Portugal has subscribed to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) in 2005 and has, since then, taken concrete steps to integrate and streamline disaster risk reduction in its national development strategies. Furthermore, recognizing the importance of disaster risk reduction for the promotion of sustainable economic growth and progress, Portugal has sought to include Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) concerns in its development and humanitarian aid policies, in particular in the bilateral cooperation maintained in this regard with African Portuguese speaking countries.
The need for increased coordination among the relevant stakeholders has led Portugal to institutionalize the informal settings that were used to promote DRR. The establishment of the Portuguese National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, in May 2010, constitutes a firm step towards better coordination of prevention, preparedness, and response activities.
The Platform, created under the auspices of the National Authority for Civil Protection, is composed by the following authorities:
- Ministries of: Defence; Justice; Environment and Land Planning; Economy; Agriculture; Rural Development and Fisheries; Public Works, Transportation and Communications; Working and Social Security; Health; Science, Technology and Higher Education
- President of the National Authority for Civil Protection
- National Association of Portuguese Municipalities
- National Association of Portuguese Parishes
- General Staff of Armed Forces
- National Guard
- Humanitarian Associations of Voluntary Fire-Fighters
- Association of Professional Fire-Fighters
- Public Security Police
- Judiciary Police
- National Council for Civil Emergency Planning
- Security Coordination Office
- Maritime and Aeronautical Authorities
- National Institute for Medical Emergency
- Madeira and the Azores Regional Governments
The competent ministries and agencies will execute their activities using their budget.
The vision of the Platform is the coordination of the politics and institutions to reduce risk and promote safety of the populations, heritage and environment, and the integration of DRR in programs of prevention, preparedness and response. This means that DDR will be integrated in the decision policies at all levels, administration and in the private sector, and activities to reduce impacts caused by natural disasters will be encouraged.
Planned activities for 2011 and 2012 have the goal to achieve the HFA and take into account the Mid-Term Review process.
Portugal remains engaged in the reinforcement of the links between DRR and climate change adaptation, as we believe global warming is one of the reasons for the increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events in the past decades.