The purpose of the Samoa National Action Plan (NAP) for Disaster Risk Management is to contribute to sustainable development by facilitating the inclusion of risk reduction and risk awareness as integral to societal functioning rather than as parallel or external activities. It identifies Samoa’s disaster risk management (DRM) goals and priority measures for implementation through a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach over the period 2011-2016.
With regards to how hazard risks have been previously managed in Samoa, the NAP embodies a significant change of approach that addresses all stages of disaster risk management. Hazard risk considerations will need to be continually factored into “normal” development activities such as land use planning, environmental monitoring, physical planning, development control, building inspection, and education services and similar. Continuous commitments are also required to maintain explicit disaster management capabilities: public awareness, early warning, emergency medical care, search and rescue, the maintenance of emergency equipment etc.
The NAP priority themes and measures have been identified in a consultative process with a wide range of stakeholders involved in DRM which the Samoa Disaster Management Office (DMO) coordinated in early 2011. The consultations aimed to assess national progress in implementing disaster risk management against the Hyogo Framework for Action(HFA): Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters (2005-2015) and the Pacific Regional DM&DRR Framework for Action (2005-2015). The findings were instrumental for analyzing key DRM gaps and challenges which informed the NAP development.