What are opportunities & challenges in the consultation process described in the background paper?
  • Good morning to those in Asia,

    This is the second question in this first round, whose full title reads as follows
    " What are opportunities and challenges in the planned consultation process, as described in the background paper? What, if any, are the key elements missing?"

    Please down load the background paper entitled “Towards a Post -2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction” available at http://preventionweb.net/go/25129.

    The discussions on the first question prepare us well for this new thread.

    Lets have a free flowing and frank exchange.



  • Opportunities: DRR concept and practice started getting more and more attention by different actors including the vulnerable community members and policy makers. There are different initiatives and projects throughout the world on the same which come with learning, and challenges. Identifying and participating these stakeholders of DRR will help to generate more information including areas of improvement.

    Challenges: The challenge may be how to summarize the knowledge and learning as many ideas may be coming.

  • well as per my understanding is concerned,the main thing in any situation is discussions and dialouges.First you need to come to a point of agreement,where all stakeholders agreed that this is what we are looking for or this is what we want to achieve.
    To get people aware of DRR we need to develop a culture of self responsibility in our society.Once we able to do that then the culture will be adopted itself by everyone.
    By involwing all stakholders in the process known as consultative process and to assigned some specific duties to them and ensure the application of those duties will depend on effective coordination.
    Planned coordination give you an opportunity to prepared well for the event,but at the same time any emergency situation can wrap up the planned activity. I personally think that it is a very good effort and if we are able to coordinate effectively i am sure that we can face any disaster situation,i must say even can avoid any huge disruption.
  • A key opportunity is getting DRR / community resilience 'hardwired' into the post MDG framework. This consultation will be instrumental in informing the wider post 2015 discussions. Without an adequate focus on risk, development will never become sustainable, and risks are increasing, so any successor to the MDGs must be strong on this point.

    A key threat is understanding how to address risk in a changing context - peak oil, climate change and economic change will fundamentally influence the way we address risk, and is in many ways poorly understood, and we are not quite sure what might be coming our way. Our efforts must take flexibility and adaptability onto account. The links between CCA and DRR must be reinforced. We often talk about increasing investment in DRR, but in the midst of a global economic crisis, to what extent is this actually possible? We all know that climate change and environmental degradation will only exacerbate risk, but the commitment to properly address these issues seems insufficient - as we saw in Rio +20.
  • Dear Loy and everyone,

    Thanks once again to the ISDR for taking this initiative.

    Just some brief notes on challenges which are also opportunities which I feel needs attention now and post-HFA:
    1. Capacity development in DRR (we all "talk-the-talk" but actual application skills are severely lacking. This even goes for certain senior UN Officials who cannot even define DRR - see the study of Hagelsteen in 2009 - Hagelsteen, M., 2009, Capacity Development for Disaster Risk Reduction: Bridging Theory and Practice, University of Copenhagen and Lund University, (MDMa Thesis).) Linked to this is a sever lack of knowledge at local/community level on DRR. That said we must realise DRR is a very abstract term if you are not working with it full time.
    2. The DRR - Climate Change Adaptation link. There is more than enough research that suggest that governments are still not making the link between the two. DRR and CCA are normally given to two totally different sectors with little to no integration.
    3. Urban risk issues remain under-researched and we have not come to terms with the dynamics involved.
    4. Seeing DRR as a transdisciplinary issue and not a discipline in itself. We must do away with the notion of natural and (hu)man made "disasters". Hazards and vulnerabilities being looked at by many disciplines and professional constituencies, linked to local knowledge and understanding of the real world problem, are key.
    5. The whole international economic and political economic system which drives disaster risk. How much longer will be ignore the elephant in the room? But is this a discussion and solution beyond our reach?
    6. DRR as a human right. Some interesting discussions via the RADIX mailing list in this regard over the past few months.
    7. Issues of gender and marginalisation in DRR. Ben Wisner and JC Gaillard were guest editors to a special edition of Jamba: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies in which they looked at "neglected disasters" - see http://jamba.org.za/index.php/jamba/issue/view/4).
    8. A huge opportunity is to build on the existing national platform model which many countries have adopted.

    I think I should stop now...

  • The application of communication technology to facilitate the discussion as we are doing in this consultation is a great opportunity. One of the challenges is to consider the implications of population aging, a world-wide trend, for DRR. It will be helpful to engage participants who can speak to this issue in the consultation.
  • The world is aging. The number of older people is in growth trend specially because of improvement in way of life. There issues should/and possibly our future issue in DRR should be discussed in depth.

    Tesfaye, HelpAge International in Ethiopia

    The application of communication technology to facilitate the discussion as we are doing in this consultation is a great opportunity. One of the challenges is to consider the implications of population aging, a world-wide trend, for DRR. It will be helpful to engage participants who can speak to this issue in the consultation.

  • I think there is consensus about what is required. What research and practice has taught during the decade of the IDNDR and the near decade of the current HFA has reinforced knowledge that has been available since the 1970s.

    1. Root causes of disaster vulnerability and the blockage of ordinary people's capacities for self protection are much deeper than those listed under HFA's Priority Area 4.

    2. People's own knowledge is vital to DRR, but its full mobilisation requires central government funding for local government and civil society in order engage with local knowledge not in pilot projects but as wholesale, widespread, respectful 'dialogue' between local knowledge and outside specialist knowledge. So far under the HFA lip service has been given to 'community participation' but the balance still tends toward agency trust in 'outside', 'top down' diffusion of innovation.

    3. At the local scale, people experience climate change, disaster risk and failed human development as one interconnected set of processes, challenges and opportunities. It is absolutely essential to avoid growing cynicism about government and 'development' to integrate fully policies that improve access to infrastructure (health care, water points, cattle dips, schools, markets, courts), policies that improve livelihoods, policies that reduce disaster risk, and policies that assist adaptation to climate change.

    4. Items 1-3 require transparent and accountable governance. Research shows that currently land grabs, water grabs and displacements of herders, forest dwellers and small farmers are being justified by some of the governments signed up to the HFA under the smokescreen of 'climate threat'.

    5. Finally, items 1-4 are only possible if the UNISDR is abolished after 2015, and the combined functions suggested in 1-4 are transferred to the UNDP. UNDP is the logical place for a full integration of DRR, CCA, good governance and livelihood promotion. This integration has been implied from the creation of the Human Development Index and its evolution and by UNDP's concept of 'human security'. Transfer and consolidation of these functions will safe money and be more effective.

    The President of Senegal just announced a move to eliminate the upper house of Senegal's legislature and other measures to free up funding for flood prevention. In that novel and refreshing spirit, all concerned with DRR, CCA and human development should thank the UNISDR for its efforts, but welcome the elimination of an agency that is no longer fit for function.
  • Thanks for this opportunity. As discussed in the first question, points 37 to 40 (of the above-mentioned UNISDR document introduced by Loy) set forth key challenges. I fully agree with "Priority for Action 4 (of HFA) is worth considering". CCA, multi-stakeholder participation, gender and sustainable development will offer future paradigm for DRR.
    I am considering whether the next HFA can include any agreement like CC (e.g. Kyoto Protocol). As point 38 refers to "an international agreement" to be developed for the next framework, it's the greatest challenge for us. My question is that this international agreement will be formed only for national government level? (Director of IISEE, Japan)
  • Disaster risk reduction and economic consequences are related issues that can be made priority as the risk increase from rapid growing economies. The least developed countries in the world continue to deteriorate, thus not providing stability when disaster occurs and experiencing economic consequences. Benefits are at stake since the global economic and financial crisis and more emphasis should be made towards developing countries to support political and socioeconomic conditions and knowledge of natural disasters.
  • I partly agree to Ms. Suga's comment that disaster closely related to economic consequences. However as Ben Wisner mentioned "concept of human security" must be considered as well as economic issues in this beginning stage (also as I introduced the tsunami prospect of Japan). In addition, to make an international agreement may be a hard challenge if we focus on economic issues. Looking back the case of Kyoto Protocol, only developed countries (such as OECD member countries) concluded an international agreement in 1997. (Director of IISEE/BRI, Japan)
  • Reflecting on the challenges and opportunities of the process and this dialogue: looking forward and glancing backward

    Dear Dialogue participants,

    Greetings, at the dawn of a new day, which is the first day of the third third of the year from New York, where I am based at present. We now have three months left in this dialogue, and four months (one third) left in the year 2012, one which is identified long ago as a game-changing one for this beloved planet that we as a species call our home.
    In a separate post today I will provide a summary (Part 3) of the first week of discussions, and some lead in to the third question for this round which will open for public posting when the sun dawns in the Pacific Monday morning. For those eager to be reminded of the questions and prepare a response, do go back to “Opening remarks from the facilitator" just below the title’ Setting the context’ on the All discussions page of this site.

    Let’s take a historical view of what this dialogue, and the "process" it nests within, represent for our subject of DRR and where it sits in relation to other subjects which are going through similar periods in their life. This is a personal view and account, from the vantage point of the part of the world I worked in and relying on my memory of events and accounts that I have heard, and not checking the exact titles and dates from the written record for now.

    Preparedness, Prevention and Mitigation of the impacts of extreme events have been done from centuries. The word reduction, as an umbrella term for it and as an organising principle and name for a global “campaign" seems to have emerged in the 70s and 80s. The active efforts in 87 to 89 to call for a decade of action, led to the adoption by the UN General Assembly of the resolution that gave birth to the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, better known as its short form IDNDR, which was observed, practiced and propagated by 2 types of mechanisms, the Scientific and Technical Committee (STC) and the IDNDR secretariat at the global level, and the IDNDR national committees which took birth and roots in many parts of the world. In the run up to the mid-point of the decade, the Government of Japan hosted a World Conference on Disaster Reduction in Yokohama in May 1994. The conference was well prepared, judging from the accounts, processes and written accounts of pre meetings that I have read which took place at the national, regional and global levels. The national mechanisms played an interesting role in preparation. Nepal for example has a National Action Plan from that period, prior to the conference. South Asian countries, at an important meeting in Delhi, published a review of progress and what could be done within the region, again in the run up to the conference. ADPC, during the leadership of its second Executive Director; co-organised with support from the Asian Development Bank an experts meeting which produced a paper on actions taken in the first four years of the decade, Challenges faced by the region and Expectations from WCDR, a "white paper" widely distributed before, at and after the conferences. The Chinese, Vietnamese, Australian and Iranian national committees of IDNDR had regular national conferences before and after to take stock and plan ahead. Each of these documents is still available in hard copy in the "gray literature" archives of ADPC's library, and can be scanned and put on line if there is a need by anyone to see these important milestones of our journey.

    The "outcome document” the “Yokohama Strategy for a Safer World" (YSSW), crafted in the run up to and at the WCDR 1994 makes splendid reading. In very simple terms articulates a list of 9 to 10 to dos for countries to act on. It is available on line on Prevention web and the UNISDR website, as well as archived on line in many websites, and translated into all languages by the respective national committees and still available on line in many websites. If there is a need within this current exercise to form a compendium of all these web links, let us organise this effort by having two institutions join hands and make this happen, as part of the efforts of the consultation process and a contribution of this dialogue to the national discussions that are already taking place or just beginning. Volunteers welcome. Please write in, publicly, or privately to me, and we will announce the process soon. If by any chance this has already been done, please point this out to us all, and we will redirect the volunteer offers received for another needed task.

    Similar periods of reflective review, vibrant discussions, and active engagement took place in the period July 1998 to July 1999. Many of us registered in this dialogue already, and others reading posts that have not yet signed in, were part of the network of institutions that were involved and engaged in the process. The Geneva mandate of 9 July 1999 'adopted' at the Geneva Forum, came out of the culmination of these efforts, and when approved by the UNGA later that year gave rise to the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and multiple mechanisms for operational action. These include the Inter Agency Task Force and its four Working Groups, the National Platforms for coordinating and promoting Multi-stakeholder action, UN Agencies and IFIs advancing DRR in their agencies, the Inter Agency Secretariat of ISDR; the regional coordination meetings on DRR, the ISDR Asia Partnership, the regional intergovernmental bodies and their DRR committees and mechanisms, the UN Country teams and their DRR working groups, the donor agencies, the regional institutions, the International humanitarian and development NGOS, the national and regional networks of NGOs active on the subject.
    In the period from 2000 to 2004 several of these were established or grew further. The seeds for the thematic platforms were laid in the IATG WGs and interagency action on El Nino, Early warning, Education and DRR, recovery, risk assessment, gender, earthquake risk management, et al. The WB and IFRC led a Inter agency collaborative and substantive process called the Provention Consortium, with active participation of the Regional IFIs (ADB, AfDB, IADB) and the reinsurance industry, with UN Agencies, regional institutions, NGOs, Academia, Youth whose numerous initiatives on Community risk assessment, Risk Identification, Insurance for the poor, Action research grants, Recovery program capacity building, urban risk reduction etc. In Africa, the newly established inter-ministerial National platforms gave a boost to coordinated action within Government in many countries. Regional Inter governmental processes and institutions became active in developing action programs e.g. CEPREDANAC, IGAD,PAHO, NEPAD, ECOWAS, ASEAN, SOPAC, MRC to some prominent entities in different parts of he world on the related areas of their programs. Mainstreaming of DRR into humanitarian response, recovery and development programming within donor agencies and IFIs kick-started or accelerated.

    Once the plan for the “second” World Conference on Disaster Reduction was announced, there was a surge of interest among all national Governments, the IATF members and all the mechanisms and constituencies listed above about the “outcome document “ of this conference ; based on the “Yokohama review “ referred to earlier by Terry Gibson of GNDR. The ‘preparatory processes for WCDR 2005 incorporated consultations and discussion at a range of meetings at national and regional level. Thematic consultations and studies were undertaken by the above listed entities at various scales. Many of them were voluntary, self-initiated or systematically organised, with the Inter agency ISDR secretariat playing a facilitating and coordinating role.
    The above account is a quickly written narrative from the viewpoint of a participant observer, so I would plead guilty for any omissions or overemphasis of events or agencies or geographical areas. I would encourage some veterans of the IDNDR inception, and beyond to further elaborate this story. Younger students or researchers may like to do oral history interviews of some of the national processes or regional or global processes and post the accounts in this space.

    The story of the WCDR itself, the birth of the HFA, and the action that followed is better known and many of us participants in this dialogue have been involved. I would encourage those who are already registered as dialogue participants, to tell the story of the last 7 and two- third years (2005 till date). In addition I have sounded out two of the more experienced historians and story tellers, not yet on the dialogue to do this.
    But for today, we have enough( and possibly too much) of history of the three previous periods of coordinated inter institutional action to create and shape the 3 international frameworks that guided action so far, i.e. 1987-89 which led to IDNDR; 1993-94 which led to YSSW, and 2003-2004 that led to our current HFA. I believe that WE ARE NOW IN A SIMILAR PERIOD, AND A SIMILAR PROCESS, for the fourth time over the quarter century that began in 1987.

    I would encourage all of you to re-read the background paper in this light, as I did on Friday the 22nd in preparation for writing my opening remarks, after my first speed read of it in March.

    I personally witnessed the challenging and educative preparatory process of the 12 months from July 2011 that led to the adoption of “The Future We Want” outcome document of the Rio+ 20 process at Rio de Janeiro on 22nd June 2012. Building resilience in communities, cities and countries for a safer world, had a wide consensus, were valued as an essential ingredient of achieving sustainable development, and find a significant place in the document. The HFA and this consultative process find specific mention and are supported. There are specific lessons to be learned from that process.
    But there are very important lesson to be learned from the previous three processes on DRR that I mentioned above. One simple truth is that the consultation, knowledge sharing, multi stakeholder dialogue and experience of planning and organising with partner institutions provides a fertile ground for harmonized perspectives on specific themes, partnership and coalition building, which then contributes greatly to strengthening DRR during the subsequent period of “ implementing the outcome”. I would urge us to embrace this concept with hope and creativity, and try to achieve something similar in the coming two and a half years and more that we have ahead.
    We have three great assets that we did not have in 1993 and 2004. The first is the current capacities and power of ICT for speeding up communication and sustaining communities of practice that meet in person and virtually in tandem, in a way that was simply not there in those years. Within this broad observation, the organised constituency of DRR, and all its sub constituencies and beyond that are connected over email, list serves, Facebook, Google groups, Linked in; read Prevention web or receive and read e updates; did not exist on this scale. While I do not remember the dates of the first online process and debate that was organised on this subject, I believe the “interactive platform “promised in the background paper has enormous potential. This year’s Rio+ 20 conference and the6th World Urban Forum beginning today have both had e dialogues with very interesting formats and results. The scope and format of this dialogue, the scale of participation so far (just beginning), and the tone and frankness of the comments has a flavor that has begun to remind me of the style and content of the informal plenary session convened by UNISDR at the Global Platform. I have been encouraged and given enormous freedom in faciliating this dialogue, and urged to generate productive outcomes and useful suggestions to input into the process under way. The paper clearly indicates that this interactive platform is meant to support the process and the online dialogue to complement, inform and contribute to the thematic, national and regional consultations that are part of the process.

    The second asset we have today is a very organised set of constituency groups, platforms, networks, campaigns, subject specific programs and projects at global, regional and national scale that we did not have as robust and widespread in the earlier periods. In addition there is an urgent urging for the process to reach out to other audiences and similarly organised platforms, partnerships and endeavors in other related themes.

    The third great asset is ourselves, currently 236 active and experienced practitioners, committed and concerned to achieve progress and results on the ground , all talking to each other and reaching out beyond.

    How we related this dialogue to these tasks and the process as a whole, is the opportunity we are offered and expected to take up.

    The challenge is, do we have the stamina, patience and collective determination to embrace this opportunity with confidence and imagination.

    Let us all reflect on this in the coming days of September, and exchange ideas in the next seven days of this first round of this dialogue. Let us come up with creative and constructive ideas on how to make it happen. Such ideas are encourage to come accompanied with openness and willing ness to stay engaged and be part of a group that takes on this challenge, which then which may get asked to put in additional effort and brain power. The individuals and institutions that make up the multilayered multi locational DRR movement we sometimes call the “ISDR system” have embraced such opportunities in the past. It may be our time now.

    I look forward to your thoughts and response ,

  • Dear friends,
    It seems we are all in the same wave. We start sharing the same idea and concept referring to some papers, documents, NGOs and INGOs, ….
    I agree with some that disaster is related to the economics but in this case I think we are speaking about economic crises or even a conflict. This kind can be easy to expect the time it will occur relating to the elements form the ground. But we have more challenge with the natural one which is un-expected one. In both cases, we can not react to respond for the first announcement even the governments can not do any thing in the early stage. The first respond will be from the people them selves whom they are victim also.
    Some of the colleague (Ando) raise a vital mark that only develop countries agree in the protocol. This is because they have the ability to funding need to go ahead while non developed countries can not do that. These countries are feeding in the programmes by external fund, and her is the problem. Normally most of the disaster is in non developed countries and even if these countries are wealthy their rural or the vulnerable area covers most of their area. The international communities run to respond and recover the disaster. In most cases they are late because saving live can not wait until we make assessment and than mobilize our team and needs. Moreover, from the financial point, it will cost and their will be more expense.
    I think we have great opportunity to share experience from the ground and debate analysis for previous publisher and evaluate how these work in the ground. It is great chance to redirect our way of thinking or planning which we can improve the way of responding that can increase the humanitarian saving life and decrease the economic suffer.
    No thing easy and we will face some barriers from several parties, but if we need to change we have to start from down from the people how live in these area and see what see need in the early stage when they face and than draw the protocol or procedure to help than and engaged their government.
    Every time we find our self as a responder steps back from disaster. It is the time to be one step forward and start to prepare well and organise our self in proper way.

    Sorry if I spoke toooooo much.

    Best warm and regard.

    Abed Al Badeaa Al Dada
  • My take on the question...

    Opportunities I think are as follows:

    1. There is an opportunity for nations and NGOs involved in extensive DRR work to put forward their proposals to make the post-HFA framework more concrete guidance to achieving many of the targets in the HFA which remained to be a challenge.

    2. I think there is also an opportunity to link both conceptual and practical disasters and development especially the achievement of the MDGs especially for countries greatly challenged by economic and political forces.

    3. I think the consultation process will also be an opportunity for various civil society organizations like NGOs and the academe to position themselves as a significant stakeholder in a post HFA framework existing in a climate change scenario as well.

    As for challenges, I think these are challenges:

    1. a post HFA framework will be difficult to navigate without touching the discussions on climate change adaptation and its links with DRR. Many organizations are still in the process of clarifying the interface of DRR and CCA and this may become a challenge of sifting through to the discussions to have a balanced DRR and CCA views.

    2. Another challenge is that when addressing the underlying causes of vulnerability organizations and countries will inevitably touch sensitive issues such as food justice, trade policies, highly extractive industries such as mining which is one of the many causes of vulnerability in the Philippines. How do we govern our world, the relationship of nations when it comes to use of natural resources.

    Just my 2 cents.
  • Dewald Van Niekerk writes
    "Dear everyone, Thanks once again to the ISDR for taking this initiative.

    5. The whole international economic and political economic system which drives disaster risk. How much longer will be ignore the elephant in the room? But is this a discussion and solution beyond our reach?"


    Dear participants

    I am using Dewald's comment and an excellent paper from ODI to bring out another dimension, the potential in the convergence of global policy agendas today in the context of this magic date of 2015.

    I encourage many of you to join/listen in to the "live discussion" at the
    Post-2015 Civil Society Conference on “The World We Want 2015: Defining a New Social Contract” bing held today 4 September 2012, in Montreal Canada as a side event of the 2012 CIVICUS World Assembly. The discussion can be accessed at http://civicuspost2015.org/ and

    You can also Join this conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #cwa2015

    I urge many of you to read and comment on the June 2012 ODI paper called "Disaster risk management in post-2015 policy frameworks: Forging a more resilient future". Please access it at http://www.odi.org.uk/resources/docs/7713.pdf
    I extract a few key paragraphs below:

    " DRM is firmly on the international policy agenda in 2012 – at the G20, Rio+20, Summit of the Americas and at the climate change negotiations – and is being voiced as a genuine concern for many governments. It was also the subject of the Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change
    Adaptation (SREX) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which highlighted the links between disasters, climate change, poverty
    and weak governance (IPCC 2011). NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT!!! "
    This rare alignment of international policy processes with national government, private sector and civil society interest is an opportunity to position DRM as a cornerstone in efforts to foster resilient and sustainable growth and development.
    • Debate has begun on what follows the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) when
    they expire in 2015 and how DRM might be incorporated into any new framework.
    • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been put forward in the run up to Rio+20 and will be further discussed over the coming years. DRM is a part of these discussions.
    • The ‘Durban Platform’, agreed in December 2011, commits countries to negotiate a new climate change treaty by 2015, one with ‘legal force’. The negotiations on this treaty include measures to reduce and transfer disaster risk and consider how DRM can deal with ‘loss and damage’ if climate change mitigation and adaptation are unsuccessful.
    • The Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 (HFA) expires in 2015 and a process is
    already in place to negotiate a new global agreement on disaster risk reduction."

    Please re read the background paper in this process.

    In a subsequent post I and others will provide an update on the progress on each of these 4 processes. The side event in Montreal today is an integral part of this discussions.

    Happy watching the livestream of its recording, and the tweets from the conference.

    Do also recognise the speed with which other agendas are moving. Today in Naples The SRSG for DRR released a UNISDR GFDRR report with a foreword from her and Joan Clos, ED of UN Habitat. The report , entitled "Making Cities Resilient 2012- a global snapshot of what Local Governments are doing to reduce disaster risk," reports on actions taken in 20 of the 1057 member cities of the UN Resilient Cities campaign.

    So let this online discussion be your window to these other parallel discussions for now, but with a view to linking and cross fertilizing all of them in the next three months.



  • Community resilience tops Davos agenda

    Date:29 Aug 2012
    Source(s):United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Secretariat - Europe (UNISDR EUR)

    By Sarah Wade-Apicella

    Davos -Nearly 1,000 participants from 100 countries gathered in Davos to present experiences and discuss solutions to "Integrative Risk Management in a Changing World - Pathways to a Resilient Society" IDRC Davos 2012. The conference ran 26-30 August and key archived session presentations can be followed online at http://www.idrc.info/.

    The conference also aimed to provide inputs into the 4th Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction to be held in Geneva, 19-23 May 2013, and contribute to the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction discussions.

    Major roll-outs of UNISDR's Making Cities Resilient campaign in Austria and Iran were outlined on 28th August at the 4th International Disaster and Risk Conference, in Davos, Switzerland, which has brought together experts from around the world.

    That plenary session on urban risks and resilience highlighted the experience of the Austrian province of Tyrol and the city of Mashhad, Iran - both signatories to the UNISDR campaign Making Cities Resilient: 'My city is getting ready!'

    "The Province of the Tyrol is now one of the most experienced communities in community-based risk management in the world," said Marcel Innerkofler, Head of the Early Warning and Emergency Management Center from the Federal Province of the Tyrol, Austria. "Private-public partnership has proven successful."

    More than 300 workshops have been run in all 279 municipalities, training nearly 2,000 community members in hazard mapping, risk identification and planning. They are ready to share their experience and will host their first city-to-city learning event between city of Lienz, Austria and Jönköping, Sweden with the support of alpS and MSB.

    Similarly, the Iranian city of Mashhad, the country's second largest with a population of three million, is taking the lead on exporting its experience of building community resilience to disasters to other cities across Iran and in the region.

    Abholghassem Baghbannezhad, Director of the Iranian Crisis Management Organization, Municipality of Mashhad, shared Mashhad's vision to become a regional role model and to engage 1,000 Iranian cities and towns through its 30-project Samen Plan which includes a comprehensive range of disaster risk reduction activities such as application of strict building regulations, training of volunteers, school education and earthquake-proof schools.

    Mr. Baghbannezhad marked the occasion of the 2nd anniversary of Mashhad joining the Making Cities Resilient Campaign by announcing the publication in Farsi of the UNISDR handbook for local government leaders, "How to Make Cities More Resilient".

    The Handbook, a practical guide to support public policy and decision making as cities take action on the 10 Essentials for Making Cities Resilient, is now available in Chinese, French, Spanish and Russian in addition to English and Farsi.

    Campaign director, Helena Molin Valdés, said: "It is encouraging to hear from Tyrol and Mashhad how motivating it is to be part of this campaign. UNISDR would particularly like to congratulate them for the way they are reaching out to other cities and towns to export their own best practice in disaster risk reduction and building resilience. This is crucial to the campaign's success as we encourage more cities and towns to join the 1,050 cities and towns which have already signed up to the campaign."

    "Building community is a requirement of resilience," proclaimed panelist Ortwin Renn of Stuttgart University, underscoring what has been echoed by many here at Davos.

    Recalling that strong urban governance and private sector engagement are two key ingredients, panelist Ms Alice Balbo of ICLEI -- Local Governments for Sustainability - added: "The local level needs to be involved in these strategies. If these strategies don't reach the local community, we are not reaching the target."

    One community project celebrated at Davos this week is "Making the City of Beira Resilient to Floods and Cyclones". The Mozambique National Disaster Management Institute (INGC), IP-Consult and German International Cooperation (GIZ) were awarded the first international RISK Award, funded by the Munich Re Foundation.

    The winning project focuses on a people-centered low-cost flood warning system operated by local disaster risk committees and will be put to test this 13 October, the International Day for Disaster Reduction, in a simulation exercise.

    "We won't be satisfied until at least two to three other cities are recognized," said João Ribeiro, Director of INGC. "We already have experience in Maputo, and other cities." In Mozambique, the INGC recognizes that traditional knowledge can be transformed into technical knowledge. "The secret here is to join both modern and traditional approaches to disaster risk management."
  • Water and food security: where to next? - join the live discussion

    What are the next steps in addressing the world's water, energy and food challenges and how can nexus-thinking help? Join our live discussion reflecting on conversations at World Water Week, Thursday 6 September, 2-4pm(BST)

    I encourage any of the dialogue participants to go to the discussion and post some feedback on how to link the two conversations

    How can nexus thinking help the world to address the challenges of resource scarcity?

    Water, food and energy; the three, interconnected resources vital to sustaining life on earth. Yet every year, 1.1 billion people live without clean drinking water, 1.3 people billion live without electricity and over 1 billion people are hungry. As the world's population expands to nine billion by 2050, these statistics will only get worse if action is not taken to address the effects of an increasingly unpredictable climate and tense socio-economic and political landscapes on the world's key resources.

    So what can be done?

    This was the focus of the cross sector community gathered at World Water Week in Stockholm; how can new thinking around the food, water and energy nexus help drive action on these interwoven issues? In particular, what can be done to tackle the increasing imbalance of food and water resources so that no one goes without?
    The complex nature of the nexus is clear; the three elements are interdependent and have knock-on effects on each other. For a farmer to increase crop yields, more energy and water are required, but to generate this additional energy, yet more water is needed to cool the power plant. This reflects a network of reliance that exists beyond production stages.

    Leading water experts have predicted that if current diets and trends in Western food consumption continue, there will not be enough water on croplands to feed the increased population in 2050. The research, conducted by Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), finds that a drastic reduction in the consumption of animal-based products will be needed to secure food the extra 2 billion people on the planet.
    The availability and use of resources must be viewed through this dynamic kaleidoscope for sustainable solutions at a local, national or global scale to be successful.
    Discussion at World Water Week is focused on this complex landscape, shaped by the constraints of the planet versus the demands of humanity.

    Academics, scientists, governments, NGOs and businesses have come together to share their insights and ideas on:
    • Increasing efficiency in food production
    • Linking the effects of food production with human health
    • Addressing food wastage throughout the supply chain
    • Recognising the water-food-energy nexus
    • Balancing food distribution

    The live discussion hosted by Guardian Sustainability Business will focus on the latest thinking to come out of World Water Week and reflect on the action that needs to be taken by all sectors, from businesses to NGOS, and governments to individuals, to address challenges around food and water. Our panel of experts will join us on Thursday 6 September from 2-4pm (BST) to answer your questions and share their thoughts and ideas. Register for a reminder or submit a question in advance via the form below. You can also send us a tweet and we'll post it for you.
  • Call to join ICLEI at the World Urban Forum, 5 Sept 14.30 - to discuss post-Rio+20 challenges and hopes!

    Here is an invitation to all of us to participate in a parallel conversation which is of crucial relevance in building a safer and resilient world. I appeal to those who do join in person or online to link both conversations and communities of practice.

    Lets demonstrate that cross fertilization of conversations is needed and can work.



    Dear All,

    I would like to invite those of you who are coming to Naples for the World Urban Forum to join us on Wednesday for an ICLEI side event, titled "How cities can move forward in a post-Rio+20 world? Local Sustainability 2012 and beyond". The discussion will focus on the role of local governments in advancing global sustainability, pointing to new opportunities and challenges emerging from the Rio+20 process. With conclusions of the Local Sustainability 2012 study serving as the starting point, a high-level panel composed of representatives of international organizations, academia, private donors and local governments will explore new forms of cooperation and governance for sustainable development.

    The discussion will revolve around the following questions:

    Recent years have seen a number of bottom-up schemes where local governments respond to global or regional sustainability goals, such as Mexico City Pact, Durban Adaptation Charter or Local Action for Biodiversity. Are these initiatives a sign that local governments can do what national governments can’t? What is the future of such initiatives and their place in the international governance framework?

    The social, economic and environmental crisis has led to a creation and revival of citizen movements on the global and local scale. Many of them focus on issues central to sustainable cities, such as right to the city, protection of common goods, social innovation or social and ecological transitions. How can local governments harness the energy created by these movements to advance development on the ground? What is their role in local sustainability processes?

    In their efforts to build sustainable cities, local leaders can turn to many potential allies, including citizens but also business, academic community, national and international institutions. How can these partners contribute to the local sustainability process, with respect to the needs of local community? How can their knowledge be translated to the practice on the ground?

    The event will take place on Wednesday, September 5 from 14.30 to 15.30 in the Sardegna Room (Media Centre).

    For more information about the World Urban Forum, click on the UN Habitat website

    To download your copy of the Local Sustainability 2012 study, click on


    With best regards,
    Ania Rok
  • 21 September each year is observed as the International Day of Peace. This year's theme is " Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future"

    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls on all of us globally saying:

    "I urge everyone, between now and 21 September, to think about how they can contribute. Let us work together to ensure that the Road from Rio leads us to sustainable development, sustainable peace… and a secure future for all."

    Let us in this dialogue and in our daily work on DRR, preparedness, disaster recovery and development; heed the call of the UN SG and ponder over the role of resilience in building and nurturing peace and sustainability. Let us work together for the secure future that is called for, which can only be secure if it is resilient.

    Do use this space to respond immediately over the next few days; or act over the coming fortnight and report on your actions when we met for the second round.



    Towards the ideals of peace

    Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

    Sustainable Peace...
    This year, world leaders, together with civil society, local authorities and the private sector, will be meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to renew political commitment to long term sustainable development.

    It is in the context of the Rio+20 Conference that “Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future” is the theme chosen for this year's observance of the International day of Peace.

    There can be no sustainable future without a sustainable peace. Sustainable peace must be built on sustainable development.

    ...From Sustainable Development...
    The root causes of many conflicts are directly related to or fuelled by valuable natural resources, such as diamonds, gold, oil, timber or water. Addressing the ownership, control and management of natural resources is crucial to maintaining security and restoring the economy in post-conflict countries.

    Good natural resource management can play a central role in building sustainable peace in post-conflict societies.

    ...For a Sustainable Future
    The International Day of Peace offers people globally a shared date to think about how, individually, they can contribute to ensuring that natural resources are managed in a sustainable manner, thus reducing potential for disputes, and paving the road to a sustainable future, the "Future We Want".
  • For all of us who missed the richness of discussion at Davos, a second attempt to attempt to share the content of the experience based knowledge sharing. I would appeal to those who attended in person to join this conversation and add their perspectives, which can help us as we move ahead in these rounds of this first dialogue.





    Future disaster risks are set to become more complex — and the international community needs stronger and more integrated preventive measures to mitigate these.

    This was among key takeaways from a high-level conference on disaster risk reduction held last week in Davos, Switzerland. The 4th International Disaster Risk Conference, which was titled “Integrated Management in a Changing World: Pathways to a Resilient Society,” was organized by the Global Risk Forum and attended by more than 1,000 participants. Featured speakers included U.N. Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction Margareta Wahlström and David Nabarro, the special representative of the U.N. secretary-general for food and nutrition, among other positions at the global body.

    A resounding call stressed at the conference was the need to better integrate disaster risk reduction in development efforts as opposed to only strengthening responses to disasters, GRF President Walter Ammann told Devex.

    Some efforts toward this goal are already under way. The U.N. Development Program, for one has recognized the need for a sense of urgency for disaster risk reduction and announced funding for related efforts over the next five years.

    UNDP is also helping lead the development of a new plan to replace the Hyogo Framework of Action that is set to expire in 2015. The framework details work needed to reduce disaster losses. Ammann said the IDRC conference hopes to also contribute to this process.

    GRF is now working on producing an outcome document based on the discussions held at the conference, Ammann shared. This document, he added, will be submitted to the UNISDR’s Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction forum in May 2013. The forum gathers all stakeholders in global risk reduction efforts and resilience building. One of its core functions is to support the Hyogo Framework of Action’s implementation.

    Here are some of the other issues stressed during the IDRC conference that are expected to be included in the outcome document:

    - There is a demand to create a culture of risk governance that involves all aspects and all sectors of society.
    - Systematic risks will become more dominant as future disaster risks become more complex and interdependent. Systematic risks are those that stem from a single event such as in the case of the earthquake in Japan.
    - Donors should invest more in prevention instead of spending millions in reaction to disasters.
    - Disaster risk reduction should be integrated in development programs.
    - There is a need to build more resilient societies and one way to accomplish this is through better communication to ensure the public is well-informed and prepared. The public should also be educated on how to behave during disasters.
    - There is a need to create international structures to deal with disaster risks, which are increasingly becoming global.
    - The link between disaster risks, climate change and health needs to be better explained and understood.

    Aside from the preparation of the outcome document, GRF has started planning the next international disaster conference to be held in August 2014, also in Davos. Ammann said the group is also looking at proposals to host similar conferences at the regional level in Africa, Asia and Central Africa.
  • The future of water and food: live discussion today 6 sept
    6 September 2012 from 2pm-4pm (BST)

    Join us for a live discussion today, on tackling water and food security!
    organised by Guardian Sustainable Business
    contact professionalnetworks@mail.guardian.co.uk

    Thank you for registering your interest in today's live discussion starting at 2pm (BST).

    Last week, a range of cross-sector water experts gathered together at World Water Week to discuss the the next steps in tacking the complex issues of water, food and energy. Conversations were dynamic and progressive, with a sharp focus on the water-food-energy nexus and how this thinking will help drive action on these interwoven issues. This week, we've bought together a panel of experts to explore the latest thinking to come out of World Water Week and share ideas on what can be done to tackle the increasing imbalance in food and water resources.

    The experts taking part in the conversation are:

    • Marielle Canter Weikel, director of corporate freshwater strategies at Conservation International

    • Conor Linstead, senior water policy advisor at WWF

    • Andy Wales, head of sustainable development at SAB Miller

    • Samantha Hoe-Richardson , head of sustainable development and energy at Anglo American

    • Jeff Erikson, senior vice president at SustainAbility

    • Greg Koch, managing director of the global water stewardship at Coca Cola

    • Kari Vigerstol, hydrologist on the global water team at Nature Conservancy

    We hope that you can join them at 2pm. If you can't, and would like to ask a question, you can post a comment here, tweet us, post in our LinkedIn discussion or share a thought on our Facebook page. We will put any questions we receive to the panel this afternoon.

    You can also follow what's going on via twitter @GuardianSustBiz

    We hope you enjoy the discussion!

  • Hi All,
    Like to join the interesting discussion going on here;
    Challenging PfA 4 and governance aspects(PfA 1), particularly at local level as acknowledged by the background paper and endorsed by this discussion too seems to indicate something. As Ben says is this something that can be achieved under a DRR framework at all?

    As Loy points out many parallel discussions are going on currently towards changes that are expected in 2015. Is it more important to learn and link it back to this discussion or should we actively try to participate in other discussions such as post MGD, new climate change treaty by 2015 etc. should we continue advocating for better mainstreaming, participation, governance etc. through DM focal agencies or ministries that have little or no power to pursue the agenda. Or provide insights to other processes to make it happen?
    However I am not sure UNISDR has no role if this happens While post disaster emergency, recovery, rebuilding would be better pushed through specific agency we also need specialization and expertise building to guide development that accepts DRR and resilience building as one of its core objectives

    Vishaka Hidellage
  • Dear Participants,

    Here is a summary report of World Water Week activities and discussions which went on in parallel with our dialogue. How much was "water related disasters" discussed? How do we relate to the issues of water management, equity, quality, access and related issues of sanitation ; which have such a decisive impact on how people are impacted by disasters.

    How do we enter their discussions, and how do their discussions inform ours.

    I leave you to ponder and react and , for those of you who are addressing these issues, please inform and enlighten us on how you are connecting them in your practice, advocacy, and action.

    If there is any one in our dialogue who actually went to Stockholm, or knows others who went, please let us know your views and broker connections.




    World Water Week Addresses Water and Food Security

    31 August 2012: World Water Week, organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute, convened from 26-31 August in Stockholm, Sweden, under the theme of “Water and Food Security.” World Water Week brought together stakeholders to promote reinforcement of capacities, the establishment of partnerships, and follow up on international processes and programmes concerning water and development.

    In her World Water Week address, Lakshmi Puri, UN Women, underscored the need to: recognize women as water resource managers, farmers and irrigators in laws, policies and through social awareness programmes in communities; increase efficiency in managing food and water resources, ensuring that women are empowered along the water and food supply chain; address the multifaceted gender discrimination in accessing and controlling productive resources such as water and land, assets and services; and leverage the voice, participation and influence of women in managing the sustainable use of water resources and food, and sharing benefits equally. Puri also underscored that a Sustainable Development Goal on water should prioritize women’s full participation in water governance, the alleviation of their work burden and the availability of gender sensitive infrastructures and services.

    The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) stressed the most important step in providing universal access is to address the inequities which exist in all regions and at all levels and where the poorest and women are most affected.

    European Union (EU) Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, drew attention to the EU Millennium Development Goal (MDG) initiative, which is allocating an extra €1 billion for African, Caribbean and Pacific countries to meet the most off-track MDGs, noting that the water and sanitation MDG is specifically targeted by the initiative. The European Commission (EC) underscored the increasing water-related challenges and their linkage with climate change, noting the EC has completed an in depth review of EU water policy and be making several policy proposals in its strategic document titled the “Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources.”

    The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) stressed the need to sustainably intensify agriculture, in an era of rapid economic growth and climate change, to avert global resource crisis. IWMI highlighted the need to improve irrigation efficiency and water productivity, by building resilience through increased water storage, and also the potential of recycling and reuse of wastewater and sewerage.

    The World Water Council (WWC) and the Republic of Korea updated delegates on their Water and Green Growth programme, under which the WWC explained water was viewed as a “motor” for development.

    The Asian Development Bank announced the forthcoming publication titled “Asian Water Development Outlook 2012,” which it said will quantify the status of water security in all Asia-Pacific economies, and provide recommendations about the policy levers Asia’s leaders can use to increase water security. [World Water Week Website] [UN Women Press Release] [International Fund for Agriculture and Development Press Release] [EC Press Release, 27 August] [EC Press Release, 24 August] [ADB Press Release] [UNICEF Press Release] [IWMI Press Release] [WWC Press Release]

    Dear Participants,

    in the post 2015 discussions, the dominant discussion in most Governments and development practitioners is " Whats next after the MDGs?" There is a parallel discussion, "What do we do in the next two and a half years to meet the MDG targets, in countries where the levels of attainment are behind?"

    As the world moves ahead towards 2015, this will become a dominant discourse.

    There are parallels within our "DRR world". We too are asking the same question- "What next". But are we asking enough of the second?

    The equivalent second question is simple- In places where we have not yet achieved the HFA targets, what do we do in the next two years to "accelerate HFA implementation" and meet the levels of progress that each nation set on each of the 20 HFA indicators?

    So let us learn from some of the solutions in the MDG world in each of our countries and mimic their solutions. I look forward to more contributions on this subject in the subsequent rounds of this discussion.

    There is a second link which we need to make. World leaders and community activists alike have acknowledged the setbacks to the MDGs from each major disaster in every part of the developing world. This "poverty disaster nexus" needs to be brought into our discussions more directly, in both an analytical and operational way.

    In November 2007, soon after the mid point of the of the MDG implementation period of 15 years; the DRR and MDG community interacted in each others forums in Asia on this question, by promoting a joint publication and parallel discussions in two forums- the 2nd Asian Ministerial conference on DRR in New Delhi and the Asian Parliamentary dialogue on MDG achievement in Bangkok. Entitled " Disaster proofing the MDGs", published by the Millennium campaign Asia and the Regional Consultative Committee on Disaster management (RCC) it called for building resilience into each of the MDG implementation plans and linking HFA and MDG implementation. It can be accessed at http://rccdm.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=75&Itemid=163
    That perspective is still relevant today 5 years later, and may guide us as we move ahead in the discussions.

    I give the report of the ASEAN workshop on MDGs below as an example of the post 2015 MDG discussions that are ongoing, and i would encourage all DRR practitioners to get aware of these consultations and join them. So too make sure we invite speakers from these forums into any discussion on HFA, and post 2015 DRR. The sooner these two connect and benefit for the inherent synergy, the better.

    As we close in another few hours, this would be my last post in this first round, and I look forward to doing the promised summary, and harnessing the energy we have in this forum into even more productive discussion in subsequent rounds, by working with all of you, on and offline.

    I believe we will all be able to use this space and platform to continue talking in one to one or group conversations, till we resume the wider conversation a fortnight from now.




    ASEAN Workshop Calls for Pro-poor Growth, Inter-sectoral Coordination in MDGs and Post-2015 Agenda
    16 August 2012: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) convened a two-day regional workshop in Yangon, Myanmar, on strategies to accelerate achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and identification of priorities for the post-2015 development agenda.

    The workshop, hosted jointly by the Government of Myanmar, the ASEAN Secretariat and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), was a follow-up to the ASEAN Roadmap for the Attainment of MDGs, adopted in August 2011.

    The workshop took place from 30-31 July 2012, and involved 135 policy makers from ASEAN Member States in discussions of good practice, lessons learned and shared challenges in achieving the MDGs. Myanmar Information and Culture Minister U Kyaw Hsan called for a focus on pro-poor growth in the post-2015 development agenda, noting that some ASEAN Member States require assistance in specific areas. Anuradha Rajivan of the UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre (APRC) reported that poverty reduction achievements in ASEAN mask rural-urban and gender inequalities, highlighting the need for disaggregated indicators of progress.

    Participants reflected on the ASEAN community-building agenda and the outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), calling for closer coordination between sectors including nutrition, water supply and sanitation, and women’s empowerment. They concluded the workshop with plans to undertake a regional assessment of progress towards achieving MDGs in ASEAN Member States, updating a 2008 study. [ASEAN Press Release] [UNDP-APRC Website]
  • Some of the greatest challenges we face at present are the rapid escalation of disasters globally and less time, along with integrating the collective knowledge and capacity we really have and making new strategies in the light of it.

    Some of the greatest of opportunities that we have for consultation processes is the fact that we have ample knowledge based on hard won human experiences, vast technical knowledge, the capacity to share information in a way that cannot be done from within a disaster and millions of people worldwide willing to, even begging to take part in coordinated collective DRR solutions. Another positive factor we have is that at present we are not the ones currently overcome by disasters. We are currently in the position to actively engage and do something for the long-term benefit of all humanity and the whole world. With this in mind understanding and acting upon the various practical links between disaster risk management, climate change adaptation and sustainable development need to be prioritized for truly effective action.
  • We at Active Remedy Ltd have undertaken a great deal of research specifically on fresh water and the protection and repair of the global fresh water cycle. We have been looking at it with DRR in mind. An overall summary of this can be found in the link below.
  • Hi all,

    I am closing this thread of discussions, but you could do related posts in the other threads that are open.

    I will do a summary soon.


This discussion has concluded and posts can no longer be made.