Countries in Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) have agreed on guidelines for developing a regional action plan that will encourage countries and communities to reduce disaster risk and potential losses.
The guidelines were discussed during the First Meeting of Ministers and High-Level Authorities on the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) 2015-2030 in the Americas.
The conference was the first opportunity for the region to discuss how to implement the Sendai Framework and illustrated the region's commitment to strengthening disaster risk governance.
9 June 2016: Countries in Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) have agreed on guidelines for developing a regional action plan that will encourage countries and communities to reduce disaster risk and potential losses. The guidelines were discussed during the First Meeting of Ministers and High-Level Authorities on the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) 2015-2030 in the Americas. The conference was the first opportunity for the region to discuss how to implement the Sendai Framework and illustrated the region’s commitment to strengthening disaster risk governance.
The conference, which took place from 8-9 June 2016, in Asunción, Paraguay, brought together ministers and delegates from 35 LAC countries, as well as members from civil society and the private sector in the region. According to the UN Office for DRR (UNISDR), the Americas ranks only second to Asia as the most disaster-prone region in the world and accounted for 31.6% of all disaster-related mortality worldwide over the last ten years.
Addressing the conference, Robert Glasser, UN Secretary-General Special Representative for DRR and Head of the UN Office for DRR (UNISDR), said regional efforts are critical to the success of the Sendai Framework, as well as to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He added that a key target of the Sendai Framework is to increase the number of national and local DRR strategies by 2020, and called for the inclusion of regional-level targets in the LAC action plan. Glasser emphasized the importance of reducing economic losses and preventing the creation of new disaster risk by risk-proofing investments, which he said the May 2016’s Global Platform for DRR meeting would address. Glasser called for an inclusive, people-centered approach that engages all levels of society.
The meeting resulted in the ‘Asunción Declaration: Guidelines towards a Regional Action Plan for the Implementation of the Sendai Framework 2015-2030.’ The Declaration details a number of priority guidelines to be taken into account in developing the action plan and advancing implementation of the Sendai Framework in the Americas, including: understanding disaster risk; strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk; investing in DRR for resilience; and enhancing disaster preparedness for an effective response and ‘Build Back Better’ in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction. Each of the priorities includes multiples actions to be taken at the national and regional levels. The meeting also aimed to identify achievements, challenges and opportunities in integrating the DRR and climate change agendas in development planning in the region.
According to UNISDR, the regional plan will be developed between June and the convening of the Americas Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in March 2017, when it is expected to be approved. The Asunción meeting was organized by UNISDR in collaboration with the Secretariat for National Emergencies of the Presidency of the Republic of Paraguay.
In other DRR news, the World Conference on Disaster Management took place during the same week. The conference, which convened from 7-8 June, in Toronto, Canada, brought together more than 1500 participants from over 40 countries, including decision makers and practitioners in emergency management, risk management, crisis communications and first response. In addition to panel discussions and workshops, an interactive tradeshow took place, during which participants viewed the latest technologies in the disaster management industry. The conference provided an opportunity for participants to exchange information and experiences from other countries and industries, and learn about methods to improve preparedness in a cost-effective manner. The conference was organized by the Diversified Communications Canada. [UNISDR Press Release, 7 June] [UNISDR Press Release, 9 June] [UN Press Release, 6 June] [UN Press Release, 8 June] [Statement of UNISDR Head Robert Glasser] [Paraguay Meeting Website] [Concept Note for the Paraguay Meeting] [World Conference on Disaster Management Website] [Asunción Declaration ‘Guidelines Towards a Regional Action Plan for the Implementation of the Sendai Framework 2015-2030’]