The seventh session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction is the first time the global community is coming together to reflect on this issue since the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the profound need for more coordinated action. Moreover, it represents a key moment as we near the midterm review of the Sendai Framework and the other major Post-2015 Development Agenda agreements.
The past three years have shown that risk compounds risk, and that humanity is quickly approaching, and even surpassing, dangerous tipping points which require tremendous preventative action. To take but one example, in 2022, an estimated 274 million people will face hunger, conflict, and displacement as a result of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NGO Major Group recognizes conflict and protracted crises as further examples of the systemic nature and global connectedness of risk. The risks we face are often the result of development priorities which do not reflect the true aspirations of people and communities. This could be remedied by allocating appropriate resources for disaster risk reduction and risk-informed development with an emphasis on reaching the local level. Consensus on this matter should be translated into meaningful action.
The NGO Major Group will continue its efforts to build capacity at the local level and to bring to life the objectives of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. We also call for global decision makers to listen meaningfully to local and indigenous leaders and civil society, working to engage, equip, empower, and ensure their input is central to decision making. This means prioritising the challenges and recommendations coming from them and increasing the ability of communities to take leadership on issues which impact them directly.
The NGO major group also highlights the important role that civil society has in convening and advancing this all of society approach and full supports the wider SEM declaration. Here, the NGO major group would also like to highlight that we are also integrated across a number of the other stakeholder constituencies, such as the indigenous, women and gender, farmers, children and youth in particular. Therefore, we would also like to endorse and fully support the statements that all constituencies have submitted. Further to this, the NGO constituency would also like to recognize the unique role that faith actors and community-based faith groups, alongside other groups not included among the constituencies, play in disaster risk reduction.
Specifically, decision makers at global, national and local level are urged to champion (1) localisation, (2) risk-informed development and (3) collaboration for an all of society approach to disaster risk reduction.
In order to do this effectively, the NGO major group has identified eight specific calls to action recommendations:
- Learn from COVID 19, and build back better recognising the limits to growth and risks in our current macroeconomic model
- Understand and address the weaknesses in governance that COVID 19 demonstrated and work with local authorities to understand how to scale up the best practices that were developed by local policymakers to ensure the continuation of key services, like public transport.
- Learn from the social, economic and political elements of risk reduction highlighted by the pandemic
- Build on the local capacity demonstrated in the COVID 19 response, empower local leaders for strengthened DRR
- Increase understanding on how to reduce the risk of biological disasters, such as pandemics in the Sendia framework going forward
- Work to ensure everyone has access to the COVID 19 vaccine
- Include DRR in all formal educational curriculum system at the primary levels for the next better generation
- Listen to the community
Include local leaders in decision making spaces at local, national and global spaces
Meaningfully include local leaders in the implementation and monitoring of the Sendai Framework
Institutionalise including community voice, knowledge and recommendations in decision making
Promote the analysis of the systemic nature of risk and risk-informed development from the perspective of the communities most at risk
- Transition from seeing inclusion as a standalone topic
Recognize the intersectional dynamics of marginalisation in relation to risk
Go beyond a siloed approach to inclusion of vulnerable groups and invest in embedding inclusion throughout the whole of the Sendai Framework, at all levels, across all stakeholders
- Strengthen coordination and coherence for risk-informed development, bridging the silos between DRR, development, and Climate Change efforts
- Recognise the systemic nature of risk and adopt a coherent approach across all global frameworks for an effective risk-informed development, risk reduction and resilience building for the communities most at risk
- Enhance coherence and integration of policy and coordination across all levels and sectors of government
- Incorporate the understanding of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 6th report in the strategy of implementing the second half of the SFDRR
- Ensure the lessons learned from DRR are brought to bear on the climate change negotiations. Specifically, to conversations on loss and damage and the need for high income countries to increase financial support to other countries
- Recognise that significant earmarked finance is needed for loss & damage in vulnerable and affected communities. Current financing for climate change, displacement, disaster and mitigation/ adaptation is not sufficient to address the challenges being faced
- Integrate climate-related hazards and their impacts in local DRR planning and implement DRR actions that have climate mitigation and adaptation co-benefits, in particular nature-based solutions
- Recognise the role that Civil Society Organisations have to lead collaboration.
- Welcome and strengthen the role of local CSOs in convening the all of society approach to effectively achieve Sendai Framework commitments. For example, civil society organisations should be empowered to promote awareness on the early warning system function at the community level
- Invest at the local level for DRR
- Prioritise ensuring risk reduction finance reaches the local level, including indigenous communities
- Prioritize building localised and diverse economies to increase the resilience of communities to provide for themselves and protect them from globalised market fluctuations
- Meaningfully include local level and indigenous leaders in deciding how risk reduction budget is spent at the local level
- Invest in understanding, developing and integrating nature-based solutions into local and indigenous action plans and budgets
- Ensure social protection schemes are available and well communicated
- Recognise gender inequality as a driver of risk, and work to eliminate it
- Recognise gender inequality as a barrier to achieving the Sendai framework targets and invest in action to meaningfully promote gender equality for strengthened disaster risk reduction
- Recognise that we will not be able to meaningfully achieve the Sendai Framework targets if we do not strengthen gender equality
- Empower women and women leaders to meaningfully engage in disaster risk reduction at all levels
- Adopt an intergenerational approach to disaster risk reduction
- Build on the experience, energy and innovation of persons of all ages
- Ensure youth and youth leaders are meaningfully included in decision-making processes
- Strengthen DRR governance in conflict affected areas and states
- Support conflict affected and fragile states to implement disaster risk reduction governance, policy and plans
- Invest in understanding which conflict affected states do not meaningfully include DRR governance, learn about the barriers and identify solutions