Daily report for 24 May 2022

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

The seventh session of the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2022) concluded its preparatory events, setting the stage for the official opening, which will take place on Wednesday, 25 May, at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center in Indonesia. This daily bulletin summarizes the second day’s proceedings, 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

The second day of the MHEWC-III opened with a thematic session on digital networks and technologies for reaching communities at risk. Moderator Omar Abou-Samra, Global Disaster Preparedness Center, noted that delivering the same message over multiple platforms in a standardized format increases positive impact. He drew attention to the Common Alert Protocol (CAP), a data format for exchanging public warnings and emergencies between alerting technologies, and to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Alert Hub initiative, aiming to increase CAP’s use.

Joe Lynch, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC), presented BEREC’s strategic pillars, emphasizing multi-connectivity, sustainable digital markets support, and end-user’s empowerment. He highlighted Article 110 of the European Electronic Communications Code, which requires all EU countries to operate a public warning system that can send geo-targeted emergency alerts to all mobile phone users in an affected area.

Abhishek Mody, Search and Assistant Partnerships, Google Asia, presented Google’s efforts to connect users and communities with information in times of crisis. He focused on a flood forecasting initiative, utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop high-quality hydrological and inundation models for timely alerts and warnings.

Jothiganesh Sundaram, UN World Food Programme, discussed combining hazard vulnerability and information exposure in a single system, enhancing risk and impact data with real-time information from ground data. Using examples from Cambodia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, and India, he emphasized that governments around the world are empowered with a technological solution that is easy to configure and maintain.

Another thematic session of MHEWC-III focused on anticipatory action and the humanitarian angle. Co-moderated by Kara Siahaan, Head of the Anticipation Hub, and Phoebe Shikuku, IFRC, the session built on an illustrative account by Rabeya Sultan, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society volunteer, from her hands-on experience with cyclone relief. An interactive discussion revolved around the need to: enhance the physical and social science base; map risks down to the community, household, and microbusiness level; ‘co-produce’ early warning systems (EWS) between government agencies, affected stakeholders, and practitioners; provide sufficient finance and insurance; and minimize false alarms.

The session engaged onsite and online participants, and four panelists: Anil Pokhrel, Nepal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Agency; Faith Mitheu, University of Reading, UK; Guleid Artan, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC); and Nelson Tivane, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) Mozambique. In conclusion, Matthias Amling, German Federal Foreign Office, summarized key elements for the transition from mostly reactive to anticipatory action on natural disasters: share knowledge, raise awareness, embrace failure, include communities, and ensure financing.

Participants further discussed ways to better leverage private sector contributions on people-centered EWS; CAP; gender mainstreaming in the context of end-to-end EWS for hydro-meteorological events; the development of the Words into Action Guide; and the next generation of forecasting and warning systems.

The high-level panel on working together for scaled up action for EWS was moderated by Heidi Schroderus-Fox, UN Acting High Representative for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Selwin Charles Hart, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Climate Action, deplored the historic lack of attention to adaptation and resilience in multilateral climate change policies, and said there is a clear moral imperative to close the early warning gap for people most exposed to disaster risks. Petteri Taalas, WMO Secretary-General, reminded participants of the impact of disasters on achieving the SDGs. Luísa Celma Caetano Meque, President, National Institute of Disaster Management, Mozambique, detailed her country’s policies and regulations for DRR, empowering local communities, and assisting internally displaced people in the event of disasters.

Sameh Wahba, Global Director, Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice, World Bank, stated the extension of EWS to global coverage needed substantial additional funding in capital and operational expenditure, and enhanced partnerships with civil society and the private sector to reach last mile connectivity adapted to local needs. Vincent Piket, EU Ambassador to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam, enumerated the EU’s financial support commitments for DRR and stressed that “it will take a near miracle, and a lot of hard work” to reach the accelerated global EWS target. Ken O’Flaherty, COP26 Regional Ambassador to Asia-Pacific and South Asia, UK, referred to the adaptation finance needs demonstrated by the Glasgow Climate Pact, and urged scaling up access to finance, participatory action, cross-sectoral approaches, and technology transfer.

Due to time constraints two panelists provided written input. Franz Breitwieser, Director, Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, referred to significant gaps in the most essential weather and climate data, particularly from SIDS and LDCs, and committed to fund further the Systematic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF) to close these gaps with considerable global socio-economic benefits. Stéphanie Durand, Director General of Emergency Management Policy and Outreach, Public Safety Canada, could not be reached for a written statement.

In the closing session, Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General, urged for multi-stakeholder and cross-sectoral collaboration as well as adequate funding to reach the accelerated EWS target, and to reduce the risk from climate-related hazards that nearly half of humanity is already facing. Johan Stander, Director, WMO, looked back at MHEWC-III as an important opportunity to bring science and disaster risk management closer together. Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for DRR and Head of UNDRR, reiterated her Office’s commitment to advancing the outcomes of MHEWC-III “in excellent partnership” with WMO, and to potentially achieve the urgent EWS target in even less than five years. Dwikorita Karnawati, Director, Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG), closed MHEWC-III calling for a “total quality of resiliency,” which includes economic, socio-cultural, and financial aspects alike.

Second Stakeholder Forum

The Stakeholder Forum continued its work with participants taking part in interactive and outcome-oriented smaller parallel sessions in the morning. In the early afternoon, in a plenary session co-moderated by Elham Youssefian, International Disability Alliance, and Mareike Bentfeld, German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), Germany, panelists discussed the outcomes from the parallel sessions, conveying key messages.

On the gap between science and technology, and practice at local level, Alinne Martinez, Young Scientists Platform on DRR, underscored the need to develop collaborative efforts, contextualizing information and moving away from one-size-fits-all national approaches towards targeted local-level approaches.

Regarding local implementation of the Sendai Framework, Maite Rodriguez, Women and Habitat Network for Latin America and the Caribbean, emphasized that local communities should be seen as protagonists of transformational change rather than victims of climate change or other disasters.

On disaster risk governance, Jekulin Lipi, Sendai Children and Youth Stakeholder Group, highlighted partnerships with civil society, result-based monitoring and evaluation, coordination with local communities, sustainable social services, and the need for inclusive, decentralized disaster risk management.

On integrating DRR in climate change policy and action, Sophie Rigg, Senior Climate and Resilience Adviser, Action Aid UK, underscored the need to move towards policy integration between DRR and climate change at all levels, noting that simply achieving policy coherence is desirable but not sufficient.

Regarding DRR financing, Modiegi Radjonyana, Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, South Africa, called for incorporating DRR considerations in all investment decisions; encouraged coherent actions among multilateral agreements and conventions; and cautioned that the pandemic signals that risk should be addressed in an integrated manner.

On the mid-term review of the Sendai Framework, Aashish Kullar, UNDRR, urged engagement of all stakeholders, making the process more inclusive and deciding the framework’s future path. He noted that the interim report on the mid-term review contains a retrospective element regarding progress on targets and a significant prospective component, focusing on what needs to be done between now and 2030, and beyond.

A second plenary session brought together representatives of major stakeholder groups, summarizing the constituency sessions, which took place on Monday 23 May. The session was moderated by Adella Indah Nurjanah, Indonesia Mitra Muda Network, and Vania Santoso, Youth Engagement Team at UNICEF, Indonesia.

Jean-Baptiste Buffet, United Cities and Local Governments, for local governments, stressed that local governments are state actors and called for collective action, creating a conducive environment for their participation in DRR efforts.

Mwanahamisi Singano, Women’s Environment and Development Organization, for the women and gender constituency, called for: moving the narrative from women being the most impacted to women as providers of solutions; financing targeted to women; and promoting inclusive and equitable recoveries in crises.

Hans-Peter Teufers, United Parcel Service Foundation and ARISE, for the private sector, highlighted the need to: take a systemic approach, engaging all stakeholders; create incentives for more resilient investments and remove relevant regulatory barriers; harness the potential of data and technology; and promote synergies and partnerships.

Natalia Ilieva, Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union, for the media constituency, underscored the need “to put DRR on screen,” discussing a relevant project targeting broadcasting organizations in an effort to making them proactive, partnering with DRR projects and moving the agenda forward.

Terry Otieno, Sendai Children and Youth Stakeholder Group, for children and youth, emphasized their leading role in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and meeting the Sendai Framework’s priorities, stressing the need to ensure their full and effective participation in DRR efforts, leaving no one behind.

Violet Shivutse, Huairou Commission, for the communities’ constituency, pointed to effective tools for further engaging community practitioners, including: mapping of risk that combines local knowledge and identifies local priorities; and production of hyperlocal community data for better planning.

Phoebe Shikuku, IFRC, for the IFRC constituency, called for: a whole-of-society approach, including investment to empower the most vulnerable; programmes inclusive of the most marginalized going beyond their mere participation; and frameworks that guarantee the engagement of all stakeholders.

Juan Angel de Gouveia, Latin American Network of NGOs of Persons with Disabilities and their Families, for peoples with disabilities, stressed that people with disabilities still face considerable barriers and remain among the most vulnerable, calling for engaging all stakeholders in the mid-term review and future implementation of the Sendai Framework.

Ghada Ahmadein, Arab Network for Environment and Development, for NGOs, called for: investing at the local level; recognizing gender inequality as a risk driver; adopting an intergenerational approach to DRR; fully involving indigenous peoples and valuing traditional knowledge; empowering women and youth; and raising awareness on EWS.

Nina Birkeland, Senior Adviser on Disaster Displacement and Climate Change, NRC, for displaced people, underscored the need to: work across silos and strengthen DRR governance; increase efforts to understand risk related to displacement; and ensure the meaningful participation of people displaced or in danger of displacement in DRR activities.

Debora Comini, UN Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), closed the session, stressing that risks associated with natural disasters are on the increase globally, especially for the most vulnerable. She emphasized the hope that joint efforts, determination, and resources would support stronger and more diverse outputs. She highlighted a rise in awareness in civil action and activism, concluding that “our actions are more impactful when we work with children and young people across all areas of importance to them.”

The closing session was co-moderated by Dan Perell, Baháʼí International Community, and Martha Moghbelpour, Desk for Social Action.

Pauline Kariuki, ActionAid, focused on the meaningful engagement of financial institutions, calling for integrating DRR in local financing and investment strategies.

Nelson Tivane, NRC, shared key insights from the stakeholder declaration, stressing: the need for immediate action; the importance of integrating local actors in planning and decision making; and the need to learn from past experiences.

Ahmadul Haque, Cyclone Preparedness Programme, Bangladesh, shared national efforts, programmes, and insights regarding disaster preparedness, including community engagement and women empowerment. 

Anita Niraula, Under Secretary, Nepal, focused on the national DRR platform, highlighting efforts to engage all relevant sectors and stakeholders, including under the National Reconstruction Authority, following the 2015 earthquake.

Abhilash Panda, UNDRR, noted that stakeholder engagement has drastically changed approaches to DRR in numerous countries. He highlighted the need to: break up silos; act now and together; involve local governments; learn from best practices; and address the interlinkages between DRR, climate change, and the wider sustainable development agenda.

Moderator Perell concluded the session with an interactive session on key take-aways by participants in the Stakeholder Forum, and the collective watering of a plant, symbolizing the joint efforts needed for a sustainable future.              

Fifth World Reconstruction Conference

The second and final day of WRC-5 started with a plenary session on planning and managing recovery from complex and interconnected disaster-conflict events in the COVID-19 transformed world.

Ronald Jackson, Head, Disaster Risk Reduction, Recovery for Building Resilience, UNDP Crisis Bureau, and International Recovery Platform Steering Committee Chair, moderated the session.

Niels Holm-Nielsen, Head, Global Facility for Disaster Risk Recovery, said the World Bank is aiming to strengthen approaches to address natural hazard risk in the context of ongoing conflicts, stating disaster risk management must be done in an integrated fashion to create more concrete solutions.

Antonio Freitas, Deputy Finance Minister, Timor-Leste, said disaster risk recovery should be cross-cutting and based on the principle of building back better. Jerry Chandler, Director General, Civil Protection, Haiti, reiterated the importance of coordination in order to deliver aid in the wake of the disasters. Nathan Nkomo, Chief Director, Department of Civil Protection, Zimbabwe, said Zimbabwe had created an ad hoc inter-ministerial task force to address reacting to and recovering from COVID-19.

A panel discussion, featuring Banak Joshua Dei Wal, Director General, Disaster Management, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, South Sudan; Anita Chandra, Vice President, RAND Corporation; and Katie Peters, Overseas Development Institute, discussed approaches to addressing disaster risk recovery in conflict zones. Among others, they highlighted the role of civil society organizations in disaster risk recovery governance.

In the afternoon, a technical session discussed the role of anticipatory financing for disaster recovery. Abhilash Panda, UNDRR, moderated the panel discussions and noted that anticipatory financing is an important connector to successful humanitarian action.

Sharing experiences in anticipatory financing, Cristel Pratt, ASG, Environment and Climate Action, Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), pointed to, among others, disaster financing diagnosis carried out in several African countries, contingency funds and loans, and financing facilities such as the Caribbean Risk Insurance Facility. Aisha Jamshed, Director, Welthungerhilfe Pakistan, discussed a hazard anticipatory action programme, which provides pre-funded contingency funds to respond to heatwaves, drought, and flooding. Quynh Tran, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Efforts (UNOCHA), reported on anticipatory action during the monsoon flooding in Bangladesh, where emergency financing was released within four hours to ensure water security for 220,000 people.

Discussing challenges facing anticipatory financing, Kara Siahaan, Head of the Anticipation Hub, noted fragmentation of planning including forecasting. Matthias Amling, Federal Foreign Office, Germany, pointed out operational capacity on the ground for anticipatory action.

On how anticipatory financing supports recovery, moderator Jackson noted the importance of linking forecasts with prearranged measures to deal with expected losses and lessen the burden of recovery.

Three additional technical sessions addressed: institutional arrangements for managing complex crises; assessing recovery in complex and interconnected disaster-conflict events; and pre-disaster recovery planning.

The closing ceremony was moderated by Paola Albrito, Chief of Branch for the Intergovernmental Processes, Interagency Cooperation and Partnership, UNDRR. Rahma Hanifa, U-Inspire Alliance, underscored pre-disaster recovery plans as complementary to DRR measures. Ella Nurlela, Association of Indonesian Women with Disability, illustrated the relationship between disaster and disability.

Sameh Wahba, Global Director, Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice, World Bank, said building back better from disasters should be a guiding principle and urged greening the recovery process.

Ricardo Mena, Director, UNDRR, said the pandemic has shown us we can build back better through green, more equitable, and resilient development.

Asako Okai, UN Assistant Secretary-General, and Director, UNDP Crisis Bureau, shared elements of the WRC-5 communique, including: calling for a resilient recovery process that puts agency in the hands of the affected people; recognizing that critical infrastructure recovery requires strong collaboration with civil society, including local knowledge holders; and urging development of gender-responsive recovery governance strategies and processes.

Lilik Kurniawan, Primary Secretary, National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), called for recovery focused on livelihoods, and the resilience of communities and institutions, leaving no one behind.

The conference closed with a short video providing insight into the proceedings and its outcomes.

Further information