The Disaster Risk Reduction Section is one of the major pillars in IDD Division. It was established pursuant to ESCAP commission resolution 64/1 endorsed in April 2008. The Resolution 64/1 had requested ESCAP to restructure the conference structure of the commission, thus, total 8 committees were established. Amongst others, the Committee on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) were formed. The newly established Information, Communications Technology & Disaster Risk Reduction Division (IDD) is responsible for servicing the Committee on Information and Communications Technology and the Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction.
Asia Pacific is the most disaster prone region and most seriously affected by natural disasters of many types: floods, droughts and meteorological, seismic, geological, maritime and ecological disasters, as well as forest and grassland fires. Many member states of ESCAP are developing countries, which had experienced higher levels of mortality in disasters. For instance, of the 10 most affected countries in 2007, in terms of number of victims, six are in Asia, namely, Bangladesh, China, India, Pakistan, Philippines and Viet Nam.
Amongst the major objectives of DRR section are:
Policy options and strategies on multi-hazard disaster risk reduction and mitigation
Regional cooperation mechanism for disaster risk management, including space and other technical support systems
Multi-hazard assessment, preparedness, early warning and response to disaster risk
The programs related to DRR are currently guided by the Hyogo Declaration and the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 with the objectives to building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters, adopted by the World Conference on Disaster Reduction, held in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan from 18-22 January 2005. The Hyogo Declaration emphasized the need for strengthening and when necessary, developing coordinated regional approaches and creating or upgrading regional policies, operational mechanisms, plans and communication systems, where appropriate, in order to prepare for and ensure rapid and effective disaster response in situations that exceed national capacities to cope with such situations.
The First Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) held in 2005, Beijing, the 2nd AMCDRR held in New Delhi in 2007 and the 3rd AMCDRR held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in December 2008 had provided guidelines to IDD to promote knowledge, good practices and continues to strengthen partnerships with various regional organizations and institutions on disaster risk reduction.