The Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) was developed to guide efforts on disaster-risk reduction in the period between 2005 and 2015. In its resolution of 12 March 2013 (A/RES/67/209) the United Nations General Assembly decided “to convene the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, in Japan, in early 2015 to review the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action and to adopt a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction.” In this resolution, the General Assembly requested the Secretariat of UNISDR to serve as the Secretariat of the Conference, to facilitate the development of a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction and to coordinate the preparatory activities in consultation with all relevant stakeholders.
Towards a post-2015 framework
Throughout 2013 and 2014, the Secretariat of UNISDR has been conducting a variety of activities as a way to begin outlining the post-2015 framework for disaster-risk reduction. These include Ministerial Conferences and Summits, national and regional workshops, dedicated discussions during the 2013 session of the Global Platform for Disaster-Risk Reduction and consultations with Member States. The aim of these activities is to gather comments and suggestions from all stakeholders worldwide as a way to develop the post-2015 framework.
The Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) will take place in Sendai, Japan, in March 2015. The conference will serve as the venue for Member States to finalize the post-2015 framework and to launch it. In addition, the conference will include working sessions and a public forum.
Goals of the post-2015 framework
The proposed framework is expected to lead to a substantial reduction of disaster losses, in loss of lives, and in the social, economic and environmental assets of communities and countries. As in the case of the HFA, the new framework will continue to endorse the view that the primary responsibility to manage disaster-risk rests with Member States. The framework will highlight three types of mutually-supportive goals:
- Prevent the creation of new risk by the adoption of risk-informed growth and development pathways that minimise increase in exposure and vulnerability;
- Reduce existing risk through the action that addresses and reduces exposure and vulnerability, including preparedness for disaster response;
- Strengthen resilience by social and economic measures that enable countries and people to absorb loss, minimise impact and recover.
Monitoring and Evaluation for disaster risk reduction
The proposed framework is expected to include a set of targets to be agreed upon by Member States and a monitoring and evaluation system as a way for countries to assess their advances. Monitoring and evaluation are to be conducted using a tailor-made system developed by the Secretariat of UNISDR and agreed upon by Member States.
Furthermore, it is expected that the framework will revitalize the Scientific and Technical Committee which the General Assembly had established in 1989. This Committee is foreseen to act as an international science advisory mechanism to strengthen the evidence base in support of the implementation and monitoring of this framework; to promote scientific research into disaster-risk patterns and trends and the causes and effects of disaster-risk in society; to promote and support the availability and application of science to decision-making; and to use post-disaster reviews as opportunities to learn and enhance public policy.
Fostering international cooperation - the role of UN-SPIDER
In addition, the proposed framework will request regional and international organizations to support countries and other stakeholders in the implementation of this framework, including the development of relevant sector policies and standards, monitoring mechanisms and the strengthening of capacities.
As a way to engage itself in this global effort headed by UNISDR, UN-SPIDER has been conducting several activities throughout 2014 including side events in Ministerial Conferences, dedicated discussion sessions in its international expert meetings and conferences, and participation in the Preparatory Meetings organised by UNISDR related to the WCDRR.
UN-SPIDER is working with other international and regional organizations, space agencies, and national civil protection agencies to develop and implement a plan of work for the next decade focusing on the use of space-based applications that will be tailored to the new framework.
During its United Nations/Germany Expert Meeting on the use of space technologies for flood and drought monitoring, UN-SPIDER and its partners elaborated a two-pager, summarizing key messages on the importance of space-based information for the post-2015 framework on disaster-risk reduction.
Additional efforts include the coordination of a side event to be conducted during the WCDRR with more than 10 national, regional and international organizations, focusing on the use of Earth observations to support national and local disaster-risk reduction initiatives.