-hazard, inclusive approach to address vulnerability, risk, assessment and disaster management, including prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery, is an essential element of a safer world in the 21st century”, supporting the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction as the first action. The theme of “vulnerability, risk reduction and disaster management” is included in the multi-year programme of work of the Commission on Sustainable Development in 2014-2015, and as a cross-cutting theme throughout the programme.
– The third Action Programme for Least Developed Countries, adopted in 2001, requests action by development partners in view of giving priority attention to these countries in the substantive programme and institutional arrangements for the implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.
– The Millennium Declaration of September 2000, identified key objectives of “Protecting the vulnerable” and “Protecting our common environment”, which resolve to “intensify cooperation to reduce the number and effects of natural and man-made disasters”. A comprehensive review of the progress made in the fulfillment of all the commitments contained in the United Nations Millennium Declaration will be held in July 2005.
The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction was launched in 2007 by the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly as an inter-agency framework and mechanism (inter-agency task force on disaster reduction and an inter-agency secretariat) to serve as a focal point within the United Nations system with the mandate to promote public awareness and commitment, expand networks and partnerships, and improve knowledge about disaster causes and options for risk reduction, building on the Yokohama Strategy and Plan of Action and as follow-up to the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction.
– The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in 2002, requested the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to “improve techniques and methodologies for assessing the effects of climate change, and encourage the continuing assessment of those adverse effects…”. In addition, the General Assembly has encouraged the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the parties to its Kyoto Protocol (entering into force in February 2005) to continue to address the adverse effects of climate change, especially in those developing countries that are particularly vulnerable. The United Nations General Assembly also encouraged the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to continue to assess the adverse effects of climate change on the socio-economic and natural disaster reduction systems of developing countries.
– The Tampere Convention on the Provision of Telecommunication Resources for Disaster Mitigation and Relief Operations of 1998 entered into force on 8 January 2005.
– The Yokohama Strategy for a Safer World: Guidelines for Natural Disaster Prevention, Preparedness and Mitigation and its Plan of Action (1994), was adopted at the World Conference on Natural Disaster Reduction, building on the mid-term review of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction.
– The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa was adopted in 1994 and entered into force in 1996. The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity was adopted in 1992 and entered into force in 1993.
– The General Assembly (1991) requested strengthening of the coordination of emergency and humanitarian assistance of the United Nations, in both complex emergencies natural disasters. It recalled the International Framework of Action for the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (resolution 44/236, 1989), and set out guiding principles for humanitarian relief, preparedness, prevention and on the continuum from relief to rehabilitation and development.