The final day of the Sixth 2019 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2019) in Geneva, Switzerland, featured a high-level dialogue and several working sessions, including talks on national and local disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategies, multi-hazard early warning systems (MHEWS), and the role of cities in achieving inclusive climate and disaster resilience.
High-level dialogue participants discussed how to work towards achieving the international agendas set out in the Sendai Framework for DRR, the Paris Agreement on climate, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in a coherent manner, with a strong focus on reducing vulnerability and poverty. Participants observed that urbanization is the defining demographic trend of this century, and requires resilient and inclusive infrastructure.
Events of the day culminated in the announcement of the 2019 RISK Award winner, which this year went to Nandan Mukherjee at the University of Dundee, for his work in developing floating homes in Bangladesh. The biennial award recognizes outstanding projects in the field of risk reduction and disaster management, and provides €100,000 for project activities, given by the Munich Re Foundation.
Closing the event, Co-Chair Manuel Sager, State Secretary and Director-General of the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation, Switzerland, presented highlights from the Co-Chairs’ summary of the Sixth Global Platform, and offered concluding thoughts on what had been achieved during the week: strong exchanges between the DRR and climate action communities; 50% representation of women on panels; multi-stakeholder participation, including by city mayors; and discussions of “the resilience dividend” that can be achieved through action on DRR. He urged more countries to develop and report on DRR strategies at the national and local levels through the Sendai Framework Monitor, an online tool for reporting and analysis.
Co-Chair Mami Mizutori, Assistant Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG), said the 2019 Global Assessment Report sends a clear message that risk is complex and systemic, exacerbates inequality, and preys on the vulnerable. She sounded a call to delegates that “our cause is just and right.” She declared the conference closed at 5:49 PM.
For photo reprint permissions, please follow instructions at our Attribution Regulations for Meeting Photo Usage Page
Discussions on disaster risk reduction (DRR) and resilience continued at the 2019 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2019) in Geneva, Switzerland, in two high-level dialogues, a ministerial roundtable, and many working sessions. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced its new Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management framework in the afternoon, and the Sasakawa Award ceremony took place in the evening.
Sessions on risk-informed investments suggested that DRR measures such as promoting energy efficiency, building resilient infrastructure, and addressing conflict and security threats make good business sense. In a two-hour roundtable session that ran over time, ministers shared examples of national actions, such as collaborating with the private sector on hazard mapping in Malaysia, establishing a post-disaster recovery and reconstruction office to assess losses related to two recent cyclones in Mozambique, and launching a multistakeholder resilience project following the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake in New Zealand.
Working sessions on health and disaster-induced displacement focused attention on the human cost of disasters. In a session on health in disaster risk management (DRM), discussions among WHO, public health and humanitarian aid agencies highlighted the challenges of strengthening health systems in conflict-affected and fragile contexts, and the potential for DRR approaches to contribute to protection of health workers as well as providing support for the role of governments.
Panelists in a session on disaster displacement showcased examples of good practice, such as initiatives to enable researchers from neighboring countries to collaborate on data collection, and the engagement of displaced people themselves in policy planning in host regions. The session featured two young women, from the Philippines and Indonesia, respectively, who drew from their own experiences to make recommendations for accommodating displaced persons with special needs, and for respecting local customs in shelters.
+ Visit the web coverage for Thursday, 16 May 2019
After two days of preparatory events, the 2019 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2019) opened on Wednesday on the theme, “Resilience Dividend: Towards Sustainable and Inclusive Societies.”
At the welcome plenary in the morning and the opening ceremony at mid-day, speakers from the UN, the World Bank, the host country, and civil society urged attendants to match the stakes of the conference with adequate levels of ambition, which, they noted, takes place at a pivotal historic moment in the fight against climate change.
The UN Office for DRR (UNDRR) launched the 2019 Global Assessment Report (GAR). Speakers warned that the increasing intensity of extreme weather events is causing displacement, migration, and conflict. They called for joint action and a focus on the most vulnerable, so as to gain a sustainable “resilience dividend.”
Two high-level dialogues, a ministerial roundtable, and various working sessions took place during the day. At the High-Level Dialogue on progress on implementing the Sendai Framework, speakers referred to outcomes from the five regional platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) that took place in 2018. They highlighted statistics on the scope of global risk, with some 265 million individuals having been displaced by disasters since 2008, more than three times as many as displacements caused by conflict. Others discussed the need to further engage with the risks presented by new technologies, and drew attention to the systemic and cascading impacts of risk.
In the afternoon, many sessions were packed to capacity. At a Special Session on Women’s Leadership in DRR, panelists discussed the disproportionate impact of disasters on women. At a working session on progress towards the Sendai Framework Implementation, panelists and the audience engaged in a lively discussion on various reporting tools available to track progress on DRR, and on what makes for valid and inclusive data. Other sessions showcased the findings of the GAR 2019, and the actions taken by national and local authorities to promote adoption of DRR strategies that are tailored to realities on the ground.
+ Visit the web coverage for Wednesday, 15 May 2019
On day two of preparatory events for the 2019 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2019), participants met in various forums and events around the main venue of the International Conference Center Geneva (CICG).
The Fourth World Reconstruction Conference (WRC4) at CICG, the second Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems Conference (MHEWS-II) at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and the Science and Policy Forum at the Palais des Nations all entered their second and final day of discussions leading up to GP2019.
WRC4 discussed the benefits of inclusion in disaster preparedness, response and recovery. Participants called for including women and local communities in recovery efforts, not only as beneficiaries but also as key actors. Speakers from the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority, India, noted that the state’s efforts to include people with disabilities in its disaster risk reduction (DRR) program had successfully prevented fatalities among this group during the 2018 floods in the region.
At MHEWS, panelists stressed the importance of making warnings clear and accessible so that recipients understand what action they should take. Speakers from Niger, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Nepal described the benefits of Early Warning Systems, citing a return on investment (ROI) as high as 3:1 in terms of lives saved, losses avoided, and protection of agricultural productivity.
The Science and Policy Forum highlighted the opportunities that technology provides for building resilient and inclusive societies, while cautioning that new technologies also create new vulnerabilities – for example, in pollution caused by the increase in e-waste from disposal of mobile phones, and an increased reliance on electronic security and payment systems, which can be disrupted by fires and floods.
Other meetings associated with GP2019 on Tuesday were a local authorities’ meeting, an interactive session with parliamentarians, and several regional group and civil society consultations.
+ Visit the web coverage for Tuesday, 14 May 2019
The Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction 2019 (GP2019) began preparatory events on Monday, ahead of the forthcoming high-level meeting from 15 – 17 May in Geneva, Switzerland. Many forums and side events took place in and around the main conference venue of the CICG, organized by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and partners including the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), universities, and other international organizations.
One of the preparatory events leading up to GP2019 was Fourth World Reconstruction Conference (WRC-4). The two-day conference, which opened Monday at the International Conference Center Geneva (CICG), highlighted inclusivity as a centerpiece of national DRR frameworks. Speakers noted that there are many entry points to begin protecting vulnerable populations from disasters, and cited examples such as giving support to NGOs or care workers, and identifying who is vulnerable before a disaster occurs.
Another two-day preparatory event for GP2019 was the Second Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems Conference (MHEWS-II), which took place near the conference venue, at the headquarters of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The conference drew attention to the need for a multi-hazard approach in light of the anticipated impacts of climate change, and participants discussed progress on technology and partnerships to reach people in “the last mile” through MHEWS.
A third event in preparation for GP2019 was the Science and Policy Forum at the nearby UN Headquarters, the Palais des Nations. The Forum brought together academics and policymakers from the disaster risk reduction (DRR) community. They discussed the need to reach audiences beyond the DRR community,
expand the traditional scope of academic research to work closely with local communities, and improve the governance of risk through adopting deliberative approaches.
Other events associated with GP2019 preparations on Monday included the Fourth Meeting of the Small Island States Resilience Initiative (SISRI) Practitioners’ Network at WMO, a stakeholder forum organized by UNDRR, and several consultations of regional groups.
+ Visit the web coverage for Monday, 13 May 2019