Daily report for 23 May 2022

7th Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2022)

The Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction 2022 (GP2022) began with preparatory events on Monday, 23 May, ahead of the forthcoming high-level meeting on 25-27 May in Bali, Indonesia. GP2022 is organized by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and hosted by the Government of Indonesia. The preparatory days are structured along the third Multi-Hazard Early Warning Conference (MHEWC-III), the second Stakeholder Forum, and the fifth World Reconstruction Conference (WRC-5).

Third Multi-Hazard Early Warning Conference

MHEWC-III revolved around taking stock and scaling actions for early warning under Sendai Framework Target G (increase access to multihazard early warning systems (MHEWS) and disaster risk information and assessments). During the opening session, Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), highlighted the acceleration of the Target’s timeline with the announcement of UN Secretary-General António Guterres on 23 March 2022 to “spearhead new action to ensure every person on Earth is protected by early warning systems (EWS) within five years.” He explained WMO is consulting on three key areas to meet this goal: enhanced risk understanding; predictive and warning capabilities; and coordinated communication and incentive structures.

Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for DRR and Head of UNDRR, pointed to the sharp increase in climate-related disasters and highlighted three initiatives: creating a Center of Excellence for Climate and Disaster Resilience with WMO; taking stock of progress against Target G; and developing a guidebook on MHEWS for practitioners. Dwikorita Karnawati, Head, Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG), emphasized the increased poverty due to the pandemic and reduced global capacity to deal with DRR, calling for action that empowers local governments’ capacity, including indigenous communities.

After the opening session, Ricardo Mena, Director, UNDRR, illustrated the state of play on EWS. He highlighted the continuous progress across the six indicators under Target G, but also the considerable work left to do, with many countries yet to introduce and report on MHEWS, or to improve on the limited to moderate achievement of their existing systems. A first panel, moderated by Johan Stander, Director, WMO, shared progress, challenges, and solutions for different regions. Panelists described their region’s transition to impact-based warning systems; referred to the social and cultural aspects such as making early warning people-centered and targeting them to vulnerable and potentially illiterate groups; illustrated regional data sharing and coordination tools; and described legislative challenges.

A second panel, moderated by Paola Albrito, UNDRR, highlighted good practices for MHEWS. Jane Rovins, New Zealand Emergency Management Agency, explained how traditional cyclone and storm categorization is unclear and focuses on one hazard only, and presented her country’s color-coded warning system as an alternative. Osvaldo Luiz Leal de Moraes, National Center for Monitoring and Early Warning of Natural Disasters (CEMADEN), Brazil, referred to new and increased challenges requiring hazard mapping, observation, and warning to become more dynamic, adaptive, and inclusive. Denis Chang Seng, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), presented their Tsunami Ready by 2030 programme as a good example of how regional information, and service centers and awareness days and videos can make a difference on the ground. Ardhasena Sopaheluwakan, BMKG, explained challenges of DRR and community resilience due to increased urbanization and reduced environmental health. Adji Awa Touré, Senegal Agency of Civil Aviation and Meteorology, confirmed that a color-coded warning system leads to better outcomes and has resulted in saving lives among Senegalese fishers. Concluding, Erica Allis, WMO, encouraged member states to register their interest in contributing to the Early Warnings for All Initiative with a view to present an action plan on how to achieve the accelerated Target G by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP 27.

Two thematic perspective sessions followed, with the first focusing on the status, gaps, and way forward regarding governance and inclusive early warnings.

Moderator Ronald Jackson, Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery Team Head, UNDP, emphasized that to fulfil their purpose, EWS need to be inclusive, considering, inter alia, gender, disability, caste, religion, education, sexuality, and geographic location, providing actionable information relevant to everyday realities.

He thereafter moderated a panel of five panelists: Renato Solidum, Jr., Under Secretary for Department of Science and Technology, the Philippines; Graziela Ariani Olua, Meteorologist, Indonesia; Carlos Tejada, Plan International, El Salvador; Benedetta Gualandi, Oxfam South Africa; and Setareki Macanawai, Pacific Disability Forum, Fiji.

On defining inclusivity, participants highlighted the notions of equality, comprehension by all, people-centrality, leaving no one behind, and the potential of vulnerable groups to fully exercise their rights. On key governance challenges when developing EWS and messaging that can reach the whole population, panelists noted there are no one-size-fits-all messages, calling for targeting specific audiences with appropriate communication strategies. They further called for developing fit-for-purpose governance systems.

Participants further stressed the need to consult early and meaningfully at all levels of society, and to make warning systems up-to-date, interactive, understandable, and affordable. To effectively implement MHEWS, participants enumerated crucial factors including political will, clear mandates, inter-agency coordination, engagement with businesses and the non-governmental sector, and integrated technologies. The outcome of the session showed that only a people-centered approach to MHEWS can ensure inclusiveness.

The second thematic session focused on EWS driven by risk information. Ian List, President, Services Commission, WMO moderated the session. Loretta Hieber Girardet, UNDRR, reported on data that can track underwater sounds for tsunamigenic earthquakes, and the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System, which provides early warning information and data to support prevention, preparedness, and response.

Shirish Ravan, Head, UN Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER) Beijing Office, UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, noted the need to monitor high impact and low probability disasters such as pandemics and asteroids. He drew attention to the International Asteroid Warning Network, and the Space Mission Planning Advisory Group.

Agie Wandala, BMKG, discussed the Indonesia Impact-based Forecast Program, highlighting the Common Alert Protocol designed for hazard communication through media to inform the public on different types of hazards including weather, fire, earthquakes, and volcanoes.

Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls, Regional Manager, Shifting the Power Coalition, reported on the Pacific Women Lead, which aims to promote women’s leadership and rights. She highlighted examples of Women’s Weather Watch in Fiji and Vanuatu to support women’s initiatives in early warning and disaster preparedness.

The first day of the MHEWS-III was rounded off by four learning events focusing on the effectiveness of MHEWS including impact-based forecasts and anticipatory action, data formats and management processes.

Second Stakeholder Forum

The Forum brings together diverse stakeholders from around the world to provide an opportunity to share experiences and knowledge on different approaches to build disaster resilient societies.

During the opening ceremony, co-moderators Elizabeth Petheo, Miyamoto International Inc., and Adessou Kossivi, Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction (GNDR), stressed that resilience depends on the capacity of communities to respond in times of crisis.

Inia Seruiratu, Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management, Fiji, highlighted the need to bridge the gap between governments and citizens, and engage all sectors of society, emphasizing that “in this age of systemic risk, we are not safe until we are all safe.”

Focusing on meaningful participation, Carlos Kaiser Mansilla, ONG Inclusiva, Chile, stressed that, beyond leaving no one behind, “we need everyone on board.” He highlighted interconnections between DRR and climate change, and stressed the need for applied knowledge, statistical data, and indicators, including community knowledge.

Sonika Pudel, Youth Advocate, Nepal, highlighted the importance of an intergenerational approach, the value of local knowledge and community experience, and the importance of adequate, sustainable, and flexible financing.

Kurt Kunz, Ambassador of Switzerland to Indonesia, Timor-Leste, and ASEAN, highlighted integrated risk management as a systemic and whole-of-society approach to identify, evaluate, and address risk, taking all types of hazards into consideration and benchmarking them involving all relevant sectors.

Mami Mizutori, SRSG for DRR, and Head of UNDRR, highlighted the role of non-state actors, and of UNDRR’s Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism (SEM) as “the main vehicle to engage with each other and break down existing silos in the UN system.” Mizutori concluded that while most of the Sendai Framework targets “are not being achieved as we speak,” this temporary failure should lead to increased efforts and renewed passion for implementation.

Chandra Tripura, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact, stressed indigenous peoples’ meaningful contributions in DRR and offered a spiritual blessing for the Stakeholder Forum.

Two plenary sessions followed. The first focused on lessons learned in building resilience over the past three years. Moderator Tanjir Hossain, Action Aid International, said the session will focus on bringing together the Sendai voluntary commitments and ideas on how to move forward.

Fernando Britto, ARISE, highlighted the development of a transparent governance structure, building resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, and facilitating a people-centric and accessible, participatory approach to DRR.

Adreas Hapsoro, Habitat for Environment, Indonesia, stressed that housing has become the front line of defense against COVID-19. He highlighted the global dual health and economic crisis as well as relevant commitments on housing under the Sendai Framework, and offered examples of current work in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

Nirankar Saxena, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), focused on digitalization, induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, as a tool to enhance environment-friendly globalization. He highlighted biological attenuators or virus defense devices as a new category of mass safety devices capable of creating virus-safe premises.

Yuki Matsuoka, Head of the UNDRR Office in Japan, and Rahma Hanifa, U-INSPIRE Alliance, Indonesia, focused on the Sendai Framework Voluntary Commitment (SFVC) initiative, offering relevant examples and underscoring that the SFVC online platform offers an accountability mechanism for implementation of the Sendai Framework. Matsuoka offered a detailed overview of the contents of the 2022 SFVC report.

Rebecca Murphy, Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for DRR (GNDR), reflected on SEM’s evolution, focusing on efforts to bring a whole-of-society approach to DRR in the whole 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as managing and sharing knowledge assets.

The second plenary session, moderated by Jyothi Bylappa Maralenahalli, UNDRR, focused on plans and opportunities for the future of the SEM.

Rebecca Murphy, GNDR, focused on the SEM’s background, mission, and structure. Highlighting the commitment to build a sustainable, resilient world, she underscored added value when engaging with the SEM, including policy governance and accountability, knowledge exchange, and networking and advocacy.

Bikash Manna, HelpAge International, presented facts on ageing and vulnerabilities in less developed regions, noting an older world is increasingly exposed to disasters. He highlighted the Intergenerational Self-Help Club (ISHC) model, promoting equitable and inclusive development.

Sotha Sok, Cambodian Farmer Federation Association of Agricultural Producers, highlighted the role of farmers, focusing on the need to increase awareness on SEM’s work and to attract additional funding.

Ramona Miranda, Duryog Nivaran (South Asian Network on DRR), focused on gender issues and women’s critical contributions to effectively managing disaster risk, and designing and implementing gender sensitive DRR policies.

Jekulin Lipi, Sendai Children and Youth Stakeholder Group, drew attention to SEM’s overall goal to facilitate an all-of-society, people-centered, inclusive, and accessible approach for risk- informed development at all levels, focusing on four action areas: influencing global development policy; SEM’s contribution to global forums and mechanisms; knowledge management; and internal coordination.

In the afternoon, eight parallel constituency sessions focused on: disabilities; women and gender; non-governmental organizations; the private sector; children and youth; communities; the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; and media. A mingling event took place in the evening offering further opportunities to participants to exchange ideas and network.

Fifth World Reconstruction Conference

The fifth World Reconstruction Conference (WRC5) took place under the theme “Reconstructing for a Sustainable Future.”

The opening ceremony was moderated by Ronald Jackson, UNDP and Chair, International Recovery Platform Steering Committee.

Asako Okai, UN Assistant Secretary-General, and Director, UNDP Crisis Bureau, noted the need to take stock of best practices in addressing social challenges, and translate these into comprehensive, meaningful, and resilience-building disaster recovery policies.

Muhadjir Effendy, Coordinating Minister of the Ministry for Human Development and Culture, Indonesia, reported on endeavours to tackle the increased risk and complexity of future disasters through the national 2015-2045 Disaster Management Master Plan.

Mami Mizutori, SRSG for DRR and Head of UNDRR, urged WRC-5 discuss ways of tackling emerging challenges, and ensuring joint learning to develop pathways for a greener, more resilient and equitable recovery.

In a keynote address, Pramod Kumar Mishra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, India, said post-disaster recovery must focus on, among others: better outcomes of reconstruction of different sectors; social facilitation by strengthening community practices; and predictable financial, institutional and technical mechanisms.

Sameh Wahba, World Bank, noted the importance of investment in resilient infrastructure, pointing to a 4:1 return on investment. He urged scaling up international partnerships to better support disaster recovery.

Two plenary sessions followed. The first plenary focused on social, infrastructural, and economic recovery from disasters, assessing the opportunity to reset the development pathway towards a greener and more resilient future.

Sameh Wahba, World Bank moderated the session. In a keynote, Kamal Kishore, National Disaster Management Authority, India, proposed disaster resilience recovery of infrastructure through among others, integration of green infrastructure planning alongside human-built infrastructure.

Anil Pokhrel, CEO, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority, Nepal, noted that the catastrophic earthquake of 2015 resulted in the government’s development of long-term post-disaster recovery programs, and the Disaster Risk Reduction Policy and National Strategic Action Plan 2018-2030.

During the panel session, Charlotte Norman, Director, National Disaster Management Organization, Ghana, reported on the World Bank’s Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development project, which supports improved flood risk management, solid waste management, and improved access to basic infrastructure and services in the Greater Accra Region.

Luis Paulo Mandlate, Executive Director, Post Cyclone Reconstruction Cabinet, Mozambique, reported on disaster recovery plans following the 2019 cyclones Kenneth and Idai, which affected over 1.8 million people. He highlighted emergency responses alongside resilience development, implemented through relocation and reconstruction of homes.

Jim Hall, Professor, Climate and Environmental Risks, Oxford University, noted the importance of data and information for infrastructure planning, and highlighted the need to strengthen resilience by improving connectivity, incorporating nature-based solutions and financing.

Elizabeth Riley, Executive Director, Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency, discussed capacity strengthening, cooperation, and recovery financing in order to tackle impacts of climate-related disasters coupled with the outbreak of COVID-19.

The second plenary session addressed the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on “hard-won” development gains. Rita Missal, Recovery Advisor, Crisis Bureau, UNDP, moderated the session.

Pedro Conceição, Director, UN Human Development Report Office, said it is crucial to reaffirm the necessity of human security strategies while recognizing our interdependence with one another and the planet.

Albert Park, Chief Economist, Asian Development Bank (ADB), called for balancing multiple objectives in managing economies and continue to prioritize supporting a green transition to achieve a sustainable recovery in Asia.

Harsen Nyambe, Director, Directorate of Sustainable Environment and Blue Economy, African Union Commission, said a lesson learnt from COVID-19 is that responses were largely reactive, and noted that recovery frameworks should focus on greening the recovery.

Ahmad Zafarullah Abdul Jalil, Director, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat, said they emphasize a whole-of-community approach to the post-pandemic recovery and architecture.

Claudia Herrera, Executive Secretary, Coordination Center for Disaster Prevention in Central America and Dominican Republic (CEPREDENAC), spoke on the region’s experiences, saying local populations should be the protagonists of change.

Miguel Ceara Hatton, Minister of Planning and Economy, the Dominican Republic, said having a strategic vision for a post-COVID-19 recovery allowed recovery efforts to be strategically implemented.

Claes Andersson, Senior Crisis Response Planner, European Commission, discussed the COVID-19-Recovery Needs Assessment (CRNA), saying it identifies priority needs and critical sectors for economic recovery to be achieved.

Six parallel sessions took place in the afternoon and evening, focusing on: addressing critical infrastructure recovery; green recovery; responding to recovery challenges in the urban environment; mechanisms for strengthening social protection and local recovery; addressing the recovery needs of women and girls, people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups; and COVID-19 whole-of-society recovery priorities for health system strengthening following a risk management approach.

Further information