High-Level Panel 3: Enabling Community-Led Resilience Through Preventive Action

  • Date & Time: Wednesday 17 June (15:00 - 16:30)
  • Room: 1
  • Interpretation: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish


Poor communities manage a large number of risks on a daily basis, stemming from natural hazards, environmental degradation, social marginalization, conflict, lack of access to information and services, etc. While the poor have developed a range of innovative coping strategies to manage risk, the risk landscape is changing rapidly. Climate change, as well as other factors, is contributing to patterns that intensify, accumulate and compound risk. Local communities are front line disaster risk managers in every respect, and must be duly empowered and supported to effectively reduce risk and cope with disaster impacts. This includes having access to appropriate information to assess and reduce their risk based on their own priorities, ensuring that there are adequate mechanisms in place for protection of livelihoods, developing end-to-end Early Warning Systems, and promoting enhanced preparedness for natural hazard events, with strong emphasis on awareness and education. Investments in disaster risk reduction often focus on physical measures aimed at protecting buildings and infrastructure, with limited attention to social vulnerability and livelihood issues.

Disasters have a dramatic impact on people’s lives, leaving livelihoods shattered, vital physical and social infrastructure heavily destroyed, the public and private capital stock depleted, and local economies severely disrupted in an overall context in which poverty, vulnerability as well as weak institutional capacity for recovery can aggravate social tensions. Empowering and supporting poor communities to build their resilience and protect their livelihoods from the impacts of hazard events thus becomes an urgent priority.

To this aim, local and "people-centered" investments need to be seen as a national priority and become featured components of a national development agenda. A strong level of policy coordination between the national and community / local level is therefore required to ensure effective protection and empowerment of local communities through a more systematic involvement of local communities and provincial Governments in the national decision-making process. It is also urgent to recognize their specific requirements as well as their role and capacities in implementing disaster risk reduction, building on local knowledge and practices.


High Level Panel 3 "Enabling Community-led Resilience through Preventive Action" will focus on ensuring community resilience to disasters through action on three interconnected issues: climate change adaptation, early warning and livelihood protection. This session will review the need to develop, in parallel and complementary to end-to-end multi-hazard early warning systems, a strong component of livelihood vulnerability assessment and productive livelihood risk reduction programs in high-risk areas, in combination with effective climate related information systems. Such a system should link development policies and programs to risk reduction measures and livelihood recovery planning and preparedness, including food security.

The session will discuss critical components of community level resilience and explore ways in which a national enabling environment can support local action. It will feature a dynamic grassroots leader to represent the perspective of at risk communities and raise specific issues with leaders of national governments.


Moderator: Mr. Saidur Rahman, Director, Bangladesh Disaster Preparedness Centre

Background Papers

> Concept Note [52.25 Kb]


Note: this is an interim report pending publication of the Conference Proceedings from the 2009 Global Platform.

> Report from HLP3 [PDF, 35.20 Kb]

Last updated: 04 December 2020