Scientists have called on governments to put evidence-based disaster risk reduction (DRR) at the center of their sustainable development strategies, in the lead-up to the Third UN World Conference on DRR in March 2015.
30 January 2015: Scientists have called on governments to put evidence-based disaster risk reduction (DRR) at the center of their sustainable development strategies, in the lead-up to the Third UN World Conference on DRR in March 2015.
The call was made during the Tokyo Conference on International Study for DRR and Resilience. The scientists urged policy-makers to empower their national DRR platforms through greater engagement with science and technology. The Conference outcome document, the ‘Tokyo Statement,’ is expected to serve as a significant input to the World Conference on DRR, according to the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).
Participants at the conference, which convened from 14-16 January 2015, in Tokyo, Japan, said part of the way forward is to mobilize and align existing networks of scientific and research institutions at national, regional and international levels. They also emphasized the contributions of science and technology to DRR in terms of advanced earth observations and geographic information systems (GIS).
Use of science and technology to improve early warning systems and the accuracy, accessibility and understanding of risk information is considered a success of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) agreed to ten years ago, UNISDR notes. The post-2015 DRR framework to be adopted in March aims to highlight the increasingly important role of science and technology in strengthening disaster resilience.
Margareta Wahlström, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for DRR, called for more research and focus on how risk is generated, and on how risk can be prevented and reduced by decisions and measures requiring social as well as political action.
Over 400 participants from 27 countries attended the Tokyo Conference, which was co-organized by the Science Council of Japan, Integrated Research on Disaster Risk, the University of Tokyo and UNISDR. [Conference Website] [UNISDR Press Release]