The current global policy landscape offers strategic opportunities to mobilize regional policy action for resilience-building much more strongly than in the past.
First, disaster risk reduction and resilience is one of the common thrusts across the global development frameworks adopted between 2015 and 2016, namely the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030; 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; Agenda for Humanity; and the New Urban Agenda.
Second, disaster risk reduction targets have been embedded across the Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal 1 (end poverty), 2 (end hunger), Goal 9 (resilient infrastructure), Goal 11 (sustainable cities and communities), and Goal 13 (climate action). This integration can potentially scale-up the progress that has been already achieved in building risk reduction measures into broader planning and development. With its focus on ‘leaving no one behind,’ the 2030 Agenda in its entirety can also be leveraged to stimulate stronger action towards addressing the root causes of people’s vulnerability to disasters.
Third, with climate change reconfiguring the geography of risks, disasters increasingly know no border. This makes policy action, based on a regional cooperative basis, an imperative.
Translating these opportunities into results on the ground demands that countries and stakeholders improve their capacities, retool their technical and institutional systems, forge new partnerships, and mobilize new investments.
ESCAP member States have responded decisively by leveraging the convergence between the Sendai Framework and the 2030 Agenda. The Regional road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific identifies disaster risk reduction and resilience as one of the priority areas of regional cooperation. Just a few months after the adoption of Sendai Framework, the ESCAP Commission adopted resolution 71/12 which calls for strengthening regional mechanisms for the implementation of the Sendai Framework. This was followed by resolution 73/7 which requests the ESCAP Executive Secretary to “accord priority to synchronizing multi-disciplinary support to member States in the mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction in their development strategies, in line with the Sendai Framework and with the Sustainable Development Goals and targets relating to disaster risk reduction.”
In response to these mandates, ESCAP is holding the first Disaster Resilience Week from 9 to 12 October 2017. The Week will see the launch of the Asia-Pacific Disaster Report 2017 and based on the key findings, this Week will serve as a platform for dialogue and peer learning to support the implementation of the Sendai Framework and SDG targets relating to resilience and disaster risk reduction. The Disaster Resilience Week will focus on:
- Coherence between the 2030 Agenda and Sendai Framework
- Regional cooperation in multi-hazard early warning systems
- Disaster information and knowledge management
- Applications of space technology and geographic information systems for disaster risk reduction and SDG monitoring
- Disaster risk financing
The various events will help enrich the deliberations of the ESCAP Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction (CDRR) — the key platform for regional dialogue and intergovernmental collaboration on disaster risk reduction — which will convene its fifth session during the Week, from 10 to 12 October.