The intersection of COVID-19 and extreme climate events reminds us once again the shared vulnerabilities of South Asia and urgency of sub-regional actions to address the crisis. In this context, on 9 July 2020, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) convened a virtual High-Level Policy Dialogue - COVID-19 and South Asia: Socio Economic Impacts, National Strategies and Subregional Cooperation for Building Back Better. One of the key recommendations from the dialogue is to scale up the regional cooperation in building back better through building subregional platforms in coordination with SAARC and BIMSTEC secretariats and other development partners.
Additionally, two key intergovernmental platforms have noted the need to address the shared hotspots of disaster and climate impacts in the subregion.
During the Sixth Session of ESCAP’s Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction in August 2019, member States established the Asia Pacific Disaster Resilience Network (APDRN) to address the shared vulnerabilities in multi-hazard risk hotspots including those in South Asia. The core of this network is the regional platform for multi-hazard early warning systems supported by the key partners in the region. In parallel, during the Third South Asia Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Forum’s session on climate and disaster resilience, held in Dhaka in December 2019, member Countries from South Asia requested ESCAP to facilitate the integration of climate and disaster risks into development planning processes. The specific recommendations include a twin track strategy to begin with (1) 2 ESCAP joining the South Asia Hydromet Forum (SAHF)1 and (2) linking the SAHF to the South Asia SDG forum.
To address the needs of the member States, ESCAP with partners has been engaging in a multi-part webinar series to discuss building resilience to cascading disasters in South Asia. Critical recommendations on sub-regional cooperation to manage cascading risks have emerged from the webinars.
In the backdrop of the Fourth South Asia Forum on SDGs, this special dialogue on Disaster and Climate Resilience in South Asia aims to take forward these recommendations and discuss the optimal ways to implement these recommendations in an integrated and systemic manner.
The High-level Panel of the event will have ministers from South Asia deliberate policy messages and outstanding issues on disaster and climate resilience.
The Experts Panel: with multi-sectoral experts will discuss the way forward, particularly through the linkages between the Climate service forums and the South Asia Forum on SDGs.
Additional information is provided in the Programme.
- Working paper on Scenario based risk analytics to manage cascading risks
- Pathways of cascading risks
- Policy study on investing in innovative soultions for cascading disasters
- Draft Summary for policymakers
- Scenario - Special high level event on disaster and climate resilience
- Executive Secretary Speech - Special High-Level Event on Disaster and Climate Resilience in South Asia