International disaster risk management

Identifying the historical progress of disaster risk management or disaster risk reduction is a complex task.

Take some time to analyse the timeline that has been produced by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. In it, you can see how international coordination in terms of managing risk from disasters can be traced back to 1965 – when the first internationally recognised call to action on disaster response took place – through to the present day emphasis on reduction of disaster risk.

During the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR), which ran in the final decade of the 20th Century, and in international agreements such as the Yokohoma Strategy and The Hyogo Framework the UN has highlighted the risks posed by disasters and engaged with member states to further reduce those risks.

Following on from the Yokohama Strategy and Plan of Action for a Safer World: Guidelines for Natural Disaster Prevention, Preparedness and Mitigation, the next major international agreement was the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 (HFA). This was the first truly international agreement on reducing disaster risk and provided a number of goals and targets to those signatory member states (UNISDR n.d.).

The most recent agreement, The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (SFDRR), was agreed in March 2015 in Sendai, Japan and will run alongside other landmark UN agreements such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris climate change agreements (Maini et al. 2017).

In line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030, local to regional strategies should aim to both prevent the creation of new disaster risk and reduce existing risks.

National DRR strategies provide a means for governments to articulate their intentions to protect citizens against current and future disaster risk and act as an instrument through which civil society can hold governments accountable for those actions. UNDRR encourages the states to establish national platforms for DRR – as of 2019, 64 countries have done so.

These platforms are a multi-stakeholder coordination mechanism for disaster risk reduction aimed at highlighting the relevance, added value and cost-benefit of a coordinated and consistent approach to disaster risk reduction at the national level.

Your task

Choose a country from the UNISDR list of partner countries.

As of 2015 (the end of the Hyogo Framework actions), what mechanisms had been put in place to manage disaster risk?


References

UNISDR (n.d.) History [online] available from https://www.unisdr.org/who-we-are/history [18 July 2019]

Maini, R., Clarke, L., Blanchard, K., and Murray, V. (2017) ‘The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and its Indicators – Where Does Health Fit In?’ International Journal of Disaster Risk Science, 8 (2), 150-155.

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This article is from the free online course:

Disaster Risk Reduction: An Introduction

Coventry University