AFRP Bulletin
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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in collaboration with the
African Union Commission (AUC), the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS) Commission,
the Nigerian Government, and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR)
AU, ECOWAS, Nigerian Government, UNISDR
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Volume 141 Number 7 - Monday, 19 May 2014
13-16 MAY 2014
The 5th Africa Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (AfRP14) and the 3rd Ministerial Meeting for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) convened at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja, Nigeria, from 13-16 May 2014 under the theme ‘Prevent Risk: Build Resilience.’ More than 900 representatives of national and local governments, Regional Economic Communities, parliamentarians, bilateral and multilateral donors, the United Nations, non-governmental organizations, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, academic, scientific and technical institutions, and other international organizations, community practitioners, persons with disabilities, youth, women’s groups, the private sector and the media, participated in the discussions.

The meeting was held as part of a series of multi-stakeholder consultations leading up to the 3rd World Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) that will take place in Sendai, Japan, from 14-18 March 2015. The main goal of the meeting was to forge an African position on a post-2015 DRR framework focused on building the resilience of African institutions and communities. AfRP14 was convened by the African Union Commission (AUC) and hosted by the Government of Nigeria, with support from the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and other partners.

Following pre-conference events and stakeholder consultations on 12 and 13 May, AfRP14 officially opened on the afternoon of Tuesday, 13 May. Participants met in plenary as well as in seven parallel thematic sessions on Wednesday and Thursday to consider, among other topics: achievements and challenges of the Africa Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (2004) and the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 (HFA); risk sensitive planning and management and financing; UN Delivering as One for DRR; integrating DRR and climate change adaptation (CCA) for resilience; the role of national platforms for DRR; eco-system based DRR; and leadership and investment for DRR mainstreaming.

The meeting produced three main outcomes:
  • A common African position (summary statement) on Africa’s contribution to the post-2015 framework for DRR containing 41 recommendations relating to four key areas: regional risk factors and institutional frameworks; integrating DRR and CCA; investing in DRR; and duration of the Post-2015 Framework for DRR.
  • A Ministerial Declaration; and
  • Voluntary stakeholder commitments adopted by representatives of all stakeholder groups participating at AfRP14.
During the closing session of the High-Level Segment on Friday, 16 May, Ministers adopted the Summary Statement on Africa’s Contribution to the Post-2015 Framework for DRR, as well as the Ministerial Declaration.

This report provides an overview of the discussions and main outcomes of the meeting.


Natural hazards, such as floods, droughts, earthquakes and tsunamis, are becoming more regular and intense, increasing impact on people and communities. Compounding the situation, poor planning, poverty and a range of other underlying factors create conditions of vulnerability that result in insufficient capacity to cope with natural hazards and disasters. Action to reduce risk has grown in importance on the international agenda and is seen by many as essential to safeguard sustainable development efforts and achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

DRR includes all the policies, strategies and measures that can make people, cities and countries more resilient to hazards and reduce risk and vulnerability to disasters. Recognizing that natural hazards can threaten anyone unexpectedly, the UNISDR system builds on partnerships and takes a global approach to disaster reduction, seeking to involve every individual and community in moving towards the goals of reducing the loss of lives, socio-economic setbacks and the environmental damages caused by natural hazards. The following highlights the development of the international DRR agenda.

INTERNATIONAL DECADE FOR NATURAL DISASTER REDUCTION: An increase in human casualties and property damage in the 1980s motivated the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in 1989 to declare the 1990s the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) (Resolution 44/236). The aim of the IDNDR was to address disaster prevention in the context of a range of hazards, including: earthquakes, windstorms, tsunamis, floods, landslides, volcanic eruptions, wildfires, grasshopper and locust infestations, and drought and desertification.

FIRST WORLD CONFERENCE ON DISASTER REDUCTION: One of the main outcomes of the IDNDR was the Yokohama Strategy for a Safer World and its Plan of Action, adopted in 1994 at the First World Conference on Natural Disaster Reduction (WCDR) held in Yokohama, Japan. The Yokohama Strategy set guidelines for action on prevention, preparedness and mitigation of disaster risk. These guidelines were based on a set of principles that stress the importance of risk assessment, disaster prevention and preparedness, the capacity to prevent, reduce and mitigate disasters, and early warning. The principles also stated that the international community should share technology to prevent, reduce and mitigate disasters, while demonstrating a strong political determination in the field of disaster reduction.

INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY FOR DISASTER REDUCTION: At its 54th session in 1999, the UNGA decided to continue the activities on disaster prevention and vulnerability reduction carried out during the IDNDR through the establishment of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR). An Inter-Agency Secretariat and an Inter-Agency Task Force for Disaster Reduction (IATF/DR) for the implementation of the ISDR were also established (Resolutions 54/219 and 56/195, respectively). Among its mandated tasks, the IATF/DR was to convene ad hoc expert meetings on issues related to disaster reduction.

SECOND WORLD CONFERENCE ON DISASTER REDUCTION: The Second WCDR convened from 18-22 January 2005 in Kobe, Japan. The aim of the conference was to increase the international profile of DRR, promote its integration into development planning and practice, and strengthen local and national capacities to address the causes of disasters that hamper development. The 168 states attending the conference adopted the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters (HFA) and the Hyogo Declaration. The HFA was endorsed by the UNGA in Resolution 60/195 and committed governments to five priorities for action to: ensure that DRR is a national and local priority, with a strong institutional basis for implementation; identify, assess and monitor disaster risks and enhance early warning; use knowledge, innovation and education to build a culture of safety and resilience at all levels; reduce the underlying risk factors; and strengthen disaster preparedness for effective response at all levels.

GLOBAL PLATFORM FOR DRR: In 2006, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs launched a consultative process to consider practical ways of strengthening the ISDR system to support governments in meeting their commitments to implement the HFA. As outlined in the UN Secretary-General’s reports on the implementation of the ISDR, the main aims were to extend participation of governments and organizations, raise the profile of disaster reduction, and construct a more coherent international effort to support national disaster reduction activities. A result of the consultations was the proposal to convene the Global Platform for DRR as an expanded and reformed successor to the IATF/DR. The Global Platform was envisaged to serve as the primary multistakeholder forum for all parties involved in DRR in order to raise awareness on DRR, share experience and guide the ISDR system.

FIRST SESSION OF THE GLOBAL PLATFORM FOR DRR: The First Session of the Global Platform was held from 5-7 June 2007 in Geneva, Switzerland. It included a high-level dialogue on DRR challenges and opportunities, a series of workshops on DRR as a national priority and integrating DRR into sector agendas, and plenary sessions on assessing and implementing the HFA. Discussions resulted in a Chair’s Summary that was included in the UN Secretary-General’s report to the UNGA on the implementation of the ISDR.

SECOND SESSION OF THE GLOBAL PLATFORM FOR DRR: The Second Session of the Global Platform was held from 16-19 June 2009 in Geneva, Switzerland. Participants assessed progress made on DRR since the Global Platform’s first session. Participants focused on increasing investment in DRR, reducing disaster risk in a changing climate and enabling community resilience through preventive action. The Chair’s Summary that emerged from the meeting helped set the agenda for the global DRR community to prepare for the UN climate change negotiations in Copenhagen in December 2009, as well as for the Mid-term Review of the HFA.

INFORMAL THEMATIC DEBATE OF THE 65TH SESSION OF THE UNGA ON DRR: This debate took place at UN headquarters in New York, US, on 9 February 2011. Organized under the auspices of the office of the UNGA President, with support from UNISDR, the debate consisted of two panel discussions: the first panel focused on promoting investment for DRR, and the second panel addressed the challenges of DRR in urban settings and how to build resilience in cities. The outcomes of the debate contributed to the agenda of the Third Session of the Global Platform for DRR.

MID-TERM REVIEW OF THE HFA 2005-2015: The Mid-term Review, released in March 2011, highlights progress in DRR, critically analyzing the extent to which implementation of the HFA has progressed, as well as identifying ways to assist countries and their institutional partners to increase commitment, resourcing and efforts in its further implementation. According to the review, progress in DRR is occurring, especially institutionally in the passing of national legislation, establishment of early warning systems, and strengthening of disaster preparedness and response. The review raises concerns about: the lack of systematic multi-hazard risk assessments and early warning systems, factoring in social and economic vulnerabilities; the poor integration of DRR into sustainable development policies and planning at national and international levels; and the insufficient level of implementation of the HFA at the local level.

THIRD SESSION OF THE GLOBAL PLATFORM FOR DRR: The Third Session of the Global Platform was held from 8-13 May 2011 in Geneva, Switzerland, under the theme ‘Invest Today for a Safer Tomorrow – Increased Investment in Local Action.’ The meeting built on the findings and recommendations of the Global Platform’s second session held in 2009, as well as the results of the Mid-term Review of the HFA and the 2011 Global Assessment Report on DRR. Discussions focused mainly on reconstruction and recovery, the economics of DRR, and synergies with the international climate change and development agenda.

FOURTH SESSION OF THE GLOBAL PLATFORM FOR DRR: The Fourth Session of the Global Platform convened from 19-23 May 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting provided an opportunity to review the status of the HFA and encourage information sharing among decision makers, development partners, experts and practitioners. It also provided tools and methodologies, especially relating to economic analyses of, and investment in DRR. The main outcomes of the meeting included a Chair’s Summary and the Communiqué of the High-Level Dialogue.

REGIONAL PLATFORMS: Regional inter-governmental organizations have increasingly taken responsibility for follow-up of risk reduction activities and HFA implementation, organizing a series of multi-stakeholder platforms for DRR in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, the Arab States, Europe and the Americas. The regional platforms provide a forum for institutionalizing the exchange of information and knowledge among national stakeholders, and enable diverse regional stakeholders to share experiences, monitor progress, seek investment opportunities, and take collective strategic decisions and action to enhance the implementation of their DRR activities. They are also used as benchmarks in the regions to monitor the implementation of the HFA. The outcomes from regional platforms feed into the biennial Global Platforms with the aim of supporting effective global action and expanding the political space devoted to DRR. An overview of upcoming regional events and progress reports is available on the UNISDR PreventionWeb portal.

AFRICA’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE POST-2015 DRR FRAMEWORK: The process to craft a common African position on the post-2015 DRR framework has evolved through a series of consultations at the national, sub-regional and regional levels. Recent consultative meetings have taken place at: the Fourth Africa Regional Platform in Arusha, Tanzania, in February 2013; the Fourth Global Platform held in Geneva, Switzerland, in May 2013 that considered a draft text on Africa’s contribution and position prepared by the African Union Commission; and a consultative meeting on the post-2015 framework held in Nairobi, Kenya, in November 2013 that resulted in a draft Africa contribution paper on the post-2015 framework, in the form of a Summary Statement. The draft position paper was refined at the Extended Africa Working Group meeting that took place in Abuja, Nigeria, in March 2014, which released a statement that formed the basic input document for the AfRP.



On 13 May, Master of Ceremonies Moji Makanjuola, Nigerian broadcaster, welcomed delegates.

WELCOME REMARKS: Muhammad Sani Sidi, Director General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Nigeria, lamented the disproportionate impact of disasters in Africa and underscored the need for the continent to do more to invest in DRR. Noting that disasters are “always local” he highlighted the Nigerian government’s efforts to enhance preparedness and DRR, especially at the community level.

Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria, noted that recent incidents of terrorism have challenged the country’s disaster preparedness. She expressed hope that the forum will serve as a platform to review existing strategies and identify more effective DRR approaches, as well as developing a strong African position for the post-2015 framework on DRR.

OPENING STATEMENTS: Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction (SRSG) recognized the high attendance at the meeting. Noting that 2015 represents an important milestone for DRR, she urged practitioners to seize the opportunity to establish a stronger link with broader policy discussions around the post-2015 development agenda, as well as the climate change negotiations. She noted that while Africa faces many challenges, it also has six of the fastest growing economies in the world, and she expressed hope that the meeting would help to articulate how a global framework for DRR can assist in mitigating some of the immediate risks to African social and economic aspirations.

Daouda Toure, UN Resident Coordinator, Nigeria, said many countries have created national DRR platforms or dedicated ministries. He highlighted UN efforts to mobilize integrated action and a post-disaster needs assessment following the 2012 floods in Nigeria, as well as related efforts by the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) to help strengthen the country’s disaster management and recovery efforts.

Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, highlighted complementary AU initiatives, including the designation of 2014 as the year of agriculture and food security in Africa and the Africa Agenda 2063 that aims to focus efforts towards the socioeconomic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years. While welcoming the support of diverse regional and international institutions, she noted the need to address limited capacity in many countries to translate DRR plans into action, especially at the community level. She invited the contribution of DRR experts in the AUC Specialized Technical Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment, observing it offers an opportunity for raising the profile of these issues among African policymakers.

Ryuichi Shoji, Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, recalled Japan’s role in hosting the first and second WCDR in 1994 and 2005, and its contribution to integrating DRR in development planning in Africa through the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) initiative. He noted the 2015 WCDRR in Sendai will provide an opportunity to share Japan’s experience in resilient reconstruction following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Fatimata Die Sow, ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Gender, highlighted ongoing programmes under the overarching regional DRR framework that helps member states to, inter alia, establish national platforms, train media and other stakeholders in DRR and conflict reduction, and strengthen coordination of HFA-related activities. She called on the successor post-2015 framework to build on the synergies that have already been established, including in inter-regional cooperation.

OFFICIAL OPENING: Anyim Pius Anyim, Nigeria, expressed concern about the escalation and frequency of natural and human-related disasters, noting they are threatening national development gains and the attainment of progressive societies. He called for platforms, like AfRP, to contribute to fighting common enemies including terrorism, climate change and conflicts. He highlighted the role of the private sector in DRR and emergency preparedness and then declared the platform formally open.


TOWARDS A POST-2015 FRAMEWORK FOR DRR: THE HYOGO FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION 2005-2015 AND AFRICA REGIONAL STRATEGY/PLATFORM OF ACTION: In her opening remarks, Chair Tumusiime stressed that “as we prepare for global engagement we must also be ready,” saying this requires first exploring what Africa can do for itself, in order to help articulate the region’s priorities in the post-2015 DRR framework.

Introducing the session, Moderator Wahlström said the review of the HFA and the Africa Regional Strategy is the cornerstone of the week’s discussions. Noting that 10 years is not a long time to change institutions, she called on delegates to take note of any progress made in this regard, while also engaging in a frank exchange about the lessons learned.

STATUS REPORT ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AFRICA REGIONAL STRATEGY AND HFA: Sharon Rusu, Head, UNISDR Regional Office for Africa, presented the status report on implementation of the Africa Regional Strategy and HFA. She said that the findings reveal three areas of interest: the changing risk environment; how governments are responding; and regional cooperation efforts. Calling urbanization the “elephant in the room,” and highlighting that Africa has more than half of the world’s fastest growing economies, she said that there is an opportunity for governments to prevent the accumulation of new risk through smart growth and the use of safety nets in terms of the environment, urbanization and rural economies.

Recalling the five HFA priorities for action (PAs), Rusu said that significant progress was made during the last reporting period on early warning and preparedness (PA2 and PA5) but that progress on reducing underlying risk factors (PA4) is lagging. She underscored progress at the sub-regional and regional levels, and, noting that African countries recognize the benefits of cooperation on DRR, urged countries to share experiences with one another. She said there is a major opportunity for African governments to work with regional and sub-regional institutions to break down the silos that prevent cooperation.

Looking to the future, Rusu said that post-2015 DRR work would focus on putting informed policy into practice. She said that it is essential to reduce existing risk and prevent the accumulation of new risk, particularly with regards to urbanization. She said that national plans and policies should link to CCA efforts and the Sustainable Development Goals, and noted the need for adequate and sustained financing.

COUNTRY EXPERIENCES ON ACHIEVEMENTS AND CHALLENGES IN IMPLEMENTING THE HFA: Ethiopia: Tadesse Bekele, Ethiopia, highlighted drought risk management measures saying Ethiopia’s current focus is to better align its strategies, first developed in 1993, with the HFA. As an example of how the five-year Growth Transformation Plan is integrating elements of DRR and CCA, he outlined the role of public-private partnerships in comprehensive risk assessments conducted in 300 districts (woredas). On national level achievements, he highlighted the Livelihoods, Early System Assessment and Protection Initiative (LEAP), which collects data through remote sensing data from automated weather stations to support early action. He concluded by highlighting the need to enhance community participation and investments in human capital development.

Gabon: Speaking on institutional measures, Hortense Togo, Gabon, highlighted the integration of DRR in the Emerging Gabon Program, which aims to foster integration of the three pillars of sustainable development. On specific actions under PA1 (on the institutional framework for implementation), she highlighted: the creation of a directorate-general for DRR, as well as an interministerial coordinating mechanism for emergency management; and the enacting a national legal framework on DRR that has guided the development of a national contingency plan. Under PA2 (on assessment and monitoring of disaster risks to enhance early warning), she underscored, inter alia: mapping risk-prone areas; strengthening technical capacity for gathering and analyzing weather data; and adopting DRR standards in construction and infrastructure projects. With regard to PA5 (on strengthening disaster preparedness) she described pollution control measures and the development of a national plan for the prevention of epidemics. Among sub-regional level activities, she highlighted: a DRR consultation for the central African region hosted by Gabon in June 2012; adoption of a regional strategy linking DRR and CCA; and the Yaoundé Action Plan 2013-2015 on DRR.

Mozambique: Presenting on early warning systems, Mauricio Xerinda, Mozambique National Emergency Operations Centre, said the reduction of disaster related deaths is the primary objective. He spoke about building resilient communities, businesses and infrastructure, particularly regarding floods, noting that Mozambique is a downstream nation facing significant flood management challenges. On post-disaster recovery, he underscored opportunities to reduce risk by relocating flood-prone communities and through the flexible allocation of resources to support rapid response and reconstruction. On future challenges for Mozambique, he said that in April 2014 the Mozambique Parliament approved a disaster management law and that implementation was expected to pose a major challenge. He also noted Mozambique needs to strengthen its institutional framework on disaster risk management (DRM) and better engage civil society, the private sector, and communities in DRR actions.

Senegal: Ahmadou Diop, Senegal, presented the country’s efforts in the area of flood risk management between 2000-2012. Noting the government’s commitment to poverty reduction, Diop said that disaster prevention has been at the core of the Senegalese strategies. On the actions planned from 2012-2022, he stressed that Senegal will: improve recognition of risk areas; enhance methods to rapidly relocate populations affected by floods; and reinforce urban resilience.

QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION: Responding to questions on how Ethiopia is reversing decades of chronic food insecurity, Bekele said interventions were based on systematic monitoring of up to 7.5 million food aid beneficiaries over a 20-year period. This enabled the government to target programmes in affected areas to tackle the root causes of food insecurity by using food and cash-for-work programmes to encourage community-led safety net programmes, including integrated watershed management. He said this approach has reduced food dependence and empowered communities to build assets and “graduate” from food programmes.

Discussing the sustainability of DRR programmes in Senegal, Diop noted that mapping of vulnerable areas and populations was entirely funded by the national budget with collaboration of all stakeholders at national and sub-national level. On the role of the parliament, he said networks have been established to monitor DRR-related activities and facilitate input from the community level.

Recognizing the numerous issues raised, Wahlström invited delegates to continue their discussions during the informal plenary, Africa Talks.

TOWARDS AN AFRICAN VISION FOR A POST-2015 FRAMEWORK ON DRR: Almami Dampha, AUC, presented the draft African statement that was prepared in Abuja in March 2014. The key elements, he said, included: regional risk factors and institutional frameworks; integration of DRR and climate change adaptation; investments in DRR; and enhancing commitments. Closing the session, Tumusiime underscored the need to take into account the different levels of human and financial capacity on the continent.

PANEL DISCUSSION ON MANAGING RISK - POLICY AND INSTITUTIONS: The session was chaired by Abdou Sané, Senegal. Session Moderator Rachel Shebesh, Pan-African Parliament, noted some parliamentarians are interested in pushing the DRR agenda, saying that there is a gap is in representation, which means “getting down to the people who matter.”

In his keynote presentation, Xavier Agostinho Chavana, Mozambique, discussed issues related to policies and institutions that need to be created or reformed to improve guidance for risk management. Reflecting on the main hindrances of the implementation of DRR in the last 10 years, he highlighted: lack of adequate approaches regarding the definition of risk; excessive allocation of time and resources on damage reduction; and unclear language in the HFA with respect to the expression “reduce losses,” which deviated attention from prevention. He recommended four main actions to help improve African commitment to DRR in the context of the post-2015 DRR framework, namely: a clearer definition of targets and goals that will address “acceptable” risks; the creation of specific institutions responsible for DRR; the allocation of significant funding; and the development of more accountable institutions through the institutionalization of monitoring mechanisms.

Responding to the issues raised, Tadesse Bekele, Ethiopia, focused on the need to improve capacity building for DRR, identifying the main challenge as mainstreaming DRR policies at all levels, including dimensions of prevention and rehabilitation. For greater effectiveness in this process, he highlighted the need for a decentralized, community-based and community-led approach.

Emmanuel Hindovei Tommy, Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, shared the results of the multi-country study by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and UN Development Programme (UNDP), which found that implementation challenges remain at the local level due to both a lack of resources and local government capacity. He said that laws can be strong enablers of DRR implementation at the local level and that linkages between sectors should be examined so that disaster management includes ministries involved in areas such as construction and building; land planning; and environmental management.

Regina Pritchett, Huairou Commission, discussed community practitioner platforms that facilitate knowledge transfer and learning exchange up from the community level to the national level. She said that women at the grassroots level have a keen technical understanding of DRR and have to deal with climate change and disasters on a daily basis. She added that by using community practitioner platforms, they can negotiate their own priorities and can formalize partnerships. She noted that 80% of money for DRR is spent on disaster recovery, and underscored the need for the post-2015 follow-up agreement to the HFA to flip the focus to addressing disasters before they strike.

Concluding the session, Chair Sané thanked the speakers for their clear assessment of challenges in DRR implementation, including poor legislation and institutional fragmentation. He said the next framework on DRR should focus on clarifying the legal framework and engendering greater political will. Noting the vulnerability of women, particularly in rural areas, Sané opened the floor for questions.

In the ensuing discussion, delegates from the Gambia, Côte d’Ivoire and Benin raised questions on, respectively: the pertinence of creating new institutions; the functionality of DRR institutions; and the lack of funding for implementing concrete action. Chavana recalled Mozambique’s experience with unprecedented floods that required institutional reorganization. Bekele insisted that without capacity improvement, risks cannot be adequately addressed. Pritchett cautioned against the unintended consequences of projects that do not incorporate a holistic view on DRR, stressing such activities could put at risk ongoing work with communities.

BALANCED DEVELOPMENT – RISK SENSITIVE PLANNING: Chair Wivine Ntamubano, East African Community (EAC), opened the session, which was organized by UN-HABITAT and UNISDR on Wednesday afternoon.

Mohamed Boussraoui, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), provided a background of the organization and an overview of its ‘Gold Reports,’ which have assessed themes such as decentralization and local democracy; local government finance and the challenges of the 21st Century and urban basic services. He underscored that the post-2015 agenda of UCLG, in the context of The Third UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), will address, among other urban issues: finance; inclusive cities and territories; cities as engines of economic development; sustainable environment and resilience; and culture and urban creativity.

Jeffrey Crawford, UN Office for Project Service (UNOPS), discussed the theme of resilient infrastructure, which is designed to be, inter alia: resistant to future natural hazards; decentralized and independent; resource-efficient across the full lifecycle; natural/green; compliant to skill-intensive jobs; and responsive to the needs of the most vulnerable. He proposed employing a multi-hazard risk assessment approach, while noting the need to observe interconnections among sectors.

Hastings Chikoko, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, presented on ‘Cities and Risk Sensitive Planning.’ Noting that 80% of megacities have funding for climate adaptation, he stated that an effective post-2015 HFA cannot be developed without including urban matters at its core and mentioned the importance of public-private partnerships for effective DRR.

Tarande Constant Manzila, World Health Organization (WHO), noted that improved urban transport could cut heart disease and stroke by 20%. Highlighting mortality statistics as an indicator of the impact of a disaster, he shared some examples of how environmental change affects health, notably the link between outdoor air pollution and 3.7 million deaths in 2012. He said this underscores the need to integrate health as one of the key outcome indicators of DRR.

Fatimetou Mint Abdel Malick, African Elected Women Network, moderated the discussion. Several issues were raised, including: the need for better data on how a degraded environment affects women in particular; how to enhance urban planning; and ways to better address diseases linked to land use changes, such as malaria. Manzila, WHO, said that effective malaria control is closely related to environmental management. Crawford, UNOPS, reemphasized the need for a multi-hazard risk assessment approach to better define risk. Boussraoui defended his assertion that decentralization is vital to foster a clean environment and effective DRR policies.

In conclusion, Malick noted the importance of addressing DRR in the context of urban areas, and highlighted issues raised in relation to women-focused health studies.

INTEGRATING DRR AND CCA FOR RESILIENCE: This session on Thursday morning was chaired by Adama Alhassane Diallo, African Center of Meteorological Application for Development, who noted the extreme vulnerability of the African continent to climate change.

Oliver Ruppel, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said that the newest IPCC report is unequivocal that climate change is negatively affecting the livelihoods of people in developing countries, where 95% of all natural disaster related deaths occur. He noted that climate change will amplify the stress on water resources and multiply health problems. He said that there is an opportunity to build resilience if actions are consolidated and integrated into planning and decision making so as to promote synergies between development, CCA and DRR.

Aida Diongue Niang, Senegal, brought up three areas where CCA and DRR intersect in Senegal: food security, flooding, and the marine economy.

Ibrahim Lumumba Idi-issa, Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) described the activities of CILSS regarding food security, which he said is at the intersection of CCA and DRR. He described the use of joint missions to conduct preliminary assessments of crops in the Sahel so as to develop food balance sheets and pre-harvest data on food security.

Katie Peters, Overseas Development Institute, emphasized that conflict and poor governance are increasingly impeding efforts to integrate CCA and DRR. She noted that the HFA presumes stable, functioning state machinery in all countries but this is not the case. The new post-2015 DRR agreement, she said, should explicitly support stable governance and promote state building. She argued that progress toward stronger governance will directly impact progress on DRR.

The question and answer session focused on governance, meteorological and climate data sharing and access, flooding, the role of women, scientific capacity building, regional coordination and water stress.

Chair Diallo ended the session by stressing the need for African countries to engage more in the IPCC process, and for scientists to work more closely together. Other recommendations included: better inter-regional cooperation, strengthening capacity at the regional level, the desire for a regional center for climate change in central Africa, and the potential for an Africa-specific IPCC report.

INVESTMENT IN DRR – THE BUSINESS CASE: This event on Thursday morning included high-level business executives. Dale Sands, AECOM Technology Corporation, chaired the panel, which he opened by underscoring the impact that disasters have on businesses and the private sector. He introduced a video that detailed the impact of the Japanese tsunami on Toyota, which hampered sales, closed factories, and directly affected the livelihoods of thousands of employees on multiple continents.

Patricia Hajabakiga, East African Legislative Assembly, moderated the session, mentioned the common perception that the private sector is only interested in profit, and asked panelists to explain why DRR is important to business.

Bolarinwa Onaolapo, Shell Nigeria, said the viability of any business is connected to the viability of the environment that it operates in. Mentioning a severe flood in the Niger delta in 2012, he explained how Shell worked with the IFRC and the Nigerian Red Cross Society to provide relief, and how the company shared maps and data on water levels with the government to better manage the disaster. The flood, he said, taught Shell an important lesson about reducing risk before disaster strikes.

Princess Abze Djigma, ABZESOLAR, described how the private sector could facilitate knowledge transfer. She emphasized education and the importance of creating tools to train one another. Djigma stressed the importance of empowering African women and youth to become entrepreneurs.

Sands introduced the Making Cities Resilient Campaign that includes 100 cities in Africa in an effort to share best practices and knowledge. He talked about a DRR scorecard that AECOM developed with IBM as a free tool for identifying DRR gaps and developing long-term resiliency plans.

Closing the session, Sands reflected on recommendations from the discussion, including the need to: build with resiliency in mind; establish a public-private platform to galvanize action; emphasize DRR education within schools; ensure the business community is engaged in the post-2015 DRR framework; support local enterprises and integrate them into the supply chain; and better facilitate the availability of information to overcome communication gaps.


The session was co-chaired by Margareta Wahlström and Daniel Eklu, ECOWAS.

Wahlström invited delegates to share their observations, questions and comments. Issues raised included: methods to facilitate legislation processes; better strategies to address meteorological predictability; how to better inform high-level sectors of governments regarding the importance of DRR platforms; and how UN work could get closer to local communities. Addressing these themes, Côte d’Ivoire stated that a climate database could help to improve planning for catastrophes. Ethiopia emphasized that DRR is more cost-effective than crisis management, and mentioned the importance of legal enforcement and accountability mechanisms within DRR policies.

During the second hour of discussion, speakers highlighted the importance of including women’s perspectives in DRR initiatives due to their acute vulnerability. Some questioned to what degree transboundary issues such as shared river basins fit into the DRR agenda while others underscored that ecosystem degradation should be included in the DRR discussion. Corruption was also raised, and the audience and panelists alike noted that venality among government officials is a reality that significantly hampers DRR.

In closing remarks, Bekele emphasized that although all stakeholders should be involved, DRR efforts will not be sustainable without the government taking responsibility for implementation.


RISK FINANCING: The session was chaired by Dominique Kuitsouc, Economic Commission of Central African States (ECCAS), and took place on Wednesday afternoon.

Julie Dana, World Bank, discussed disaster risk financing (DRF) which she defined as financing for reconstruction and recovery so as to enable quick responses during crises. She said that ministries of finance should be at the center of managing disaster risk, and noted there is no one-size-fits-all approach to financing. Dana said that DRF interfaces with other policy areas and explained various means for financial protection including: sovereign disaster risk financing; agricultural insurance; disaster-linked social protection; and property catastrophe risk insurance. She said that there is a growing menu of DRF instruments and that the World Bank is working with partners to scale up assistance to ministries of finance in the region. She suggested that the post-2015 DRR framework should include measures to reduce the financial impact of natural disasters by implementing DRF.

The ensuing discussion moderated by Ken B. Johm, African Development Bank, speakers focused on practical implementation of DRF. Participants highlighted examples of successful DRF in Burundi and Niger. Ekhoseuhi Iyahen, African Risk Capacity (ARC) said that ARC provided disaster risk insurance policies to Senegal, Niger, Mauritania, Kenya and Mozambique.

Cristiano Mandra, World Food Programme (WFP), outlined the R4 Rural Resilience Initiative, a WFP and Oxfam America partnership that assists poor farmers to strengthen their food and income security through improved resource management, insurance, microcredit and savings. In this way, he said, R4 enables farmers to pay for index insurance with their own labor.

Johm noted that the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has a work stream dedicated to disaster loss and damage and questioned how that stream could work with DRR.

UN DELIVERING AS ONE FOR DRR – IMPLEMENTING THE UN PLAN OF ACTION ON DRR FOR RESILIENCE: The session was co-chaired by Margareta Wahlström and Keflemariam Sebhatu, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). Introducing the panel, Wahlström noted speakers would present practical experiences on the UN’s catalytic role and offer insights on how the UN system can assist efforts to reduce disaster and climate risk.

In his opening remarks, Ignacio Leon-Garcia, Head, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), Southern Africa said fostering DRR perspectives requires sustained, multi-year funding and support. Noting that communication remains a “weak link” for the UN system, he emphasized finding ways to communicate better with tax payers, including the growing middle class in Africa. He also called for a paradigm shift in the humanitarian sector to recognize that “our obligation is to meet people’s aspirations – not just their basic needs.”

Speaking on country-level coordination initiatives, Rosine Sori-Coulibaly, UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC) Burundi, highlighted UNDAF’s role in mainstreaming DRR perspectives in sustainable development programmes. She stressed that the UN’s facilitation role could include: developing joint flagship programmes to facilitate operationalization on the ground; mobilizing diverse partners, including international financial institutions and civil sector actors; and drawing on the worldwide network of UN offices to share experiences and good practice.

Jose Salema, UNRC São Tomé and Príncipe, highlighted how the post-2015 DRR consultations had provided an opportunity for the UN to mobilize and reflect citizens’ aspirations into the national planning process, but noted the preparatory process for the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) conference scheduled to convene in September 2014 in Samoa has also revealed the difficulty of integrating regional perspectives.

Tarande Constant Manzila, WHO, lamented that people think about their health only after they’ve lost it. Noting that loss of life, disabilities and other health consequences of disasters are key indicators of the magnitude of disasters, he called for this to be reflected in the HFA process.

Responding to questions, Sori-Coulibaly said the role of Regional Economic Communities (RECs) could include clarifying the division of labor among UN and national stakeholders, and providing training and capacity building on how to integrate DRR into policy processes. On how to effectively work with non-resident agencies, she said the UNRC mechanism provides a way to consult with them in UNDAF programs. Wahlström noted that “donors will reward partnerships.” Leon-Garcia said an integrated regional strategy aimed at strengthening resilience in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region has been finalized and distributed to all UN offices and other stakeholders, further noting that it involved close collaboration with the academic community in southern Africa.

During discussions, speakers highlighted the positive examples, as well as the challenges of promoting collaborative DRR approaches among UN and other actors and the need to address localized risks. One speaker called for a post-2015 DRR framework to strengthen collaboration with the academic community by proposing appropriate mechanisms, such as periodic assessments of DRR programmes.

LEADERSHIP FOR DRR MAINSTREAMING: This parallel session on Wednesday afternoon was organized by UNDP and the UN Economic Commission for Africa to conclude and assimilate discussion from the pre-conference event on this topic. The objectives of the session were to: enhance knowledge on how to catalyze DRR approaches and concrete actions at various levels and to integrate them into national and sub-national development strategies; and raise awareness on existing gaps and challenges related to promoting more efficient and effective resource allocation processes for DRR investment as part of ongoing structural transformation processes in Africa. The session resulted in a set of recommendations that called for strengthening the role of DRR leadership at various levels and among various stakeholder groups in Africa, targeted capacity development for DRR mainstreaming and investment, risk assessments, increase DRR financing to at least 1% of public expenditure and undertake DRR, climate change adaptation and conflict prevention in an integrated manner.

SPECIAL EVENT: ENHANCING COORDINATION – THE ROLE OF NATIONAL PLATFORMS: This session took place on Thursday morning, and was chaired by James Chiusiwa, SADC. He said 32 sub-Saharan African countries have created national DRR platforms. However, a study by UNISDR found that many platforms have insufficient capacity to support HFA implementation due to lack of funding, an unclear legal mandate, and inadequate political support.

In his keynote remarks, Kofi Portuphy, Ghana, said the country platform was created in 2006 and is organized around eight specialized committees. Among successful initiatives, he highlighted: a database of private water tankers that can be mobilized during fire outbreaks; a risk assessment of flood-prone areas, and implementation of the policy recommendations; and advocacy against construction in high-risk areas, such as a planned shopping complex in the vicinity of the atomic energy agency. He said Ghana is sharing its experiences with other countries in the region.

Moderator Lars Bernd, UNISDR, introduced the three country case studies.

Pamela Komujuni, Uganda, said the country platform emerged as part of the process of dealing with insurgency in the north of the country and was established within the Prime Minister’s office, enabling it to convene key stakeholders. She underscored the importance of integrating DRR activities within the workplans of institutions represented on the platform, noting this approach is more sustainable than creating a dedicated funding mechanism.

Dame Gaye, Senegal, said the characteristics of Senegal’s platform included: political mobilization to ensure a strong mandate; an inclusive participatory process; identifying specialized lead agencies to coordinate activities under each risk category; and integration of DRR in all national policy processes, including the ‘Emerging Senegal’ plan.

Alhaji Sanneh, the Gambia, said the national platform is housed within the Office of the President and has established a number of coordinating structures, including the National Disaster Management Agency, which has also been devolved to the sub-national and local level. He said some outputs of the platform include revised policy documents and legislation to integrate DRR with CCA plans.

The presentations elicited a lively exchange with DRR focal points from other countries, as well as non-governmental participants. Speakers from Senegal, the Congo, Niger, Mauritania and Côte d’Ivoire cautioned against a one-size-fits-all approach, noting that DRR coordination platforms sometimes duplicate, or undermine existing drought management institutions with similar mandates. Several speakers also highlighted the difficulty of coordinating sectoral institutions, which leads to ineffective platforms, with one participant observing that “when a disaster strikes, the platform is put aside.”

Other interventions, including from Burundi and São Tomé and Príncipe emphasized the value of investing in coordinating structures as it helps to mobilize the required expertise before, during and following disasters. A representative of the Burundi noted that participation of technical specialists from relevant ministries is a prerequisite for effective coordination, noting this structure worked well during the recent floods in Burundi, and also led to mobilization of the UN system.

Countries that do not currently have coordination platforms in place, such as Mali and Liberia, requested guidance on a number of issues, including how to ensure a legal mandate and the role of parliamentarians.

With regard to concrete recommendations for the post-2015 DRR framework, participants suggested, inter alia: providing a standardized approach for setting up national platforms; clarifying the mandate of DRR platforms vis-à-vis other national institutions; promoting domestic resource mobilization and public-private partnerships; enhancing regional networking to address transboundary issues; ensuring that platforms are located at the highest decision making levels; and ensuring coordination with community platforms.

Concluding discussions, Bernd stressed that UNISDR does not prescribe the name of the coordinating structure and said that building on existing structures is a fundamental principle in setting up any platform. He noted that no alternative to national platforms was proposed.

In his closing remarks, Chiusiwa said the lively exchange had confirmed the value of addressing this topic and advised countries still in the process of setting up platforms to contact the AUC, UNISDR and other specialized agencies for assistance.

SPECIAL EVENT: BUILDING URBAN RESILIENCE: This event on Thursday morning was organized by UN-HABITAT and moderated by Mohamed Boussraoui, UCLG.

Pasquale Capizzi, UN-HABITAT, provided an overview of the importance of urban areas for DRR emphasizing that 400 million Africans live in cities. While stressing the importance of awareness and city resilience campaigns, he highlighted that the session should build on clear and implementable recommendations.

Usman Baba, Lokoja Local Government, Nigeria, discussed local level DRR policies using the example of the city of Lokoja and its flood management, which benefitted from greater community involvement in urban revitalization plans.

Gordon Muga, Office of the President, Kenya, said that DRM is a constitutional obligation in Kenya. Noting the problems of informal settlements, he called attention to the problem of communicable diseases and added that community based consultations were key for improving urban management.

Daniel Bolaños Gonzalez, IFRC Africa, emphasized the complexity of DRR in cities and observed the need for more comprehensive partnerships for conducting vulnerability assessments.

Jared Mercadante, Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, said that recovery frameworks on DRR must be pragmatic, sequenced and prioritized. It should also ensure sustainability in a preventive manner. He noted the Kyrgyz Republic as a successful case of national mobilization on DRR.

In conclusion, participants recommended, inter alia: reinforcing linkages between national and local government; ensuring effective decentralization of responsibilities among stakeholders at the governmental and non-governmental levels; improving capacity building within local governments to develop Resilience Action Plans; improving monitoring and accountability of national obligations in perspective to post-2015 DRR framework; developing cohesive targets and indicators for measuring progress on urban resilience; linking DRR and resilience obligations and targets to the delivery of basic services, such as access to clean water and sanitation, food security, health and education; and making risk-sensitive urban planning an indicator of progress on delivering the goals of post-2015 DRR framework.

SPECIAL EVENT: INVESTING IN ECOSYSTEM-BASED DRR: This event on Thursday morning was organized by IUCN and moderated by Wivine Ntamubano, EAC.

Edmund Barrow, Director, IUCN Global Ecosystem Management Programme, introduced the concept of ecosystem-based DRR (eco-DRR), which he defined as “the sustainable management, conservation and restoration of ecosystems to provide services that reduce disaster risk by mitigating hazards and increasing livelihood resilience.” He identified some benefits of eco-DRR, including: control of floods through sustainable management of wetlands and floodplains; improved drought resilience through woody vegetation management in drylands; and maintenance of coastal mangroves, saltmarshes, sand dunes to provide a buffer from winds, sandstorms and storm surges. In order to scale up eco-DRR approaches, he noted the need to: improve the evidence base for eco-DRR; promote partnerships; address policy gaps; and making a strong case to donors about the benefits of integrating funding for DRR with CCA programmes.

Presenting experiences from East Africa, Barrow discussed how the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is working with local communities to avert landslides in the Mount Elgon area of Kenya and Uganda, noting it mostly entails “normal” conservation measures such as riverbank protection, and stabilization of slopes. He further noted that drought is part of the natural cycle, while “famine is a failure of policy and a failure to act,” and called for a focus on the root causes by, inter alia: supporting follow up action on early warning data; improving markets for non-timber forest products and livestock; integrating local knowledge with scientific solutions; and investing in landscape management. He noted that IUCN is increasingly working with humanitarian agencies to introduce eco-DRR measures, such as advance planting of trees around new refugee camps to meet their fuel needs.

Jean-Marc Garreau, IUCN, presented experiences in local-level ecosystem restoration in West Africa, noting that there is no “small” disaster as most affected communities are already poor and vulnerable, which affects their resilience. He highlighted projects in Burkina Faso and Senegal that are supporting local communities to identify risk and develop adaptation plans and to strengthen environmental management institutions. Garreau also outlined the results of a regional study covering eleven countries that developed detailed maps of the shoreline to provide a baseline for monitoring coastal erosion.

During discussions, participants highlighted the need to: focus on poverty reduction in eco-DRR approaches; raise awareness about the effectiveness of “simple” conservation approaches among the DRR community; promote payments for ecosystem services; encourage greater involvement of the private sector in environmental management; highlight transboundary issues in eco-DRR; enhance linkages between IUCN regional offices and national institutions; and promote mechanisms that encourage communities and the private sector to conserve ecological infrastructure.

In his response, Barrow noted that the session was part of IUCN’s efforts to engage more effectively with the HFA process. He stressed that most eco-DRR measures are also “livelihood” solutions and added that there are currently more than one million community conservation areas around the world–far exceeding formal conservation parks–which is an indicator of their value for local communities. Garreau noted that while African countries are right to prioritize economic development, the challenge is to ensure that solutions do not lead to greater environmental costs in the long-term.

SPECIAL EVENT: METEOROLOGICAL AND CLIMATE SERVICES TO SUPPORT DRR IN A CHANGING CLIMATE: This session was held on Thursday morning was organized by World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Opening the session, Filipe Lúcio, Director, Global Framework for Climate Services, WMO, stressed that nearly 90% of hazards are due to meteorological events and that extreme weather events are happening more frequently.

Joseph Alozie, Nigeria Meteorological Agency (Nimet), Nigeria, observed the importance of early warning systems recalling the experience of floods in Nigeria in 2012. Noting the challenges of inappropriate policies and legislation, lack of legislation, enforcement and historical data, as well as limited education and public awareness, he highlighted the progress of Nimet through technological improvement, such as new hardware and software for meteorological forecast.

Casimiro dos Santos Abreu, National Institute for Disaster Management, Mozambique, said that a lack of climate information impedes timely responses to meteorological disasters. Noting the existence of budget allocation for risk prevention in Mozambique, he defended improved advocacy for increased climate information within national planning and sector development, as well as investment on technical and human capacity.

Joseph Moyo, IFRC, commented on a video presented to the audience about the Maasai community in Tanzania as part of the Global Framework for Climate Services. He emphasized that early warning and effective communication is vital for communities.

In the ensuing discussion, panelists responded to concerns from the audience highlighting the need to reinforce local leadership when assisting populations to leave zones of risk; to improve coordination when responding to disasters and making technical information accessible to local communities. Participants agreed that the post-2015 DRR framework should: focus on funding for prevention and early warning; improve advocacy work; enhance community engagement in urban DRR; and learn from new institutional arrangements that facilitate DRR policies.

PRESENTATION OF STAKEHOLDER CONSULTATION REPORTS: The session on Thursday afternoon was co-chaired by Margareta Wahlström and Bhupinder Tomar, IFRC.

During the session, representatives of nine stakeholder groups presented the results of their consultations from earlier in the week.

Civil Society said the post-2015 DRR framework should address structural financial issues and emphasize recovering from small-scale disasters. Local Governments noted that they are moving in the direction of decentralization to reduce risk. The Private Sector said the public and private sector must work together to provide technical expertise to address DRR in Africa. The Science, Technical and Academic Community called for building human resources through better engagement with African institutions of higher education as well as strengthening existing academic networks.

Women said there should be gender balance in leadership and a prioritization of gender-sensitive programming that improves livelihoods and resilience. Youth highlighted their effective advocacy on social networks and urged the full integration of youth within DRR and CCA budgets across all sectors.

Media pledged to inform the public on the triggers of disasters and to keep governments in check. IFRC said that, among others, the post-2015 DRR framework should prioritize poor at risk and marginalized people who are disproportionately affected by disaster. Parliamentarians said that without legislation, DRR policies will be ineffective, underscoring the need to address population pressures.

CONSIDERATION OF THE SUMMARY STATEMENT OF THE 5TH AFRICA PLATFORM FOR DRR: On Thursday afternoon, during a plenary session chaired by John Ayoade Shamonda, Nigerian Hydrological Science Agency, delegates considered the draft summary statement of the meeting titled ‘Africa’s Contribution to the post-2015 framework for DRR.’ Following a reading of the draft text by Kofi Portuphy, Chair of the Drafting Committee, delegates proposed a number of amendments, including, inter alia: highlighting the need to combat corruption; underscoring the risks posed by fast-paced urbanization; and empowering women. Chidren and Youth requested stronger language on their role in policy implementation, while Kenya suggested emphasizing the role of youth in promoting food security. Comoros highlighted the vulnerability of SIDS. Senegal, with Democratic Republic of Congo, requested more emphasis on health issues. Mali stressed the need to reinforce disaster waste management. The World Bank requested that countries should ensure that strategies of rapid recovery are put into place, observing an excessive attention to risk prevention. WMO requested that countries should develop national science mechanisms to measure climate vulnerability. UNOPS stressed the importance of sustainable infrastructure in combating human made hazards. One participant called for attention for inclusive DRR policies, notably with respect to people with disabilities.

Participants agreed to send the proposed amendments to the drafting committee for incorporation into the draft text to be forwarded to the ministerial segment for consideration.


OPENING: Moji Makanjuola, Master of Ceremonies, welcomed participants. In her opening remarks, Co-chair Viola Adaku Onwuliri, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nigeria, expressed her country’s support for ongoing efforts by Margareta Wahlström and UNISDR to facilitate the process towards a post-2015 DRR framework. She urged delegates to “find a place” to address the disasters that bedevil the continent, including food insecurity, conflict, water scarcity, HIV/Aids, violence against women, and insurgence and terrorism. In this regard, she expressed her appreciation for the support extended to Nigeria in the wake of the kidnappings of hundreds of schoolgirls in Chibok noting that they are “our daughters.”

Almamy Dampha, AUC, speaking on behalf of Commissioner Tumusiime, said Africa has a distinct stake in framing the future DRR framework and assured delegates the AUC would forward the outcome of the meeting to the AU Heads of State Summit scheduled to convene in June 2014.

Wahlström welcomed the focus on tangible and strategic outcomes in the HFA dialogue process and the call for clear leadership to translate the outcomes into practical actions in Africa and globally. Highlighting the inclusiveness of AfRP14, she noted that broad agreement had been reached on the need for coordinated messaging on the three key pillars of DRR: maintaining a focus on prevention; reducing the impacts of existing disasters; and focusing on people by continuing to reduce vulnerabilities. She further noted that representatives of the UN system, the AU, RECs and other support agencies at the meeting had pledged their support for implementing DRR activities on the ground.

Paul Dlamini, Deputy Prime Minister, Swaziland, and co-chair of the session, said preparedness and resilience are critical to ensure that all actors internalize knowledge about what to do when disaster strikes.

Daniel Eklu, ECOWAS, said many countries in the region are mainstreaming DRR in their development and CCA programs under the framework of HFA, Africa Regional Strategy and the ECOWAS DRR Strategy adopted in 2007.

PRESENTATION OF REPORTS FROM REGIONAL RESILIENCE INITIATIVES: Solomon Munyua, IGAD, presented the outcome of the IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRISI) Heads of State Summit held in Kampala, Uganda on 27 March 2014. Noting the Initiative’s aim to rally momentum at the highest level, he said the Kampala Communiqué calls for, inter alia: early warning and action at national and regional levels; establishment of common protocols to accelerate early warning; and scalable social protection schemes. He further noted that the Communiqué urges member states to invest in infrastructural development in arid and semi-arid areas and integrated DRR-DRM institutional frameworks that are housed at the highest decision making level.

Ibrahim Lumumba Idi-issa, CILSS, highlighted recent activities of the Global Alliance for Resilience (AGIR), a joint initiative of ECOWAS and Club du Sahel. He said that since its launch in December 2012, the Alliance has developed common methodological approaches for conducting inclusive dialogues at the national level, an analytical grid for resilience policies and programmes, and a template for developing national resilience priorities. He said that to date, national dialogue processes have taken place in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger and Togo.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS: During this session, Ministers and high-level representatives delivered country statements.

Algeria said the African common position should take into account disparities between different regions in the world. Benin said it is coordinating governmental actions for DRR and has identified focal points in its ministries. Uganda said that countries cannot survive alone and advocated for working together. Zambia described its national disaster management plan and decentralization policy and urged overcoming challenges such as fundraising and linking DRR to CCA.

Burkina Faso said the HFA should define clear indicators so that progress can be measured. Djibouti highlighted a need to improve preparedness to better resist disasters. The Democratic Republic of the Congo noted the link between conflict and disaster risk and urged increasing education for nonviolence.

The Congo said it is critical to make DRR a priority at the international level. Lesotho said DRR should be prioritized in national development programs and appealed for a simple and easy to understand post-2015 DRR framework. Liberia highlighted its various DRR projects and said that capacity development can aid in emergency preparedness.

Côte d’Ivoire highlighted the link between climate change and disaster risk and underscored the health aspects of disaster risk including the spread of disease. Ghana said there is a need for a clear coordinating mechanism between DRR and CCA and that strong institutional collaboration would be essential.

Cape Verde stated that DRR cannot be approached in isolation and called for greater climate change emphasis in the outcome document. Niger stressed that conflict needs to be part of DRR policies, notably because it puts at risk food production.

Sudan underscored the social impacts of natural disasters and said that networking and coordination at all levels are vital to ensure technical assistance and funding for affected countries from disasters.

Tanzania observed its progress on DRR noting it is now part of its five year economic growth plan, but observed remaining challenges, such as: inadequate funding; lack of integrated early warning system; shift in mindset from DRM to a focus on prevention and preparedness.

Mozambique stated that without leadership, political commitment and adequate funding, effective DRR policies are not possible. Sierra Leone observed its efforts of decentralizing DRR work and progress on building national hazard profiles. Malawi announced the creation of a national platform for DRR, launched in 2013, and underscored limited levels of information as a key challenge.

Guinea presented priority areas for management of DRR including: enhanced methods for DRR intervention; greater inclusion of representatives of social work; and the creation of an Action Plan on climate change adaptation. Comoros highlighted the vulnerability of SIDS and the problems of population displacement, as well as refugee camps in case of natural disasters. Chad declared that disaster management involves various steps and that a national commission has been established with the aim of reducing vulnerability of victims of floods and other disasters.

Kenya declared that disasters are costly to citizens and said addressing climate change must be a priority, condemning the lack of commitment of some countries to the Kyoto Protocol. Burundi called for continuous international financial help for coping with natural disasters, notably related to floods.

South Sudan recalled the difficulties to implement DRR policies in a recently established country, but announced its national platform is under construction. He concluded stating that Africa needs to work together to rule out terrorism. Senegal thanked the World Bank, UNDP, Spain and France for support with DRR implementation. He proposed the creation of a tax to specifically tackle DRR as part of the post-2015 DRR framework.

Rwanda called for a continuous technical support for building resilience, while announcing several institutional initiatives that are currently advancing DRR in the country.

Nigeria recalled the rapid increasing of costs related to disasters. He advocated the inclusion of conflict management, food security and poverty reduction as vital priorities of a post-2015 DRR framework. In conclusion, he underscored the need to combat terrorism and address transboundary disasters.

Swaziland requested HFA2 to focus on risk identification, monitoring and early warning. He stressed remaining challenges to advance implementation policies related to weak integration of DRR into all ministries, including weak intersectoral communication and poorly developed early warning systems.


PRESENTATION OF THE REPORT OF THE DRAFTING COMMITTEE FROM THE TECHNICAL SEGMENT ON AFRICA’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE POST-2015 DRR FRAMEWORK: On Friday morning, Kofi Portuphy, read out the draft African common position, titled ‘Summary Statement on Africa’s Contribution to the Post-2015 Framework for DRR.’

ADOPTION OF THE COMMON AFRICAN POSITION ON DRR: On Friday afternoon, Chair Dlamini thanked Chair Portuphy for his leadership and invited delegates to adopt the draft Summary Statement. After taking note that final amendments proposed by delegates would be reflected in the final outcome document the meeting adopted the Summary Statement by affirmation.

Final Summary Statement: In its final Summary Statement on Africa’s Contribution to the Post-2015 Framework for DRR, the Fifth Africa Regional Platform adopts recommendations on four areas:
  • On regional risk factors and institutional frameworks, the Platform recognizes that most disasters in Africa are hydro-meteorological and highlights drought as a regional priority affecting food security. It also notes that, inter alia: clear budgets for investment frameworks that prioritize capacity building will help translate policies into action; legislation and regulation help address disaster risks in Africa and should be enhanced; and that addressing the relationship between poverty and corruption should be seen as valuable in promoting resilience.
  • Regarding the integration of DRR and CCA, the Platform links the post-2015 DRR framework with the Sustainable Development Goals and the 20th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and notes the need to ensure the agreements are coherent and mutually reinforcing. The Platform notes that, inter alia: institutional coordination should be increased between DRR and CCA at the global level; ecosystem based approaches should be reinforced to manage risks; efforts to address urban risks should be prioritized; and that health is an imperative for DRR and community resilience.
  • On investments in DRR, the Platform notes that, inter alia: economic growth in Africa is an opportunity for DRR investment; private sector platforms can coordinate DRR actions; public-private partnerships should be enhanced; technical capacities of institutions for monitoring and analyzing hazards should be increased; and that risk profiles can create an enabling environment for investment.
  • Regarding the duration of a post-2015 DRR framework, the Platform says it should have a duration similar to the HFA of at least 10 years.
  • On enhancing commitments, the Platform recommends making the post-2015 framework more action-oriented by, inter alia: implementing DRR in line with a rights-based approach; allocating a greater portion of public budgets to DRR; institutionalizing engagement with civil society; and establishing clear accountability and monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.
ADOPTION OF THE DECLARATION OF THE THIRD AFRICAN MINISTERIAL MEETING FOR DISASTER RISK REDUCTION: On Friday afternoon, Chair Dlamini invited the chair of the drafting committee to present the draft Ministerial Declaration for consideration.

Several delegations supported a call by Uganda for a strong statement from Ministers to reflect their concern about the threats posed by terrorism on the continent, in particular the abduction of school girls by the Boko Haram insurgent group in Northern Nigeria. Other delegations supported a proposal by Benin that it would be more appropriate to reflect this issue in an annex. After some discussion, delegates agreed to include a reference to this issue in the preambular section of the Declaration. The meeting then adopted the Ministerial Declaration as amended.

Final Declaration: In the final declaration, Ministers, inter alia:
  • recognize that AfrP14 and the 3rd Ministerial Meeting for DRR was held “at a time when the world was expressing its deep solidarity with the families of the abducted schoolgirls and the people of Nigeria and calling for the abducted schoolgirls to be brought back to their families.” Ministers further note that delegates at the meeting joined the global call for solidarity and compassion with the people of Nigeria.
  • express concern at the magnitude and intensity of disasters that are manifested in loss of life and long-term social, economic, environmental and humanitarian impacts for vulnerable societies.
  • take note of a series of national and regional consultative meetings on DRR and related meetings on sustainable development and resilience held in the lead up to the meeting, as well as relevant global and regional frameworks.
  • recognize that DRR offers an effective means to achieve sustainable development and resilience through prevention, mitigation and preparedness and acknowledges initiatives put in place by diverse African stakeholders and development partners to enhance the integration of DRR with climate change adaptation.
  • further acknowledge the role of regional DRR platforms as an effective coordination platform and mentions the collaboration between IGAD and CILSS as exemplary South-South Cooperation.
  • adopt the Summary Statement on Africa’s contribution to the Post-2015 Framework for DRR and Stakeholder Voluntary Commitments
  • call on the AUC and UNISDR to ensure incorporation of Africa’s contribution into the global post-2015 framework for DRR;
  • express Africa’s commitment to promote a coordinated and mutually reinforcing approach to the three international agreements in 2015 – the post-2015 DRR framework, the Sustainable Development Goals and the climate change agreements.
  • call on UNISDR to continue to provide institutional support for regional coordination and monitoring of DRR implementation under the leadership of the AUC and in cooperation with RECs.
  • encourage development partners including donors, UN agencies, international and local NGOs, scientific and academic institutions, community practitioners, persons with disabilities, youth, women’s groups, private sector, and media to enhance and strengthen their active and joint collaboration with governments, parliamentarians and RECs for implementation of the recommendations.
CLOSING OF THE MINISTERIAL SEGMENT: During a short closing session, Almamy Dampha, AUC, applauded delegates for making the meeting a success. Daniel Eklu, ECOWAS, said the high attendance showed the commitment of stakeholders to promote DRR implementation. In her final remarks, Wahlström thanked all institutions and partners that contributed to the meeting and urged them to continue to demonstrate their focus, persistence and institutional support.

INVITATION TO THE THIRD WORLD CONFERENCE ON DRR: Ryuichi Shoji, Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, congratulated delegates on the adoption of the African position and noted that the meeting marks an important milestone to the 3rd WCDRR in Sendai in March 2015. He invited all delegates to attend the conference and expressed his hope that it would provide a forum for heads of state and high-level decision makers to pool their political will and collective wisdom in developing a common framework for action. A video on a call for Sasakawa Award nominees was also shown.


Fourth Session of the Regional Platform for DRR in the Americas: The Regional Platform for DRR aims to bring together key DRR stakeholders throughout the Americas, in a participative space for knowledge sharing that promotes the planning, monitoring and collective decisionmaking and strategy, as well as actions to implement the HFA.  dates: 27-29 May 2014 venue: Hilton Colón Guayaquil location: Guayaquil, Guayas, Ecuador contact: Humberto Jaime, UNISDR - Americas phone: +507-317-1120 fax: +507-317-0600 e-mail: [email protected] www:

Resilient Cities 2014: Fifth Global Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation: Also known as 'Resilient Cities 2014,' this Forum is organized by ICLEI– Local Governments for Sustainability and the World Mayors Council on Climate Change, and co-sponsored by UN-HABITAT, UNISDR, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The event will focus on: risk data and analysis; adaptation planning and policy; comprehensive adaptation approaches; collaborative and community-based adaptation; resilient infrastructure and city-region support systems; and governance and capacity building. dates: 29-31 May 2014 location: Bonn, Germany  contact: Alice Balbo, ICLEI World Secretariat phone: +49 (0)228-976-299-28 fax: +49 (0)228-976-299-0 e-mail: [email protected] www:

Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management 2014: The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) are co-convening this meeting. dates: 2-4 June 2014 location: Suva, Central, Fiji contact: Timothy Wilcox phone: +679-310-0372 e-mail: [email protected] www:

2nd Integrated Research on Disaster Risk Conference: The meeting is co-organized by the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) Programme, in partnership with the China Association for Science and Technology, under the theme ‘Integrated Disaster Risk Science: A Tool for Sustainability.’ The conference will be organized around plenary and break-out sessions dealing with the challenges of implementing integrated disaster risk research, inter-organizational collaboration, and policy, as well as the interaction with sustainable development activities.   dates: 7-9 June 2014   venue: Beijing International Convention Center (BICC)    location: Beijing, China   www:

World Environment Day 2014: The UN General Assembly declared 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). World Environment Day (WED) 2014 will be celebrated under the theme of SIDS, with the goal of raising awareness of their unique development challenges and successes regarding a range of environmental problems, including climate change, waste management, unsustainable consumption, degradation of natural resources, and extreme natural disasters. date: 5 June 2014   location: worldwide e-mail: [email protected] www:

Sixth Asian Ministerial Conference on DRR: Hosted by the Government of Thailand, the Conference will provide a venue for countries, organizations and individual practitioners to meet and discuss the way forward in reducing disaster risk in the region. It will also be the final regional inter-governmental meeting in Asia before the completion of the HFA 2005-15 and the Third WCDR in 2015. dates: 23-26 June 2014

European Ministerial Meeting on DRR: The meeting will take place within the context of an Informal Meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council and will provide a forum for Ministers of Interior and Justice from the EU and non-EU countries and line Ministers represented at the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction (EFDRR), to exchange views towards the development of the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction, to be endorsed at the Third WCDRin Sendai City, Japan, in March 2015.   date: 8 July 2014   location: Milan, Italy   www:

1st Preparatory Committee for the Third WCDR: This is the first of two preparatory meetings for the Third WCDR and will bring together stakeholders at all levels to discuss disaster risk and resilience.  dates: 14-15 July 2014  location: Geneva, Switzerland contact: UNISDR Secretariat  phone: +41 2291-78907 fax: +41 2291-78964 email:[email protected] www:

WHO Conference on Health and Climate: This three-day conference, hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, will bring together leading experts in the fields of health and climate change, to discuss: strengthening health system resilience to climate risks; and promoting health while mitigating climate change. Within each of these themes the conference will make recommendations on policy options to maximize health benefits, and the specific contribution of the health sector to the objectives. dates: 27-29 August 2014 venue: WHO headquarters location: Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland contact: Marina Maiero phone: +41 22 791 2402 e-mail: [email protected] www:

Third International Conference for Small Island Developing States: The Third International Conference for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is scheduled to convene from 1-4 September 2014, in Samoa. This conference will include a high-level segment to build upon the Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA) and the Mauritius Strategy for Implementation (MSI), and will identify new challenges for the sustainable development of SIDS. dates: 28 August - 4 September 2014 location: Apia, Samoa www:

High-level Stock Taking Event on Post-2015 Agenda: This event is intended to take stock following a series of six events that the President of the UNGA will convene. These events will consist of three high-level and three thematic debates under the theme, 'The post-2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage!' and will take place between February and June 2013. The stock-taking event of the UNGA president is expected to focus on sustainable development goals and long-term financing for sustainable development. date: 1 September 2014 [tentative] venue: UN Headquarters location: New York City, US contact: Tala Dowlatshahi, Office of the President of the UNGA phone: 917-367-4718 e-mail: [email protected] www: and

2014 Climate Summit: The 2014 Climate Summit, which will be organized by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, will take place in September 2014 with the aim to mobilize political will for a universal and a legally-binding comprehensive agreement in 2015. date: 23 September 2014 venue: UN Headquarters location: New York City, US www:

2nd Preparatory Committee for the Third WCDR: This is the second of two preparatory meetings for the Third WCDR, bringing together stakeholders to deliberate in on the post-2015 DRR framework.  dates: 17-18 November 2014  location: Geneva, Switzerland contact: UNISDR Secretariat  phone: +41 2291-78907 fax: +41 2291-78964 email: [email protected] www:

UNFCCC COP 20: The 20th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC is expected to take place in December 2014 in Peru. Venezuela has offered to host a pre-COP ministerial meeting.  dates: 1-12 December 2014 location: Lima, Peru contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228 815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 e-mail: [email protected] www:

Third WCDR: The WCDR will be hosted by the Government of Japan and organized by the UNISDR, and is expected to agree a Post-2015 Framework for DRR. dates: 14-18 March 2015 location: Sendai, Miyagi, Japan contact: UNISDR phone: +41-2291-78907 fax: +41-2291-78964 e-mail: [email protected] www:
5th Africa Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction
African Union
African Union Commission
Climate change adaptation
Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel
Disaster Risk Management
Disaster Risk Reduction
Economic Community for West African States
Hyogo Framework for Action
International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
International Union for Conservation of Nature
National Emergency Management Agency
Nigeria Meteorological Agency
Regional economic communities
Southern African Development Community
Small Island Developing States
Special Representative of the Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction
United Cities and Local Governments
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
UN Development Assistance Framework
UN Development Programme
UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
UN General Assembly
UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
UN Office for Project Services
UN Resident Coordinator
World Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction
World Health Organization
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The AFRP Bulletin is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) <[email protected]>, publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <[email protected]>. This issue was written and edited by Wangu Mwangi, Nicole de Paula Domingos, and Brett Wertz. The Editor is Melanie Ashton <[email protected]>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <[email protected]>. Funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). IISD can be contacted at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada; tel: +1-204-958-7700; fax: +1-204-958-7710. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in other publications with appropriate academic citation. Electronic versions of the Bulletin are sent to e-mail distribution lists (in HTML and PDF format) and can be found on the Linkages WWW-server at <>. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <[email protected]>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11D, New York, New York 10022, USA.
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