Chile - government
National Director of the National Emergency Department
- Chile is recognized for the high recurrence with which we face adverse events. Statistics prove that we are the OECD member with the greatest damage from disasters, with annual losses close to 1.2% of GDP in the last three decades.
- We can expect this reality to increase, both in intensity and frequency, enhanced by the effects of Climate Change. In fact, the country has been classified as "highly vulnerable", since it meets 7 of the 9 criteria set forth by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
- Thus, it has been essential to adopt disaster risk reduction as a strategy for sustainable development. As the current Government program indicates, we seek to have a system that provides a comprehensive outlook, informed from the territories through a preventive approach to mitigate risks and threats, considering the specific vulnerabilities of each population, and that allows emergency response in a timely manner.
- We have recently taken important steps in this direction. On August 7, 2021, the Law establishing the National Disaster Prevention and Response System and Service entered into force. This legal body supports a new institutional framework in charge of all phases of risk management, involving public and private entities. Likewise, it defines coordination instruments and structures that operate in a staggered manner, from the local to the national.
- Previously, in 2020, the second National Policy for Disaster Risk Reduction was officially issued with its respective National Strategic Plan 2020-2030. These instruments collect and correct gaps detected in previous processes. But, in addition, they incorporate the international commitments assumed by the State of Chile to advance in the integration of the Disaster Risk Reduction, Development, Humanitarian Action, and Climate Action agendas.
- In parallel, our National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, formed in 2012, has deepened disaster risk governance, promoting the formation of Regional Platforms throughout the country. We are proud to have been recognized as an example of governance for DRR in the United Nations’ 2020 document "From Words to Action".
- We believe that the synergy between the definition of an integrated system at all levels, the interconnection of the major development agendas and the consolidation of a governance mechanism that assumes the multidimensionality of risks, is leading us in the right direction. We hope that these tools will allow us to address systemic risk more consistently.
- Finally, we recognize the importance of generating evidence based public policies. Firstly, the interface with science strengthens the comprehensive understanding of risk. But additionally, systematizing data regarding disasters is essential to assess the damages and losses that guide action and sustain the benefits of investment in DRR.
- We are at a decisive moment, in which we are getting ready to undergo the mid-term review of the Sendai Framework’s implementation. From the successes achieved in the development of national strategies, we have been able to realize the need to take the next step: reaching the territories. This challenges us to embrace the diversity that is inherent in local realities and the different ways in which disasters affect different groups.
- Hence, the central theme of this Global Platform "From Risk to Resilience, towards Sustainable Development for All" resonates today with special force: development that is not risk-informed, is not sustainable; and risk reduction that is not anchored in the communities will not reach everyone.
- We believe that spaces such as the Global Platform for DRR are of irreplaceable importance to generate adequate resilience through cooperation. That is why we are emphatic: disasters are not natural. Actions to reduce disaster risk and contribute to a more resilient and sustainable development depend on us.
Thank you very much.
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