Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015
Making development sustainable: The future of disaster risk management

background image
Chapter 13
underlying risk drivers are being addressed or not.
In order to ensure that monitoring supports national planning and decision-making, the indicators themselves need to be appropriate, tied to specific public policies and assigned clear ownership among different ministries or departments. Ideally, key performance indicators for key management and government positions should include risk management deliverables, which would promote a better understanding of the risk-related consequences of everyday decision-making.
Monitoring must explicitly embrace actions at the local government level, where most disaster risk management implementation actually takes place, and it needs to be flexible enough to adapt to national planning cycles and maximize the use of nationally generated data as well as locally relevant information from communities at risk.
Finally, the monitoring process needs to be tied to an explicit accountability mechanism, be it a parliamentary review or a national audit body. Otherwise it would have no incisive power and may serve to legitimize symbolic actions to manage and reduce disaster risks rather than becoming a critical mechanism to transform development and address the underlying risk drivers.
13.9 A different future?
If managing disaster risks can enable societies to learn from the past in order to change the future, it may hold the key to sustainable development.
Currently, surveys indicate waning confidence in the political classes and business leaders, as the benefits of economic growth are becoming more concentrated and less evenly distributed.11 While direct disaster losses of up to US$300 billion do
not seem to have been sufficient to change the way risk is valued and priced, the threat of a collapseoftheplanet’ssystems,particularlythrough climate change, does now seem to be catalysing a growing social demand for approaching development in a different way.
There is evidence of increasing momentum to transform development practices from the private sector, citizens and cities in some sectors, such as renewable energy, water and waste management, natural resource management, green building and infrastructure, and sustainable agriculture. This is being driven by a combination of citizens’ concern for the planet, particularly among the young, the opportunity for businesses to improve their competitiveness and value proposition by reducing their energy consumption and other costs, and the rapid roll-out of new technologies in these areas, which in turn is spurring the emergence of dynamic new business sectors.
Importantly, this kind of transformation is no longer restricted to Europe or North America. For example, China, India and other rapidly growing economies are now taking the lead in both the development and adoption of the technologies required to transform the energy economy.
While citizens, communities or businesses may stimulate new development practices, change ultimately needs to be encoded in law and regulation: a complex process mediated by a range of politically and socially contentious issues, such as land rights or corruption.
However, at least these new development practices may now be starting to receive political and financial support from governments, businesses and the financial sector at the global level. The UN Climate Summit held in New York in September 2014 highlighted a long series of pledges and commitments (Box 13.2) which, if fulfilled, may catalyse further change.
Previous page Previous Section  
Contact us  |  Disclaimer  |  Our Partners  |  References  |  Acknowledgements  |  PreventionWeb |  WCDRR  |  © United Nations 2015.