National commitments towards the implementation of the post 2015 DRR framework
The Netherlands policy on disaster risk reduction – DRR – has since 2007 been based on its National Safety and Security Strategy. The strategy aims to protect society and the population against internal and external threats which are becoming increasingly interconnected. This makes the DRR strategy of the Netherlands holistic by nature, taking in account all threats, and especially critical infrastructure, ICT failure and cybersecurity.
The strategy is based on a list of vital interests which are defined as follows i) territorial safety (threatened through a breach of our territorial integrity); ii) physical security (public health; public safety & security); iii) economic security (undisrupted working of the economy); iv) ecological security (living environment); v) social and political stability (e.g. respect for core democratic values and the functioning of democratic institutions).
The National Steering Committee for National Safety & Security, which also functions as the National Platform DRR/HFA since 2012, is responsible for the national implementation of the post- 2015 DRR framework for action. Policies and activities with post-2015 implications are:
• The Safety Regions Act, which came into force in 2010 and deals with risk-profiling on local level and preparing ‘all hazard’ prevention- and response planning.
• Development and launch of the NL-Alert – mobile phones - messaging system which plays a key role in increasing people’s self-reliance in the event of incidents and disasters.
• In 2010 the Council of ministers appointed a special delta-commissioner for adaptive delta-management with focus on disaster prevention (risk-based approach),
• In 2014, the Delta Programme published proposals for Delta Decisions. These decisions represent the main choices for the approach to water safety and ensures the freshwater supply in the Netherlands is sustainable, robust, climate-proof by 2050.
• The elaboration of an evacuation module for large floods and radiological & chemical emergencies based on the most up-to-date risk assessments.
International commitments towards the implementation of the post 2015 DRR framework
The Netherlands commits itself to:
1. Initiating a coalition of low-lying delta countries with the aim of furthering a prevention-based integrated approach to facilitate disaster resilient development;
2. Developing – together with World Resource Institute (WRI), several scientific institutions in our country and other interested parties – an open-source mapping instrument to assess the vulnerability and exposure to water-related disasters, and monitor the development of resilience in this respect, taking into account the targets and indicators to be agreed upon in post-2015 DRR framework for action and within the post2015 development framework;
3. Stimulating, within the R!SE program, the further worldwide expansion of community-based resilience-building competitions (Resilient Cities by Design), following the example set by the post-Sandy approach;
4. Further developing, together with UNISDR, Japanese Innovation Network and San Francisco, CA, the virtual local governments portal for exchanging knowledge and experience on improving resilience;
5. Linking DRR and climate change adaptation in the programme of the Adaptation Futures 2016 conference 10-13 may 2016, hosted by the Global Programme of Research on Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation (PROVIA), the European Commission and the Government of the Netherlands;
6. Furthermore the Government of the Netherlands commits itself to the following support mechanisms:
• Dutch Surge Support Facility (DSS) - The project aim is to contribute to improved coordination and more effective and efficient international aid after water-related disasters. Through this mechanism, requests from international humanitarian organizations for technical assistance can be responded to by offering the expertise of water experts in the area of (urban) WASH and water management.
• Dutch Risk Reduction Team (DRR Team) – The project aim is to unlock the best Dutch DRR, water and delta expertise to foreign governments who have an urgent need in preventing a water related disaster or countries who suffered already from one and are interested in long term approaches to prevent such disasters to happen again. Through this mechanism, requests from governments for technical assistance can be responded to by offering the expertise of water experts in the area of water management.
Mr Maurice van Beers
Senior policy advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands