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  • Multi-Hazard Early Warning Conference 2017 Mexico - government
    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization - Headquarters
    United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
    World Meteorological Organization

    Date: 22 - 23 May 2017
    Country: Mexico
    City/State: Cancun

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Multi-Hazard Early Warning Conference 2017

MAIN ORGANIZER(S): Mexico - government
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization - Headquarters (UNESCO)
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR)
World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

Type: Meeting or Conference Date: 22 - 23 May 2017 Location: Mexico (Cancun) Venue: Moon Palace Hotel

The Multi-Hazard Early Warning Conference will be held from 22 to 23 May in Cancún, Mexico, kindly hosted by the government of Mexico, in connection with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction. The Conference aims to demonstrate to countries how they can build, improve the availability of, and their communities’ access to, multi-hazard early warning, risk information and assessment. 

The Conference deliberations and outcomes will:

  • Guide efforts and investments by countries and international organizations for effective, impact based, multi-hazard early warning systems.
  • Review progress by countries’ efforts to establish early warning systems against the Sendai Framework, the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Climate Change Paris Agenda.
  • Learn from, exchange information on and promote the replication of good practices in individual, cluster and multi-hazard early warning systems.

A multi-hazard approach to early warning systems has been shown to be effective in dealing with multiple, sometimes concurrent, hazards, and can provide economies of scale and eventually sustainability of the system as a whole. Currently, efforts are needed to develop multi-hazard early warning systems (MHEWSs) that are guided by risk and impact information and that include feedback mechanisms for continuous improvement. Such approaches require coordination, expertise and continuous learning by relevant stakeholders, as well as, more efforts in the development and understanding of the way how individual and cluster hazards operate. 

The Conference is expected to serve as a Preparatory Meeting on Early Warning for the Global Platform, complementing the overarching goals of the Platform, and specifically providing more detailed background to the Early Warning Session planned to be held on the opening day of the Platform.

Relevant stakeholders

  • All countries, but in particular, those who stand to benefit the most from further development of MHEWSs such as LDC, SIDS and LLDC;
  • National disaster risk management/civil protection agencies;
  • National meteorological and hydrological services, geological surveys and institutes, health organizations and related scientific and academic institutions from nations that are interested in sharing best practices;
  • Government representatives from different sectors – including health, transport, environment, agriculture, finance, development cooperation - requiring hazard information for better planning;
  • Private sector entities that play a major role in the provision of data and information and the operations of systems key to MHEWS efforts, as well as representatives of companies that already benefit from individual, cluster or multihazard early warning systems;
  • Regional organizations supporting the development and provision of early warnings; and
  • Key intergovernmental and international organizations including United Nations entities, the International Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement and international financial institutions.

Expected outcomes

The Conference will build upon the three International Conferences on Early Warning that were held in 1998, 2003 and 2006 (EWC I-III). The Conference outcomes will highlight strategies and actions to build, promote and strengthen MHEWSs, especially how to address key gaps such as faster and broader dissemination of warnings and the quality of the information provided to those at risk at the “last mile”, through capacity development, operational support and improved coordination and governance. It will also highlight the importance of strengthening existing efforts for individual and cluster hazards early warning systems.

The Conference will be used to define an approach to establish national baselines on early warning systems to be used by government agencies to report on advances in early warning efforts on a periodic basis, as contemplated in the Sendai Framework. One goal is therefore to take stock of the current level of development of single and multi-hazard early warning systems, including their effectiveness, related actors and partnerships, and coordination mechanisms.

Specifically, the Conference will provide a good platform for the participants from countries not possessing appropriate EWSs to appraise themselves about the latest advances in this area and the strategies to implement MHEWSs in their countries. It will also provide a platform to present innovative project proposals and latest advancements in science and technology.

Conference structure

The Conference is foreseen to consist of plenary sessions, including panel discussions, a poster session and an exhibition. A possibility to organize side-meetings will be provided. 

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