Community-based disaster risk management (CBDRM) represents a fundamental part for any strategy on disaster management towards sustainable development. Acknowledging this, and the importance to address the intrinsic relationship between disaster reduction, sustainable development and poverty eradication, and the value of involving all stakeholders, a Regional Initiative on Community-based Disaster Risk Management for Asia and the Pacific was launched at the Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific (24-29 March 2005, Seoul, Republic of Korea).
The initiative aims at promoting CBDRM in the Asia-Pacific Region, and focuses on three inter-related areas of activity:
- Best practices in CBDRM for sustainable economic growth to improve the knowledge base on building the resilience of nations and communities, based on public-private sector partnership, to natural disasters for poverty eradication and sustainable development, to promote the use of indigenous and advance technologies, including ICT, for disaster risk management at the grass-root level, and to provide success stories to support policy development and strategy implementation of green growth;
- Partnership on CBDRM for sustainable development to stimulate debate, coalition-building and action towards building resilient communities to natural disasters at the local, national and regional levels to promote integration of these local activities into emerging global trends on disaster risk management for sustainable development, especially in the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015; and
- Indicators on integration of CBDRM into socio-economic development process to develop appropriate vulnerability indicators for measuring the resilience of communities to natural disasters to provide possible guidance for policy and strategy development on sustainable development, and to strengthen capacity in monitoring and assessing poverty-eradication policy outcomes within the framework of national poverty monitoring systems.
Work in each of these core areas is being carried out directly by UNESCAP in cooperation with other international organizations, such as ADPC, ECHO, ISDR, ADRC and UNDP or indirectly through the framework of the International Strategy on Disaster Reduction in cooperation with other institutions.
Building on this foundation and in response to the tragic impacts of the Tsunami, the Asia Partnership on ISDR which was initiated by ISDR/ADPC/ADRC/UNDP/UNESCAP will develop a regional programme to mobilize participation of countries, international organizations and civil societies to support the initiative as part of the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015.