May 2017: Recent adaptation-related activities have included China’s efforts to mark National Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Day, with officials noting that it is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world but can serve as a role model for others. In addition, Australia is assessing its preparedness to report on national implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR, Arab countries held a preparatory conference for the 2017 Global Platform meeting in Mexico, and two recent meetings in Bonn addressed integration of DRR and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

China Marks National DRR Day

On the occasion of China’s National DRR Day, on 12 May 2017, Robert Glasser, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for DRR, said China can be a role model for others, and has set a target of putting 1.3% of its GDP toward economic losses from disasters. He also called on young researchers in China to develop scientific evidence that informs policy and action to prevent and reduce disaster risk and losses. Glasser stressed the need to adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to developing DRR solutions, including where traditional and social sciences work together.

The UN Office for DRR (UNISDR) and Beijing Normal University signed a statement of cooperation, including an agreement to co-organize the second Asian Science and Technology Conference for DRR, in Beijing, in April 2018. The conference is expected to review Asia’s implementation of the Science and Technology Roadmap to Support Implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR, and contribute to the Asian Ministerial Conference on DRR, convening in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in July 2018. [UNISDR Press Release on National Day] [UNISDR Press Release on Glasser Remarks to Students]

Australia to Integrate Climate Change Action and Disaster Resilience

The Government of Australia has undertaken a data readiness review to assess national preparedness to report on implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR. It has also established the ‘Disaster and Climate Resilience Reference Group,’ which aims to integrate risk and resilience considerations into planning, policies and programmes across all government departments to ensure collaboration and cohesion in meeting commitments under the Sendai Framework and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Australia is also, according to UNISDR: helping the Philippines implement the Sendai Framework through the Philippines Disaster and Climate Risk Management Initiative, a five-year programme to help integrate disaster and climate change preparedness across government systems and communities; investing US$30 million in climate and weather services, and in disaster and climate risk governance; and helping Pacific island countries access the Green Climate Fund (GCF). [UNISDR Press Release]

Arab Countries Hold Preparatory Conference on DRR

The Third Arab Preparatory Conference on DRR convened in Qatar, Doha, from 30 April to 1 May 2017, ahead of the Global Platform on DRR 2017, taking place in Cancun, Mexico, from 22-26 May 2017. Participants aimed to review progress on implementation of the Sendai Framework in the region, finalize the Arab Strategy for DRR 2030, agree on a work programme, and prepare a joint regional statement in advance of the Global Platform meeting.

The Doha Declaration calls for a strategic work programme that aligns with the Sendai Framework, and for appointing a scientific focal point.

Delegates adopted the Doha Declaration, which focuses on the Arab Strategy for DRR 2030, and calls for a strategic work programme that aligns with the Sendai Framework. The Declaration also calls for a stronger role for science and technology in the Arab region, and for the appointment of a scientific focal point to represent each country at the Arab Science and Technology Advisory Board, which is expected to act as a mechanism to facilitate DRR implementation in the region. The meeting was organized by UNISDR in collaboration with the League of Arab States (LAS) and the Government of Qatar. [UNISDR Press Release] [Conference Homepage]

Technical Expert Meeting Brings together Adaptation, Disaster Risk and Development

The 2017 Technical Expert Meeting on Adaptation (TEM-A) convened from 16-17 May 2017, in Bonn, Germany, on the theme ‘Integrating climate change adaptation with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction.’ The meeting aimed to identify opportunities for jointly advancing adaptation to climate change, the SDGs and DRR, and highlighted national adaptation plans (NAPs) as a vehicle by which countries can pursue adaptation, disaster risk and development efforts.

Key messages will be provided as input to the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 23) in November 2017, as well as the 2017 Global Platform meeting. The technical examination process on adaptation (TEP-A) was established at COP 21 as part of an effort to enhance pre-2020 action. It aims to identify opportunities for strengthening resilience, reducing vulnerabilities, and enhancing implementation of adaptation actions, and it brings together, for the first time, the private sector, civil society and other relevant stakeholders into formal international adaptation discussions. [UNFCCC Press Release] [2017 TEP-A Website] [TEP-A Website]

Resilient Cities 2017 Addresses Local Implementation of SDG 11, Sendai Framework

Resilient Cities 2017 – the 8th Global Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation – met from 4-6 May 2017, in Bonn, Germany, to address: local implementation of SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) and the Sendai Framework; how cities prepare and respond to disease outbreaks or other climate-related health risks; forced migration in urban areas; risk transfer and insurance; data security and management; financing resilience, including direct access funding mechanisms for cities; and minimizing and managing loss and damage, particularly for cities in small island developing States (SIDS). The programme also included: an Urban Food Forum; an Insurance Industry and Climate Summit; and ‘Cities in Focus’ sessions, which show how different cities approach similar aspects of adaptation and overcome common challenges.

Resilient Cities was launched in 2010 to bring together local government leaders and climate change adaptation experts to discuss challenges facing urban environments and form partnership. [Resilient Cities 2017 Website]