23-28 May 2022: Summary report GP2022

A woman being wheeled in a wheelchair at the 7th Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, 27 May 2022, Bali, Indonesia
Antoine Tardy/UNDRR

In a world challenged by natural hazards that are increasing in frequency and intensity, the seventh session of the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction 2022 (GP2022) could not be taking place at a more important moment. Seven years after the adoption of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 and a year prior to the culmination of its Mid-Term Review (MTR), the world’s underlying vulnerabilities and inequities were violently exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Preventing disasters, reducing, and managing risk, and responding to extreme phenomena are essential if we are to achieve a sustainable future for all. GP2022 repeatedly highlighted the need for a whole-of-society approach to disaster risk reduction (DRR), ensuring no one is left behind. Constructing an inclusive environment, the Global Platform showcased the importance of international solidarity and cooperation and discussed ways to tackle underlying risk drivers both locally and globally.

GP2022 was held under the theme “From Risk to Resilience: Towards Sustainable Development for All in a COVID-19 Transformed World” and was organized across three main sub-themes on: disaster risk governance; COVID-19 recovery; and DRR financing. The meeting further: addressed the Sendai Framework stocktaking for the ongoing MTR; deliberated on actions to reduce disaster risk for the most vulnerable, including Indigenous Peoples, women, youth, and persons with disabilities, and to ensure their full and effective participation in decision making; and highlighted potential synergies with the sustainable development and climate action agendas and policies.

The outcome of GP2022 was summarized in the Co-Chairs’ “Bali Agenda for Resilience.” Its main take-home messages include that:

  • a “Think Resilience” approach must be applied to all investments and decision making, integrating DRR to ensure a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach;
  • DRR must be integrated at the core of development and finance policies, legislation, and plans to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
  • the real cost of disasters is that of inaction, which must be weighed against investments in DRR, which again can only be accounted for through systemic changes;
  • current greenhouse gas emission levels far exceed their mitigation, resulting in an increase in frequency and intensity of catastrophic events;
  • a participatory and human rights-based approach in DRR planning and implementation is crucial as people are affected differently by disasters;
  • the development of multi-hazard early warning systems (MHEWS) must be inclusive of communities most at risk with adequate capacity to act on early warnings, and ensure better availability, quality, and sharing of data, financial resources, and effective governance and coordination arrangements to fully implement the call by the UN Secretary-General to ensure every person on Earth is protected by early warning systems (EWS) by 2027;
  • the need for a transformative recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that current approaches are not sufficiently effective, neither in protecting development gains nor in building back better, greener, and more equitably;
  • recovery and reconstruction are most successful when they are community-driven and support existing local structures and resilience-building mechanisms, while addressing barriers to inclusivity through gender-responsive and human rights-based approaches;
  • ecosystems should be considered as critical infrastructure and recognized for their basic services, bringing environmental, socio-economic, and cultural benefits;
  • DRR and climate change adaptation have the common objective of reducing vulnerability and enhancing capacity and resilience, thus a comprehensive disaster and climate risk management approach is critical; and
  • risk understanding remains limited, particularly regarding emerging and future hazards, with government policies largely reactive.

The decisions we are called on to take today to address current and imminent hazards, and the resulting actions, matter. During the meeting, Amina J. Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General stressed that “our actions and decisions can inadvertently influence our risk and exposure.” In closing reflections, Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) for DRR and Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) echoed that message, emphasizing that “we can never underestimate the role that human decisions play.”

GP2022 was organized and convened by UNDRR from 23 to 28 May 2022 in Bali, Indonesia, and hosted by the Government of Indonesia. The event was co-chaired by the Government of Indonesia and UNDRR. More than 4000 participants from 185 countries attended both in person and virtually.

A Brief History of the Global Platform on DRR

Natural hazards, such as floods, droughts, earthquakes, and tsunamis, are becoming more regular and intense, increasing the impact on people and communities. Compounding the situation, poor planning, poverty, and a range of other underlying factors create conditions of vulnerability that result in insufficient capacity to cope with natural hazards and disasters. Action to reduce risk has grown in importance on the international agenda and is seen by many as essential to safeguard sustainable development efforts and achieve the SDGs.

DRR includes all the policies, strategies, and measures that can make people, cities, and countries more resilient to hazards, and reduce risk and vulnerability to disasters. Recognizing that natural hazards can threaten anyone unexpectedly, UNDRR builds on partnerships and takes a global approach to disaster reduction, seeking to involve every individual and community in moving toward the goals of reducing the loss of lives, socio-economic setbacks, and the environmental damages caused by natural hazards. The following highlights the development of the international DRR agenda.

First World Conference on Disaster Reduction: The first World Conference on Disaster Reduction (WCDR) convened in Yokohama, Japan, in 1994, and saw the adoption of the Yokohama Strategy for a Safer World and its Plan of Action. The Yokohama Strategy set guidelines for action on prevention, preparedness, and mitigation of disaster risk. These guidelines were based on principles of risk assessment, disaster prevention and preparedness, the capacity to prevent, reduce, and mitigate disasters, and early warning. The strategy also stated that the international community should share technology to prevent, reduce, and mitigate disasters, while demonstrating strong political determination in the field of disaster reduction.

International Strategy for Disaster Reduction: At its 54th session in 1999, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) agreed to establish the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), and an Inter-Agency Secretariat and Task Force for Disaster Reduction (IATF/DR) for implementation of the ISDR (Resolutions A/RES/54/219 and A/RES/56/195, respectively). Among its mandated tasks, the IATF/DR was to convene ad hoc expert meetings on issues related to disaster reduction.

Second World Conference on Disaster Reduction: The Second WCDR convened from 18-22 January 2005 in Kobe, Japan. The 168 states attending the conference adopted the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters (HFA) and the Hyogo Declaration. UNGA Resolution 60/195 endorsed the HFA and committed governments to five priorities for action to: ensure DRR is a national and local priority, with a strong institutional basis for implementation; identify, assess, and monitor disaster risks and enhance early warning; use knowledge, innovation, and education to build a culture of safety and resilience at all levels; reduce the underlying risk factors; and strengthen disaster preparedness for effective response at all levels.

Global Platform for DRR: In 2006, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs launched a consultative process to consider practical ways of strengthening the ISDR system to support governments in meeting their commitments to implement the HFA. It aimed to extend participation of governments and organizations, raise the profile of disaster reduction, and construct a more coherent international effort to support national disaster reduction activities. The Global Platform for DRR was formed as an expanded and reformed successor to the IATF/DR, envisaged to serve as the primary multi-stakeholder forum for all parties involved in DRR to raise awareness of DRR, share experiences, and guide the ISDR system.

The first session of the Global Platform was held from 5-7 June 2007 in Geneva, Switzerland, and included a high-level dialogue on DRR challenges and opportunities, a series of workshops on DRR as a national priority and integrating DRR into sector agendas, and sessions on assessing and implementing the HFA.

At the second session of the Global Platform, held from 16-19 June 2009 in Geneva, participants focused on increasing investment in DRR, reducing disaster risk in a changing climate, and enabling community resilience through preventive action.

The third session of the Global Platform was held from 8-13 May 2011 in Geneva and discussions focused mainly on reconstruction and recovery, the economics of DRR, and synergies with the international climate change and development agendas.

The fourth session of the Global Platform convened from 19-23 May 2013 in Geneva and provided an opportunity to review the status of the HFA as well as encourage information sharing among decision makers, development partners, experts, and practitioners.

Mid-Term Review of the HFA 2005-2015: The HFA MTR, released in March 2011, concluded that progress on DRR is occurring, especially institutionally through the passing of national legislation, establishment of EWS, and strengthening disaster preparedness and response. It raised concerns about: the lack of systematic multi-hazard risk assessments and EWS, factoring in social and economic vulnerabilities; poor integration of DRR into sustainable development policies and planning at national and international levels; and insufficient HFA implementation at the local level.

Third UN World Conference on DRR: This meeting convened from 14-18 March 2015 in Sendai, Japan, and adopted the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. The Sendai Framework aims to achieve the following outcome over the next 15 years: substantial reduction of disaster risk and loss of lives, livelihoods, and health as well as of losses in the economic, physical, social, cultural, and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities, and countries. The intent is to achieve this through four priorities of action (understanding disaster risk; strengthening disaster risk governance; investing in DRR; and enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction), to achieve a set of seven global targets. The targets include specific references to lowering the rates of mortality and people affected by disaster, loss in relation to global gross domestic product (GDP), and the damage to critical infrastructure and services. They also target the substantial enhancement of international cooperation and finance.

Fifth Session of the Global Platform: The fifth session of the Global Platform for DRR convened from 24-26 May 2017 in Cancún, Mexico, under the theme, “From Commitment to Action,” and was attended by more than 5,000 delegates from over 170 countries. The fifth session was the first to convene after the adoption of the Sendai Framework. A key outcome of the meeting was the release of the Cancún High-Level Communiqué, the result of a closed-door Leaders’ Forum. Under the theme “Ensuring the resilience of infrastructure and housing,” the Communiqué commits to, inter alia: implement the Sendai Framework in coherence with the SDGs, the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the New Urban Agenda; and promote people-centered, gender-sensitive, accessible, and resilient urban development that supports all of society, including the vulnerable, poor, and marginalized. The fifth session also issued a Chair’s Summary, which addressed the priority action areas that emerged from the meeting. The Chair’s Summary was forwarded to the July 2017 session of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). 

Sixth Session of the Global Platform: The sixth session of the Global Platform for DRR took place from 13-17 May 2019 in Geneva, under the theme, “Resilience Dividend: Towards Sustainable and Inclusive Societies.” Two preparatory days included the first UNDRR Stakeholders Forum A major outcome of the sixth session was the launch of the 2019 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR), which provides an overview of countries’ progress toward achieving the seven global targets of the Sendai Framework. The session adopted a Chairs’ Summary comprising recommendations for the Mid-Term Review of the Sendai Framework (MTR SF), and for DRR to be fully integrated into implementation of the SDGs.

Regional Platforms: The eighth Africa Regional Platform for DRR was held on 16-19 November 2021 in Nairobi, Kenya, under the theme, “Towards Disaster Risk-Informed Development for a Resilient Africa in a COVID-19 Transformed World.” It was hosted by the Government of Kenya, the African Union Commission, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. The first part of the meeting, held virtually from 16-18 November, focused on progress and ways to deliver on commitments to the Sendai Framework and the African Union’s Programme of Action, and, thus, contribute to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want. On 19 November, the seventh High-Level Meeting on DRR was held in a hybrid format where Ministers responsible for DRR and Heads of Delegations adopted the outcomes of the Regional Platform.

The fifth Arab Regional Platform for DRR was hosted by Morocco, the UNDRR Regional Office for Arab States, and the League of Arab States and held virtually from 8-11 November 2021 under the theme, “From Risk to Resilience: Accelerating Local Action for Disaster Risk Reduction.” The platform adopted the Rabat Declaration for DRR, calling on all Arab governments, partners, and stakeholders to integrate and align DRR strategies and programmes with sustainable development policies at all levels.

The seventh Regional Platform for DRR in the Americas and the Caribbean was held virtually from 1-4 November 2021 under the theme, “Building resilient economies in the Americas and the Caribbean.” The meeting, hosted by Jamaica, UNDRR, and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, also comprised the fourth High-Level Meeting of Ministers and Authorities on the Implementation of the Sendai Framework in the Americas and the Caribbean. In addition, the meeting convened a special Youth Forum on DRR and approved new steps to strengthen a regional action plan on DRR and achieve the goals of the Sendai Framework.

The 2021 European Forum for DRR was held in Matosinhos, Portugal, on 24-26 November 2021. The meeting featured a Ministerial Roundtable where governments endorsed the Forum’s Roadmap 2021-2030 for coordinated and accelerated implementation of the Sendai Framework and related SDGs in Europe and Central Asia.

Report of GP2022 Preparatory Events

GP2022 began with preparatory events on Monday and Tuesday, 23-24 May. The preparatory days were structured along the second Stakeholder Forum, the third Multi-Hazard Early Warning Conference (MHEWC-III), and the fifth World Reconstruction Conference (WRC-5). The main part of GP2022 took place from Wednesday to Friday, 25-27 May. On Saturday, 28 May, participants enjoyed field trips, familiarizing them with the Balinese culture and environmental sustainability efforts.

Stakeholder Forum

The Stakeholder Forum brings together diverse stakeholders from around the world, providing an opportunity to share experiences and knowledge on different approaches to build disaster resilient societies. Discussions focused on strengthening collaboration and whole-of-society approaches in the implementation of the Sendai Framework in coherence with other relevant frameworks, such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement, and the New Urban Agenda.

Opening Ceremony: Opening on Monday, 23 May, Co-moderators Elizabeth Petheo, Miyamoto International Inc., and Adessou Kossivi, Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction (GNDR), stressed that resilience depends on the capacity of communities to respond in times of crisis.

Inia Seruiratu, Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management, FIJI, highlighted the need to bridge the gap between governments and citizens, and engage all sectors of society, emphasizing that “in this age of systemic risk, we are not safe until we are all safe.”

Focusing on meaningful participation, Carlos Kaiser Mansilla, ONG Inclusiva, Chile, stressed that, beyond leaving no one behind, “we need everyone on board.” He highlighted interconnections between DRR and climate change, and stressed the need for applied knowledge, statistical data, and indicators, including community knowledge.

Sonika Pudel, Youth Advocate, Nepal, highlighted the importance of an intergenerational approach, the value of local knowledge and community experience, and the importance of adequate, sustainable, and flexible financing.

Kurt Kunz, Ambassador of SWITZERLAND to Indonesia, Timor-Leste, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), highlighted integrated risk management as a systemic and whole-of-society approach to identify, evaluate, and address risk, taking all types of hazards into consideration and benchmarking them involving all relevant sectors.

Mami Mizutori, SRSG for DRR and Head of UNDRR, highlighted the role of non-state actors, and of UNDRR’s Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism (SEM) as “the main vehicle for engagement and breaking down existing silos in the UN system.” Mizutori concluded that while most of the Sendai Framework targets “are not being achieved as we speak,” this temporary failure should lead to increased efforts and renewed passion for implementation.

Chandra Tripura, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact, stressed Indigenous Peoples’ meaningful contributions to DRR and offered a spiritual blessing for the Stakeholder Forum.

Plenary Session on Lessons Learned in Building Resilience: On Monday, Moderator Tanjir Hossain, ActionAid, said the session will focus on bringing together the Sendai Framework Voluntary Commitments and ideas on how to move forward.

Fernando Britto, Founder and CEO of AI Systems Research, highlighted the development of a transparent governance structure, building resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, and facilitating a people-centric and accessible, participatory approach to DRR.

Andreas Hapsoro, Habitat for Humanity, Indonesia, stressed that housing has become the front line of defense against COVID-19. He highlighted the global dual health and economic crisis as well as relevant commitments on housing under the Sendai Framework, and offered examples of current work in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Viet Nam, and Indonesia.

Nirankar Saxena, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, focused on digitalization, induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, as a tool to enhance environment-friendly globalization. He highlighted biological attenuators or virus defense devices as a new category of mass safety devices capable of creating virus-safe premises.

Yuki Matsuoka, Head of the UNDRR Office in Japan, and Rahma Hanifa, U-INSPIRE Alliance, Indonesia, focused on the Sendai Framework Voluntary Commitment initiative, offering relevant examples and underscoring that the initiative’s online platform offers an accountability mechanism for implementation of the Sendai Framework. Matsuoka offered a detailed overview of the contents of the initiative’s 2022 report.

Rebecca Murphy, GNDR, reflected on the SEM’s evolution, focusing on efforts to bring a whole-of-society approach to DRR to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as managing and sharing knowledge assets.

Plenary Session on Plans and Opportunities for the Future of the SEM: This plenary session took place on Monday and was moderated by Jyothi Bylappa Maralenahalli, UNDRR. Rebecca Murphy, GNDR, focused on the SEM’s background, mission, and structure. Highlighting the commitment to build a sustainable, resilient world, she underscored added value when engaging with the SEM, including policy governance and accountability, knowledge exchange, and networking and advocacy.

Bikash Manna, HelpAge International, presented facts on ageing and vulnerabilities in less developed regions, noting an older world is increasingly exposed to disasters. He highlighted the Intergenerational Self-Help Club model, promoting equitable and inclusive development.

Sotha Sok, Cambodian Farmer Federation Association of Agricultural Producers, highlighted the role of farmers, focusing on the need to increase awareness on the SEM’s work and to attract additional funding.

Ramona Miranda, Duryog Nivaran (South Asian Network on DRR), focused on gender issues and women’s critical contributions to effectively managing disaster risk, and designing and implementing gender-sensitive DRR policies.

Jekulin Lipi, Sendai Children and Youth Stakeholder Group, drew attention to the SEM’s overall goal to facilitate an all-of-society, people-centered, inclusive, and accessible approach for risk-informed development at all levels, focusing on four action areas: influencing global development policy; the SEM’s contribution to global forums and mechanisms; knowledge management; and internal coordination.

Plenary Session on the Outcomes of the Parallel Thematic Sessions: On Tuesday morning, parallel thematic sessions addressed: the gap between science and technology, and practice at the local level; local implementation of the Sendai Framework; disaster risk governance; integrating DRR in climate change policy and action; DRR financing; and the MTR SF. On Tuesday afternoon, a plenary session co-moderated by Elham Youssefian, International Disability Alliance, and Mareike Bentfeld, German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), discussed the outcomes of the parallel sessions and conveyed key messages.

On the gap between science and technology, and practice at the local level, Alinne Martinez, Young Scientists Platform on DRR, underscored the need to develop collaborative efforts, contextualizing information and moving away from one-size-fits-all national approaches toward targeted local-level approaches.

Regarding local implementation of the Sendai Framework, Maite Rodriguez, Women and Habitat Network for Latin America and the Caribbean, emphasized that local communities should be seen as protagonists of transformational change rather than victims of climate change or other disasters.

On disaster risk governance, Jekulin Lipi, Sendai Children and Youth Stakeholder Group, highlighted partnerships with civil society, result-based monitoring and evaluation, coordination with local communities, sustainable social services, and the need for inclusive, decentralized disaster risk management.

On integrating DRR in climate change policy and action, Sophie Rigg, ActionAid UK, underscored the need to move towards policy integration between DRR and climate change at all levels, noting that simply achieving policy coherence is desirable but not sufficient.

Regarding DRR financing, Modiegi Radikonyana, Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, SOUTH AFRICA, called for incorporating DRR considerations in all investment decisions; encouraged coherent actions among multilateral agreements and conventions; and cautioned that the pandemic signals that risk should be addressed in an integrated manner.

On the MTR SF, Aashish Khullar, UNDRR, urged engagement of all stakeholders, making the process more inclusive and deciding the framework’s future path. He noted the interim report on the MTR contains a retrospective element regarding progress on targets and a significant prospective component, focusing on what needs to be done between now and 2030, and beyond.

Plenary Session on the Outcomes of the Constituency Sessions: On Monday afternoon, eight parallel constituency sessions focused on: disabilities; women and gender; non-governmental organizations; the private sector; children and youth; communities; International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC); and the media. The parallel sessions discussed issues under each constituency’s purview.

On Tuesday afternoon, a plenary session brought together representatives of all major stakeholder groups, summarizing the constituency sessions. The plenary session was moderated by Adella Indah Nurjanah, Indonesia Mitra Muda Network, and Vania Santoso, Youth Engagement Team at UN International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Indonesia.

Jean-Baptiste Buffet, United Cities and Local Governments, for local governments, stressed that local governments are state actors and called for collective action, creating a conducive environment for their participation in DRR efforts.

Mwanahamisi Singano, Women’s Environment and Development Organization, for the women and gender constituency, called for: moving the narrative from women being the most impacted to women as providers of solutions; financing targeted to women; and promoting inclusive and equitable recoveries in crises.

Hans-Peter Teufers, United Parcel Service Foundation and ARISE Vice-Chair, speaking for the private sector, highlighted the need to: take a systemic approach, engaging all stakeholders; create incentives for more resilient investments and remove relevant regulatory barriers; harness the potential of data and technology; and promote synergies and partnerships.

Natalia Ilieva, Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, speaking for the media constituency, underscored the need “to put DRR on screen.” She discussed a relevant project targeting broadcasting organizations to make them proactive, partnering with DRR projects.

Terry Otieno, Sendai Children and Youth Stakeholder Group, representing children and youth, emphasized their leading role in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and meeting the Sendai Framework’s priorities, stressing the need to ensure their full and effective participation in DRR efforts and leaving no one behind.

Violet Shivutse, Huairou Commission, on behalf of the communities’ constituency, pointed to effective tools for further engaging community practitioners, including: mapping of risk that combines local knowledge and identifies local priorities; and production of local community data for better planning.

Phoebe Wafubwa Shikuku, IFRC, for the IFRC constituency, called for: a whole-of-society approach, including investment to empower the most vulnerable; programmes inclusive of the most marginalized going beyond their mere participation; and frameworks that guarantee the engagement of all stakeholders.

Juan Angel de Gouveia, Latin American Network of NGOs of Persons with Disabilities and their Families, for persons with disabilities, stressed that people with disabilities still face considerable barriers and remain among the most vulnerable, calling for engaging all stakeholders in the MTR and future implementation of the Sendai Framework.

Ghada Ahmadein, Arab Network for Environment and Development, representing NGOs, called for: investing at the local level; recognizing gender inequality as a risk driver; adopting an intergenerational approach to DRR; fully involving Indigenous Peoples and valuing traditional knowledge; empowering women and youth; and raising awareness on EWS.

Nina Birkeland, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), speaking for displaced people, underscored the need to: work across silos and strengthen DRR governance; increase efforts to understand risk related to displacement; and ensure the meaningful participation of people displaced or in danger of displacement in DRR activities.

Debora Comini, UNICEF, closed the session, stressing that risks associated with natural disasters are increasing globally, especially for the most vulnerable. She emphasized the hope that joint efforts, determination, and resources would support stronger and more diverse outputs. She highlighted a rise in awareness in civil action and activism, concluding that “our actions are more impactful when we work with children and young people across all areas of importance to them.”

Other Sessions: On Tuesday morning, parallel thematic sessions addressed the gap between science and technology, and practice at the local level; local implementation of the Sendai Framework; disaster risk governance; integrating DRR in climate change policy and action; DRR financing; and the MTR SF.

Closing Session: The closing session on Tuesday was co-moderated by Dan Perell, Baháʼí International Community, and Martha Moghbelpour, Desk for Social Action.

Pauline Kariuki, ActionAid Kenya, focused on the meaningful engagement of financial institutions, calling for integrating DRR in local financing and investment strategies.

Nelson Tivane, NRC, shared key insights from the Stakeholder Declaration, “Whole of Society, Whole of Government,” a SEM statement presented to GP2022, stressing: the need for immediate action; the importance of integrating local actors in planning and decision making; and the need to learn from past experiences.

Ahmadul Haque, Cyclone Preparedness Programme, Bangladesh, shared national efforts, programmes, and insights regarding disaster preparedness, including community engagement and women’s empowerment. 

Anita Niraula, Under Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Supplies, NEPAL, focused on the national DRR platform, highlighting efforts to engage all relevant sectors and stakeholders, including under the National Reconstruction Authority, following the 2015 earthquake.

Abhilash Panda, UNDRR, noted stakeholder engagement has drastically changed approaches to DRR in numerous countries. He highlighted the need to: break up silos; act now and together; involve local governments; learn from best practices; and address the interlinkages between DRR, climate change, and the wider sustainable development agenda.

Moderator Perell concluded the session with an interactive session on key takeaways by participants in the Stakeholder Forum, and the collective watering of a plant, symbolizing the joint efforts needed for a sustainable future.  

Third Multi-Hazard Early Warning Conference

MHEWC-III offered an opportunity to review key accomplishments, and share skills, experiences, and expertise within an active network of early warning practitioners. The conference revolved around taking stock and scaling actions for early warning under Sendai Framework Target G (increase access to MHEWS and disaster risk information and assessments).

Opening Session: On Monday, Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General, WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION (WMO), highlighted the acceleration of the Target’s timeline with the announcement of UN Secretary-General António Guterres on 23 March 2022 to “spearhead new action to ensure every person on Earth is protected by EWS within five years.” He explained WMO is consulting on three key areas to meet this goal: enhanced risk understanding; predictive and warning capabilities; and coordinated communication and incentive structures.

Mami Mizutori, SRSG for DRR and Head of UNDRR, pointed to the sharp increase in climate-related disasters and highlighted three initiatives: creating a Centre of Excellence for Climate and Disaster Resilience with WMO; taking stock of progress against Target G; and developing a guidebook on MHEWS for practitioners.

Dwikorita Karnawati, Head, Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG), emphasized the increased poverty due to the pandemic and reduced global capacity to deal with DRR, calling for action that empowers local governments’ capacity, including Indigenous communities.

State of Play on EWS: On Monday, Ricardo Mena, Director, UNDRR, illustrated the state of play on EWS. He highlighted continuous progress across the six indicators under Target G, but also the considerable work left to do, with many countries yet to introduce and report on MHEWS or to improve on the limited to moderate achievement of their existing systems.

A first panel, moderated by Johan Stander, Director of Services, WMO, shared progress, challenges, and solutions for different regions. Panelists described their region’s transition to impact-based warning systems; referred to the social and cultural aspects such as making EWS people-centered and targeting them to vulnerable and potentially illiterate groups; illustrated regional data sharing and coordination tools; and described legislative challenges.

A second panel, moderated by Paola Albrito, UNDRR, highlighted good practices for MHEWS. Jane Rovins, National Emergency Management Agency, NEW ZEALAND, explained how traditional cyclone and storm categorization is unclear and focuses on one hazard only, and presented her country’s color-coded warning system as an alternative.

Osvaldo Luiz Leal de Moraes, National Center for Monitoring and Early Warning of Natural Disasters, BRAZIL, referred to new and increased challenges requiring hazard mapping, observation, and warning to become more dynamic, adaptive, and inclusive.

Denis Chang Seng, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), presented UNESCO’s “Tsunami Ready Pilot Programme,” which aims to make at-risk communities resilient by 2030, as a good example of how regional information and service centers, and awareness days and videos can make a difference on the ground.

Ardhasena Sopaheluwakan, BMKG, explained challenges of DRR and community resilience due to increased urbanization and reduced environmental health. Adji Awa Touré, SENEGAL Agency of Civil Aviation and Meteorology, confirmed that a color-coded warning system leads to better outcomes, and has resulted in saving lives among Senegalese fishers.

Concluding, Erica Allis, WMO, encouraged member states to register their interest in contributing to the Early Warnings for All Initiative with a view to present an action plan on how to achieve the accelerated Target G by the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 27).

Thematic Session on the Status, Gaps, and Way Forward: Moderator Ronald Jackson, Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery Team Head, UN DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (UNDP), emphasized that EWS must be inclusive, and consider, inter alia, gender, disability, caste, religion, education, sexuality, and geographic location, providing actionable information relevant to everyday realities.

He moderated a panel of five: Renato Solidum, Jr., Under Secretary for Department of Science and Technology, the Philippines; Graziela Ariani Olua, Meteorologist, Indonesia; Carlos Tejada, Plan International, El Salvador; Benedetta Gualandi, Oxfam, South Africa; and Setareki Macanawai, Pacific Disability Forum, Fiji.

On defining inclusivity, panelists highlighted the notions of equality, comprehension by all, people centrality, leaving no one behind, and the potential of vulnerable groups to fully exercise their rights. On key governance challenges when developing EWS, panelists noted there are no one-size-fits-all messages, calling for targeting specific audiences with appropriate communication strategies. They further called for developing fit-for-purpose governance systems.

Participants further stressed the need to consult early and meaningfully at all levels of society, and to make EWS up-to-date, interactive, understandable, and affordable. To effectively implement MHEWS, participants enumerated crucial factors including political will, clear mandates, inter-agency coordination, engagement with businesses and the non-governmental sector, and integrated technologies.

Thematic Session on EWS Driven by Risk Information: Ian List, President, Commission for Weather, Climate, Water and Related Environmental Services and Applications, WMO, moderated the session. Loretta Hieber Girardet, UNDRR, reported on accessible data that can track underwater sounds for tsunamigenic earthquakes, and the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System, which provides early warning information and data to support prevention, preparedness, and response.

Shirish Ravan, Head, UN Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER) Beijing Office, UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, noted the need to monitor high impact and low probability disasters such as pandemics and asteroids. He drew attention to the International Asteroid Warning Network and the Space Mission Planning Advisory Group.

Agie Wandala, BMKG, discussed the Indonesia Impact-based Forecast Program, highlighting the Common Alert Protocol (CAP) designed for hazard communication through the media to inform the public on different types of hazards, including weather-related hazards, fires, earthquakes, and volcanoes.

Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls, Shifting the Power Coalition, reported on the Pacific Women Lead, which aims to promote women’s leadership and rights. She highlighted examples of Women’s Weather Watch in Fiji and Vanuatu to support women’s initiatives in early warning and disaster preparedness.

Thematic Session on Digital Networks and Technologies for Reaching Communities at Risk: Moderator Omar Abou-Samra, Global Disaster Preparedness Center, noted that delivering the same message over multiple platforms in a standardized format increases positive impact. He drew attention to the CAP, a data format for exchanging public warnings and emergencies between alerting technologies, and to the IFRC Alert Hub initiative, aiming to increase CAP’s use.

Joe Lynch, Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, presented the Body’s strategic pillars, emphasizing multi-connectivity, sustainable digital markets support, and end-user’s empowerment. He highlighted Article 110 of the European Electronic Communications Code, which requires EU countries to operate a public warning system that can send geo-targeted emergency alerts to mobile phone users in an affected area.

Abhishek Mody, Google Asia, presented Google’s efforts to connect users and communities with information in times of crisis. He focused on a flood forecasting initiative, utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop high-quality hydrological and inundation models for timely alerts and warnings.

Jothiganesh Sundaram, UN WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME (WFP), discussed combining hazard vulnerability and information exposure in a single system, which enhances risk and impact data with real-time information from ground data. Using examples from Cambodia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, and India, he emphasized that governments around the world are empowered with a technological solution that is easy to configure and maintain.

Thematic Session on Anticipatory Action and the Humanitarian Angle: Co-moderated by Kara Siahaan, Head of the Anticipation Hub, and Phoebe Wafubwa Shikuku, IFRC, the session built on an illustrative account by Rabeya Sultan, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society volunteer, based on her hands-on experience with cyclone relief. An interactive discussion revolved around the need to: enhance the physical and social science base; map risks down to the community, household, and microbusiness level; ‘”co-produce” EWS between government agencies, affected stakeholders, and practitioners; provide sufficient finance and insurance; and minimize false alarms.

The session engaged onsite and online participants, and four panelists: Anil Pokhrel, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Agency, Nepal; Faith Mitheu, University of Reading, UK; Guleid Artan, Intergovernmental Authority on Development Climate Prediction and Applications Centre; and Nelson Tivane, NRC Mozambique.

In conclusion, Matthias Amling, Federal Foreign Office, GERMANY, summarized key elements for the transition from mostly reactive to anticipatory action on natural disasters: share knowledge, raise awareness, embrace failure, include communities, and ensure financing.

Participants further discussed: ways to better leverage private sector contributions on people-centered EWS; CAP; gender mainstreaming in the context of end-to-end EWS for hydrometeorological events; development of the Words into Action Guide; and the next generation of forecasting and warning systems.

High-Level Panel on Working Together for Scaled Up Action for EWS: This high-level panel was moderated by Heidi Schroderus-Fox, UN Acting High Representative for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Selwin Charles Hart, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Climate Action, deplored the historic lack of attention to adaptation and resilience in multilateral climate change policies, and emphasized a clear moral imperative to close the early warning gap for people most exposed to disaster risks.

Petteri Taalas, WMO Secretary-General, reminded participants of the impact of disasters on achieving the SDGs. Luísa Celma Caetano Meque, President, National Institute of Disaster Management, MOZAMBIQUE, detailed her country’s policies and regulations for DRR, empowering local communities, and assisting internally displaced people in the event of disasters.

Sameh Wahba, Global Director, Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice, WORLD BANK, noted the extension of EWS to global coverage requires substantial additional funding in capital and operational expenditure, as well as enhanced partnerships with civil society and the private sector to reach last-mile connectivity adapted to local needs.

Vincent Piket, EU Ambassador to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam, enumerated the EU’s financial support commitments for DRR and stressed “it will take a near miracle and a lot of hard work” to reach the accelerated global EWS target. Ken O’Flaherty, UNFCCC COP 26 Regional Ambassador to Asia-Pacific and South Asia, UK, referred to the adaptation finance needs demonstrated by the Glasgow Climate Pact, and urged scaling up access to finance, participatory action, cross-sectoral approaches, and technology transfer.

Due to time constraints, two panelists provided written input. Franz Breitwieser, Director, Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, referred to significant gaps in the most essential weather and climate data, particularly from SIDS and LDCs, and committed to further fund the Systematic Observations Financing Facility to close these gaps with considerable global socio-economic benefits. Stéphanie Durand, Director General, Emergency Management Policy and Outreach, Public Safety CANADA, highlighted Canada’s continued support for the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems initiative, and other EWS successes Canada’s funding has enabled.

Other Sessions: On Monday, participants participated in learning events focusing on the effectiveness of MHEWS including impact-based forecasts and anticipatory action, data formats and management processes.

On Tuesday, additional sessions focused on: how to better leverage private sector contributions; gender mainstreaming in end-to-end EWS for hydrometeorological events; the consultation process for the Words into Action Guide; the next generation of forecasting and warning systems; converting gaps and needs into a way forward; and the CAP.

Closing Session: Amina J. Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General, called for multi-stakeholder and cross-sectoral collaboration as well as adequate funding to reach the accelerated EWS target, and to reduce the risk from climate-related hazards that nearly half of humanity is already facing. Johan Stander, Director of Services, WMO, looked back at MHEWC-III as an important opportunity to bring science and disaster risk management closer together.

Mami Mizutori, SRSG for DRR and Head of UNDRR, reiterated her Office’s commitment to advancing the outcomes of MHEWC-III “in excellent partnership” with the WMO, and to potentially achieve the urgent EWS target in even less than five years. Dwikorita Karnawati, Director, BMKG, closed MHEWC-III, calling for a “total quality of resiliency,” which includes economic, socio-cultural, and financial aspects alike.

Fifth World Reconstruction Conference

WRC-5 focused on addressing the unprecedented socio-economic recovery needs as a pathway to rebuilding a resilient and sustainable society in the post-COVID-19 world, under the theme “Reconstructing for a Sustainable Future.” The conference was organized under three sub-themes: social, infrastructural, and economic recovery from disasters as an opportunity to reset the development pathway towards a greener and resilient future; addressing the social and economic effects and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on “hard-won” development gains; and rethinking recovery governance models, including planning, financing, and managing recovery from complex and interconnected disaster-conflict events in the post-COVID-19 world.

Opening ceremony: On Monday, the opening ceremony was moderated by Ronald Jackson, UNDP and Chair, International Recovery Platform Steering Committee.

Asako Okai, UN Assistant Secretary-General, and Director, UNDP Crisis Bureau, noted the need to take stock of best practices in addressing social challenges, and translate these into comprehensive, meaningful, and resilience-building disaster recovery policies.

Muhadjir Effendy, Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, INDONESIA, reported on endeavors to tackle the increased risk and complexity of future disasters through the national 2015-2045 Disaster Management Master Plan.

Mami Mizutori, SRSG for DRR and Head of UNDRR, urged WRC-5 to discuss ways of tackling emerging challenges, and ensuring joint learning to develop pathways for a greener, more resilient, and equitable recovery.

In a keynote address, Pramod Kumar Mishra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, INDIA, said post-disaster recovery must focus on, inter alia: better outcomes of reconstruction of different sectors; social facilitation by strengthening community practices; and predictable financial, institutional, and technical mechanisms.

Sameh Wahba, Global Director, Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice, WORLD BANK, noted the importance of investment in resilient infrastructure, pointing to a return on investment of 4:1. He urged scaling up international partnerships to better support disaster recovery.

Plenary Session on Social, Infrastructural, and Economic Recovery from Disasters: This session, moderated by Sameh Wahba, World Bank, assessed the opportunity to reset the development pathway towards a greener and more resilient future.

In a keynote, Kamal Kishore, National Disaster Management Authority, INDIA, proposed disaster resilience recovery of infrastructure through, inter alia, integration of green infrastructure planning alongside human-built infrastructure.

Anil Pokhrel, CEO, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority, NEPAL, noted that the catastrophic earthquake of 2015 resulted in the government’s development of long-term post-disaster recovery programs, and the DRR Policy and National Strategic Action Plan 2018-2030.

During the panel session, Charlotte Norman, Director, National Disaster Management Organisation, GHANA, reported on the World Bank’s Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development project, which supports improved flood risk management, solid waste management, and improved access to basic infrastructure and services in the Greater Accra Region.

Luis Paulo Mandlate, Executive Director, Post-Cyclone Reconstruction Cabinet, MOZAMBIQUE, reported on disaster recovery plans following the 2019 Kenneth and Idai cyclones, which affected over 1.8 million people. He highlighted emergency responses alongside resilience development, implemented through relocation and reconstruction of homes.

Jim Hall, Professor, Climate and Environmental Risks, Oxford University, noted the importance of data and information for infrastructure planning, and highlighted the need to strengthen resilience by improving connectivity, incorporating nature-based solutions and financing.

Elizabeth Riley, Executive Director, Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency, discussed capacity strengthening, cooperation, and recovery financing to tackle the impacts of climate-related disasters coupled with the outbreak of COVID-19.

Plenary Session on the Social and Economic Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Rita Missal, Recovery Advisor, UNDP Crisis Bureau, moderated the session.

Pedro Conceição, Director, UN Human Development Report Office, said reaffirming the necessity of human security strategies while recognizing our interdependence with one another and the planet is crucial.

Albert Park, Chief Economist, Asian Development Bank, called for balancing multiple objectives in managing economies and continuing to prioritize supporting a green transition to achieve a sustainable recovery in Asia.

Harsen Nyambe, Director, Directorate of Sustainable Environment and Blue Economy, African Union Commission, said a lesson learnt from COVID-19 is that responses were largely reactive, and noted recovery frameworks should focus on greening the recovery.

Ahmad Zafarullah Abdul Jalil, Director, ASEAN Secretariat, said they emphasize a whole-of-community approach to the post-pandemic recovery and architecture.

Claudia Herrera, Executive Secretary, Coordination Center for Disaster Prevention in Central America and the Dominican Republic, spoke on the region’s experiences, saying local populations should be the protagonists of change.

Miguel Ceara Hatton, Minister of Planning and Economy, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, said having a strategic vision for a post-COVID-19 recovery enabled strategically implemented recovery efforts.

Claes Andersson, Senior Crisis Response Planner, EUROPEAN COMMISSION, discussed the COVID-19 Recovery Needs Assessment, saying it identifies priority needs and critical sectors for achieving economic recovery.

Plenary Session on Planning and Managing Recovery from Interconnected Disaster-Conflict Events: Ronald Jackson, Head, Disaster Risk Reduction, Recovery for Building Resilience, UNDP Crisis Bureau, and International Recovery Platform Steering Committee Chair, moderated the session.

Niels Holm-Nielsen, Head, Global Facility for DRR, said the World Bank is aiming to strengthen approaches to address natural hazard risk in the context of ongoing conflicts, stating disaster risk management must be done in an integrated fashion to create more concrete solutions.

Antonio Freitas, Deputy Finance Minister, TIMOR-LESTE, said disaster risk recovery should be cross-cutting and based on the principle of “Building Back Better.” Jerry Chandler, Director General, Civil Protection, HAITI, reiterated the importance of coordination to deliver aid in the wake of the disasters. Nathan Nkomo, Chief Director, Department of Civil Protection, ZIMBABWE, said Zimbabwe had created an ad hoc inter-ministerial task force to address reacting to and recovering from COVID-19.

A panel then discussed approaches to addressing disaster risk recovery in conflict zones. Panelists included: f Banak Joshua Dei Wal, Director General, Disaster Management, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, South Sudan; Anita Chandra, Vice President, RAND Corporation; and Katie Peters, Overseas Development Institute. They highlighted, inter alia, the role of civil society organizations in disaster risk recovery governance.

Technical Session on the Role of Anticipatory Financing for Disaster Recovery: Abhilash Panda, UNDRR, moderated this panel discussions, noting that anticipatory financing is an important connector to successful humanitarian action.

Sharing experiences in anticipatory financing, Cristelle Pratt, Assistant Secretary-General for the Environment and Climate Action, Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States, pointed to disaster financing diagnoses carried out in several African countries, contingency funds and loans, and financing facilities such as the Caribbean Risk Insurance Facility.

Aisha Jamshed, Country Director, Welthungerhilfe Pakistan, discussed a hazard anticipatory action programme, which provides pre-funded contingency funds to respond to heatwaves, drought, and flooding. Quynh Tran, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Efforts, reported on anticipatory action during the monsoon flooding in Bangladesh, where emergency financing was released within four hours to ensure water security for 220,000 people.

Discussing challenges facing anticipatory financing, Kara Siahaan, Head of the Anticipation Hub, noted fragmentation of planning including forecasting. Matthias Amling, Federal Foreign Office, GERMANY, pointed out operational capacity on the ground for anticipatory action.

On how anticipatory financing supports recovery, Moderator Jackson noted the importance of linking forecasts with prearranged measures to deal with expected losses and lessen the burden of recovery.

Other Sessions: Six parallel sessions took place on Monday afternoon and evening, focusing on: addressing critical infrastructure recovery; green recovery; responding to recovery challenges in the urban environment; mechanisms for strengthening social protection and local recovery; addressing the recovery needs of women and girls, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable groups; and COVID-19 whole-of-society recovery priorities for health system strengthening following a risk management approach.

Three additional technical sessions took place on Tuesday, addressing: institutional arrangements for managing complex crises; assessing recovery in complex and interconnected disaster-conflict events; and pre-disaster recovery planning.

Closing Ceremony: The closing ceremony was moderated by Paola Albrito, UNDRR. Nuraini Rahma Hanifa, Secretary-General, U-INSPIRE Alliance, underscored pre-disaster recovery plans as complementary to DRR measures. Ella Nurlela, Association of Indonesian Women with Disabilities, illustrated the relationship between disaster and disability.

Sameh Wahba, Global Director, Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice, WORLD BANK, said building back better from disasters should be a guiding principle and urged greening the recovery process.

Ricardo Mena Speck, Director, UNDRR, said the pandemic has shown us we can build back better through green, more equitable, and resilient development.

Asako Okai, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director, UNDP Crisis Bureau, shared elements of the WRC-5 Communiqué, including: calling for a resilient recovery process that puts agency in the hands of the affected people; recognizing that critical infrastructure recovery requires strong collaboration with civil society, including local knowledge holders; and urging the development of gender-responsive recovery governance strategies and processes.

Lilik Kurniawan, Primary Secretary, National Disaster Management Agency, INDONESIA, called for recovery focused on livelihoods, and the resilience of communities and institutions, leaving no one behind.

The conference closed with a short video providing insight into the proceedings and its outcomes.

Report of the Main Segment of GP2022

Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony of GP2022 began on Wednesday, 26 May, with a traditional dance performance to express gratitude for life and appreciate participants’ presence at the conference. In the same spirit, Sudanese poet Emtithal Mahmoud, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Goodwill Ambassador, called for meaningful collaboration and recited her poem “Our Land,” illustrating the toll humanity takes on our Earth.

Mami Mizutori, SRSG for DRR and Head of UNDRR, moderated the ceremony and appealed for leaving no one behind when human vulnerability is at an all-time high.

Amina J. Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General, expressed gratitude to Indonesia as host and a leader in DRR, saying almost 80% of the 7,000 registered participants are attendeding in person in Bali. Referring to the humanitarian-development-peace nexus, she urged for greater coherence in addressing people’s vulnerability before, during, and after overlapping crises. She pleaded for the best policy options to break the cycle of risk creation outpacing risk reduction, and called for better governance frameworks, further investment in data capabilities, and a greater focus on LDCs and vulnerable people.

Joko Widodo, President of INDONESIA, emphasized his country is vulnerable to various natural hazards, including earthquakes and tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and forest fires. He highlighted the COVID-19 pandemic as the largest global disaster and outlined Indonesia’s efforts to control its spread and maintain economic growth. He called for: strengthening disaster risk governance as well as “the culture of responsibility” at the global level; investing in science, technology, and innovation; and sharing lessons learned to mitigate disaster risk.

Noting that GP2022 is taking place amid global recovery from COVID-19, Abdulla Shahid, President of the 76th Session of the UNGA, stressed that “those that are furthest behind suffer the hardest, wait the longest, and are deprived of development gains.” He emphasized that: “resilience must be our mantra”; everything must be seen through a precautionary lens; and a whole-of-society approach is of paramount importance in our joint efforts to “build back better and make our world safer and more prosperous for all.”

Closing the ceremony, high-level participants collectively stroked the kulkul, a traditional medium of communication in the form of a musical instrument, made of wood or bamboo.

High-level Dialogues

Global and Regional Perspectives on Implementing the Sendai Framework: On Wednesday, Malini Mehra, Chief Executive, Globe International, moderated the first high-level dialogue, which focused on creating an enabling environment to achieve the Sendai Framework’s goal and targets and catalyze synergies, and offered global and regional perspectives on implementation. Mehra introduced the panel and framed the discussion with questions on: where we stand in terms of implementation; how we can get on track and accelerate action; and key actions on commitments to achieve the necessary transformative change.

Elizabeth Riley, Executive Director, Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, highlighted Sendai Framework Priorities 1 (understanding disaster risk) and 3 (investing in DRR for resilience). She stressed that, for SIDS, “systemic risk is not an academic concept but a reality.” To accelerate action, she underscored the need to: better understand, quantify, and act on systemic risks; transform the level of investment into DRR; and create leadership and political will.

Keitaro Ohno, State Minister for Cabinet Affairs in charge of Economic Security and Disaster Management, JAPAN, highlighted the importance of monitoring and reporting to assess overall progress. He offered insights from national experiences on tackling natural disasters, underscoring the importance of compiling data from all sources, and coordination among sectors. On accelerating action, he illustrated heightened DRR efforts in Japan after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and held that planning, strategy, and investment are key for DRR.

Mitiku Kassa Gutile, Commissioner for the Disaster Risk Management Commission, ETHIOPIA, discussed challenges at the national level related to Sendai Framework implementation, including drought, climate-related conflict and internal displacement, and silos between humanitarian and development capacities. To make progress, he urged for a multi-factorial, multi-sectoral implementation of DRR, using synergies with the SDGs, and including all stakeholders.

Katrina Sarah Milne, World Farmers Organization, called for moving towards a cross-sectoral approach with greater engagement of local communities, including farmers. She suggested: scaling up successful initiatives as well as investments in research and development, and capacity building; and disseminating disaggregated data. She further pleaded for an integration of overlapping policies, including for DRR, climate change, water storage, food security, and international conflicts.

Saber Hossain Chowdhury, Member of Bangladesh Parliament and Honorary President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, focused on the national experience and shift from responding to disasters to trying to prevent them. Addressing multi-hazard events, he emphasized that resilience concerns the ability to bounce back in addition to absorbing shocks. To accelerate action, he referred to the experiences with the pandemic, and urged breaking down silos between UN agencies, and mutually reinforcing overlapping strategies, especially regarding human health.

Strengthening Disaster and Climate Risk Governance: This high-level dialogue showcased, on Wednesday, how integrated climate and disaster risk governance can be achieved, and considered how to “build back better” in the remaining period of the Sendai Framework for DRR. Andini Effendi, independent journalist, moderated the session.

Selwin Charles Hart, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Climate Action, called for supporting the WMO in spearheading efforts to achieve the UN Secretary-General’s accelerated goal on EWS. He urged for collaboration and coordination so the goal can be delivered at speed with maximum impact.

Mark Howden, Director, Institute for Climate, Energy and Disaster Solutions, Australian National University, said DRR is a systemic problem requiring a systemic response. He noted this can be achieved through creating frameworks to accelerate adaptation, including through garnering political commitment, mobilizing financial resources, creating enabling environments, and allowing inclusive governance processes.

Filimon Manoni, Deputy Secretary General, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, called for a shared vision of resilience owned by everyone and backed by political will. He advised establishing continually adaptive processes and systems for DRR so the burden on continuity and sustainability is easier to bear.

Jochen Steinhilber, Director General for Displacement, Crisis Prevention and Civil Society, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, GERMANY, called for breaking down silos to ensure comprehensive risk management. He stressed the benefits of prevention, suggesting creating incentives for disaster risk prevention and preparedness.

Natalia Gómez Solano, President, Costa Rican Youth and Climate Change Network, noted confusion regarding silos created by tackling DRR and climate adaptation as separate issues. Reiterating youth expectations, she highlighted that “nothing about youth should be planned without youth!”

During the ensuing discussions, participants and panelists noted, inter alia, that: SIDS are working on a regional 2030 agenda to capture their own priorities; governments need to actively seek youth involvement based on their expectations; a multi-hazard approach is required to deal with disaster and climate risk governance; and local-level promotion of transformational change in support of sustainable resilience is needed.

Learning from COVID-19 – Social and Economic Recovery for All: This high-level dialogue took place on Thursday and started with a video portraying the negative impact of COVID-19, especially on the poorest and most vulnerable in the Latin American region. Moderator Valerie Nkamgang Bemo, Deputy Director, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, introduced the event, stressing that the multiple cascading socio-economic impacts of the pandemic have affected entire societies, exposing vulnerabilities of social protection systems around the world.

Michael Ryan, Executive Director, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme, emphasized that the four Sendai Framework priorities for action are central to address systemic risks, calling for effective leadership, coordination mechanisms, leveraging good practices, and increasing relevant investment. He noted COVID-19 has transformed our world, underscoring that people are not only more vulnerable, but also more resilient, holding many solutions that need to be taken on board.

Jagan Chapagain, Secretary General, IFRC, highlighted inequity among and within nations all the way to the community level. Pointing to the three Cs (COVID-19, climate change, and conflict) affecting our world, he called for multi-hazard and multi-sectoral responses. He urged combining planning and action, recalling a Japanese proverb: “a plan without action is a daydream, action without a plan is a nightmare.”

Bill Blair, Minister of Emergency and Preparedness, CANADA, noted our world’s interconnectedness is a double-edged sword as it facilitates the pandemic spread, but also enables mitigation efforts through concerted endeavors on vaccines and treatments. Blair called for preparedness, stressing that investing in mitigation returns ten times the investment in recovery.

Thembisile Simelane-Nkadimeng, Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, SOUTH AFRICA, highlighted the importance of Indigenous systems and traditional leaders, institutional arrangements and partnerships, adaptive and anticipatory governance, and putting words into practice, including by committing the necessary funding.

Pratima Gurung, President, National Indigenous Disabled Women Association Nepal, underscored the disproportionate psychological and psychosocial stress brought upon the most marginalized by the COVID-19 pandemic. She called for a system-wide, inclusive action approach, pointing to the central role of civil society and Indigenous Peoples.

Accelerating Financing for Disaster Risk Prevention: This high-level dialogue, moderated by Russell Isaac, World Broadcast Unions, discussed, on Friday, ways to increase financial flows dedicated to pre-disaster risk assessment and prevention. Following an introductory video, Isaac drew attention to the fact that only 4% of total development assistance is currently directed towards disaster preparedness or prevention, stressing the need for a “think resilience” approach in all public and private-sector investments.

Mutale Nalumango, Vice President, ZAMBIA, underscored the costly direct and indirect impacts of disasters in all parts of society. She pointed towards a structural distributional weakness, emphasizing that disproportionately more resources are devoted to relief, rehabilitation, and emergency response, than prevention, mitigation, and preparedness. Nalumango highlighted initiatives under the African Union and the Southern African Development Community. She called for: accounting for the full cost of disasters; recognizing the existence of innovative financing arrangements; and focusing on existing opportunities to scale up actions to strengthen communities’ resilience and adaptive capacity.

Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, UN Under-Secretary-General, and Executive Secretary of the UN ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR ASIA AND THE PACIFIC, highlighted the increasing climate change-related disasters and their impacts on economies and the most vulnerable. She underscored the importance of: innovative financial mechanisms to induce investing in key adaptation systems; raising funds through thematic bonds and linking nationally determined contributions to financial mechanisms; and strengthening regional cooperation with respect to investing in EWS as well as in transport and water management systems.

A panel discussion followed, focusing, inter alia, on whether we are on track to meet DRR-related targets and to go beyond disaster response focusing on insurance and financing prevention instead.

Ramón Soto Bonilla, State Secretary, Office for Risk Management and National Contingencies, HONDURAS, urged focusing on preparedness in addition to responding to disasters. He underscored that risk also entails opportunities, calling for greater inclusivity of local communities in decision making. He further urged for planning and funding mechanisms, involving both the public and private sectors that trickle down to the community level, pointing to the valuable knowledge communities possess.

Kamal Kishore, Member Secretary, National Disaster Management Authority, INDIA, highlighted progress made in mortality rates, access to EWS, and local-level strategies. He called for mainstreaming DRR financing and mobilizing private investment in financing prevention. He drew attention to the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, looking at both present and future risk, and highlighted the need to: update regulations to address future risks; increase local capacities; and structure both public and private finance towards building resilience.

Gabriel Pollen, National Coordinator, Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit, Office of the Vice President of ZAMBIA, underscored the limited regional and international coordination on DRR, including on financing, and called for more localized climate-risk data availability to better inform decision making. He further underscored the need for capacity building at the local level, convincing local communities to engage in DRR efforts, and raising awareness in the private sector.

Igor Driesmans, EU Ambassador to ASEAN, discussed the challenges related to predictable, sustainable, and sufficient financing for disaster risk management. He highlighted the need to expand public-private partnerships and underscored EU support for current DRR programmes, creating a pillar for anticipatory action, enabling data access, and engaging with developing countries to address existing constraints in accessing DRR financing.

Graham Clark, CEO, Asia Affinity Holdings, noted that private sector engagement in DRR is growing, stressing that solely relying on governments to deliver on DRR is a risk in itself. He discussed the structure and key elements of the insurance industry, and highlighted the Ocean Risk and Action Resilience Alliance, which aims to build resilience to ocean-derived risks. He underscored the need to tackle risk holistically, think outside the box, and offer creative solutions to further engage the private sector.

In the ensuring discussion, participants focused on, inter alia: obstacles for capital markets investing in resilience; progress in incorporating resilience into large investment planning; and sharing best practices in mobilizing resources from non-government sources. Moderator Isaac concluded the session, recalling Benjamin Franklin’s words that “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

Mid-Term Review Plenaries

Three plenary sessions on the MTR SF enabled delegates and participants to: take stock of progress in implementation; address emerging issues and changing circumstances; and examine renovations to risk governance and risk management. The outcomes will guide a high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the MTR SF to be held in New York from 18-19 May 2023.

Resourcing Risk-Informed Regenerative and Sustainable Development: The first MTR SF plenary took place on Thursday and focused on global financing frameworks and macro-economic governance, specifically in relation to addressing risk and building resilience. It was co-chaired by Mami Mizutori, SRSG for DRR and Head of UNDRR, and Suharyanto, Minister of National Disaster Management Authority, INDONESIA.

Keynote speaker Febrio Kacaribu, Head of Fiscal Policy Agency, Ministry of Finance, INDONESIA, outlined global economic challenges and risks, and discussed progress in integrating DRR at all levels. He focused on Indonesia’s DRR experience, outlining the national disaster risk financing strategy, and the Disaster Risk Finance Pooling Fund. He underscored the fundamental importance of multilateral cooperation and of inducing innovation tailored to country-specific needs. Following this, government representatives and other stakeholders made interventions.

The DOMINICAN REPUBLIC said financial instruments for LDCs and SIDS must focus on disaster mitigation, resilience strengthening, and technology transfer. GUINEA highlighted progress in establishing national processes, strategies, and applications for DRR, but cited capacity-building and resource mobilization gaps. YEMEN referred to the challenges of implementing the Sendai Framework while stricken by war and called for consolidated capacities that help achieve resilience.

ECUADOR underscored the need to update regulations according to new needs, strengthen scientific institutions, and update national and local agendas. COSTA RICA focused on its national risk management plan, and stressed risk management sovereignty should be included in national budgets. GUATEMALA discussed necessary investments to reduce loss and damage, addressing climate change-related risks, and the need for public investment to strengthen resilience.

The PHILIPPINES underscored DRR financing should be institutionalized in development plans and relevant investments should be informed by risk and be part of broad socio-economic planning. BRAZIL emphasized the need to strengthen partnerships among UN agencies to support international cooperation, resilience building, emergency response, and post-disaster recovery. TUNISIA referred to climate change and COVID-19, which have changed the world since the adoption of the Sendai Framework in 2015, seconded by EGYPT who offered that UNFCCC COP 27 would provide an excellent opportunity to strengthen cooperation.

JAPAN highlighted the importance of pre-disaster investment in DRR, noting that private finance cannot replace public funding. CANADA highlighted the need to address the vulnerabilities of LDCs and SIDS to climate-related disasters and ensure meaningful participation of Indigenous Peoples, women, and youth in decision making. SWEDEN raised awareness for economic shortcomings when external costs are not priced into public and private goods, which leads to a misallocation of resources, a lack of transparency, and mistrust.

The UN OFFICE OF THE HIGH REPRESENTATIVE FOR LDCS, LLDCs AND SIDS stated more innovative finance is needed to support the 91 most vulnerable countries to achieve DRR, including through grants, debt swaps, green and blue bonds, and disaster clauses in debt contracts. The UN International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre hoped attention for groundwater as a precious but overused resource would increase in the lead-up to the 2023 UN Water Conference. The FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UN (FAO) outlined support for EWS in agriculture,and explained that integrating DRR in agricultural practices leads to doubled performance.

The Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction reiterated the importance of involving local communities in DRR efforts and offered that civil society organizations can help mobilize communities. Universitas Indonesia called for a “penta-helix collaboration approach in DRR,” coordinating five sectors, namely government, academia, communities, business, and the media.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies, Indonesia, called for affirmative policies and innovative funding mechanisms to stimulate DRR. Beijing Normal University spoke on the need for an integrated governance approach using appropriate indicators for measuring progress.

The African Forum for International Relations in Research and Development in Uganda referred to the enormous resources needed to implement the Sendai Framework and called for further investment in EWS. The Disaster Map Foundation called for a planetary health framework, accounting for externalities and incorporating traditional and local knowledge. The GROUP ON EARTH OBSERVATIONS (GEO) highlighted the benefits of rapidly advancing earth observation tools for DRR and presented practical examples for their application.

The International Disability Alliance, the European Disability Forum, and the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda called for data on, systematic financing for, and full participation of persons with disabilities. The International Association of Schools of Social Work called for sustainable financing that can help the most vulnerable prevent and mitigate risks. The Caneus Organization called for ecosystem-based DRR, pointing to the relevant in-depth knowledge of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. The Women and Gender Constituency and Shifting the Power Coalition urged mainstreaming the resilience, safety, and the protection of women and other vulnerable people into DRR and its financing mechanisms.

Beyond Natural Hazards – Operationalizing the Expanded Scope of the Sendai Framework: The second MTR SF plenary on Thursday focused on the multi-hazard nature of risk that governments and stakeholders must contend with to realize the global sustainability goals, including those of the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Mami Mizutori, SRSG for DRR and Head of UNDRR, opened the second plenary.

Co-chair Dwikorita Karnawati, BMKG, INDONESIA, noted the need for DRR approaches that apply to the full range of global catastrophic disasters.

Abdulla Shahid, UNGA President, said significant preparedness is required to manage ongoing and emerging disasters. He noted the importance of innovation and called for increased ambition to ensure risk information is applied in sustainable development.

In a keynote, Puan Maharani Nakshatra Kusyala Devi, Speaker of the People’s Representative Council, Indonesia, said even after 64 years since the 1955 Bandung Declaration, which included ten principles for the promotion of world peace and cooperation, many countries are far from becoming free and prosperous as the Declaration envisioned. She noted the commitments made in the recent 144th Inter-parliamentary Union Assembly provide opportunities to achieve progress, including on net-zero emissions. Government representatives and other stakeholders then made interventions.

Antigua and Barbuda, speaking on behalf of the ALLIANCE OF SMALL ISLAND STATES, drew attention to the Multidimensional Vulnerability Index for SIDS, which has revealed great vulnerability in the region. SWITZERLAND underlined the need to invest in subnational entities as first responders to disasters. SWEDEN reported regulations for national and local government agencies to carry out risk and vulnerability assessments.

BRAZIL said disaster risk assessments will enable global risk modelling. ECUADOR said tools for sharing good practices are essential for DRR implementation. CANADA highlighted the need to engage with civil society partners to enhance preparedness and capacity to respond to climate change events. JAPAN underscored the importance of strong institutional capacity to understand and mitigate disaster risk.

INDONESIA noted a widening gap in climate adaptation as communities start to face intensive and fluctuating disaster threats. LIBERIA suggested effective coordination also depends on pre-existing plans and pillars, and arrangements to bring together all stakeholders in a comprehensive manner. COSTA RICA underscored the importance of accountability in the context of DRR. EL SALVADOR said they are constantly updating their communication and early warning protocols.

The UN ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR EUROPE (UNECE) highlighted campaigns to restore seven million hectares of forests by 2023 to restore ecosystem functions and combat multiple hazards. FAO urged application of community-based risk management to promote localization.

The University of Cambridge highlighted Gato, a new artificial intelligence model hailed to exhibit human-like intelligence, noting that policies are far behind technological advancements. GIZ called for prioritizing capacity building for risk-informed decision making.

The Eur-Opa Major Hazards Agreement highlighted recommendations of the 2021 European Forum for DRR to protect persons with disabilities, migrants, and asylum seekers against risks. The Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction highlighted the need to prioritize communities at risk by listening to their experiences.

Interventions were also delivered by: the Group on Earth Observations; University Student Chamber International; Friendship NGO; Open Knowledge Kit; Disaster Risk Reduction Center Universitas Indonesia; the International Association of Schools of Social Work; the Simon Institute for Long-term Governance; the Network of Francophone NGOs working on DRR; Mainstreaming Regional Studies Association Practitioners Network; and Everbridge. They stressed, inter alia, the need to break silos, exchange information, and align major stakeholder groups on DRR with those on SDGs. They further called for capacity building, effective global monitoring, and taking into account the differentiated experiences of vulnerable groups.

Rethinking Sustainable Development – Investing with Strategic Foresight to Build Resilience: This MTR SF plenary took place on Friday and focused on effective multilateral risk governance and risk management. Mami Mizutori, Head of UNDRR, and Laksana Tri Handoko, Head of National Research and Innovation Agency, Indonesia, co-chaired the session, presenting its scope and offering guiding questions. Handoko highlighted adaptive governance, institutional coherence, and the need to enhance the effectiveness, accountability, and inclusiveness of the multilateral system.

Usha Rao-Monari, Associate Administrator, UNDP, delivered a keynote address, focusing, on examples of UNDP’s efforts around the world to: help governments use innovative mechanisms, including addressing the digital divide; enable the structural transformation needed to build resilience to disasters; and ensure no one is left behind. Government representatives and other stakeholders then made interventions.

The DOMINICAN REPUBLIC stressed that DRR needs to be seen from an inclusive point of view, suggesting a multilateral approach, including all stakeholders and nations down to the community level. HONDURAS highlighted a comprehensive risk management regional system of mutual assistance in the case of disasters in Central America and underscored the promotion of local-level governance to mitigate the impact of disasters. PANAMA highlighted the importance of a participative, consultative, and systemic approach in DRR. ECUADOR stressed that the effects from COVID-19 and intensifying disasters created a need to adapt national plans and programs to achieve global sustainability goals.

INDONESIA drew attention to increasing hydrometeorological disasters, noting that countries without MHEWS in place will be worst affected. She called for DRR tailored to the needs of archipelagic states and SIDS. The PHILIPPINES urged for more cooperation and better coordination to accelerate the momentum to fight against the climate emergency, calling for relevant capacity building and unlocking climate finance to prevent this existential threat from defining humanity’s future.

The NETHERLANDS, also speaking for TAJIKISTAN, pointed towards the UN 2023 Water Conference convening from 22-24 March 2023 in New York, US, which will be co-hosted by both countries, and said water resources “are not only a deal breaker, but also a deal maker” for a more sustainable and inclusive future. FRANCE reiterated calls for a greater integration of multiple global sustainability processes, including for DRR.

PORTUGAL focused on integrated fire management, calling for increased cooperation in prevention and suppression of wildfires with common taxonomy and procedures. POLAND presented their GIS-supported national security system to support the response to a multitude of hazards and crises.

AUSTRALIA highlighted examples of DRR leadership of the Pacific region and called for further strengthening the role of women and girls in DRR. TIMOR LESTE described national DRR efforts, stressing that coordinated efforts by all partners are needed when designing and implementing national strategies.

CANADA emphasized the need to enhance preparedness and foster ongoing coordination to better understand disaster risk, including robust risk assessments to build resilience of all groups, especially Indigenous Peoples and remote communities, to disasters.

JAPAN called for promoting investment in DRR and critical infrastructure, building relevant strategies on high-quality scientific data that properly capture natural hazards, and prioritizing targets with higher DRR-related potential. GHANA stressed that implementation of DRR and climate change adaptation policies must be integrated.

The Province of Potenza in Italy presented how his province serves as a model of locally-driven resilience under the Resilience Hub initiative of the Urban Sustainability Directors Network.

The UN ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME drew attention to the recently adopted UN Environment Assembly Resolution on nature-based solutions, stressing the need to become increasingly aware of nature’s value, and engage all stakeholders and sectors to build disaster and climate resilience.

UN WOMEN focused on the disproportionate impact of disasters on women and girls, calling for: gender-specific data, guidelines, and tools; gender-responsive normative frameworks; and financial resources targeting gender equality and participation at all levels of DRR-related decision making.

The UNFCCC acknowledged that it is time to intensify synergies in pursuing and taking stock for multiple global sustainability targets. FAO urged addressing agricultural resilience and food security comprehensively under the multiple global targets relating to sustainability. UNECE committed to enhance the collective capacities between the UN Economic Commissions in offering analytical, technical, and collaborative expertise.

The Children and Youth Major Group suggested localizing DRR, leaving no one behind, building capacities to fulfil human rights commitments, and reaffirming UNGA Resolution 48/13, which recognizes that a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment is a human right. ActionAid Bangladesh suggested: recognizing the multi-dimensional nature of risk; creating a broad framework for building resilience; and addressing risk reduction from the point of communities, youth, and the most vulnerable. The Pacific Disability Forum called for initiatives that are fully inclusive of persons with disabilities, reminding participants that exclusion is costly and inclusion the key to resilience.

The Raoul Wallenberg Institute highlighted awareness raising for mainstreaming human rights into land-use planning, risk assessment and emergency preparedness efforts. The Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCat) presented transport as an essential service for inclusive resilience, with investments needing to be assessed from a more comprehensive perspective that transcends the traditional cost-benefit analysis

Right to Protection in Ukraine discussed risk assessment and spatial planning, and noted that regional-level strategies should contain risk assessment requirements, lamenting that many of the regional achievements are at risk because of the war in Ukraine.

Actwa Emergencies in Mexico stressed that women are agents for action and building a resilient society, calling for increasing women’s participation in decision making and empowering them through capacity building and training. Plan International underscored the need for equal and meaningful participation of women, children, and youth in DRR actions and policies.

Shifting the Power Coalition urged for co-creating climate-resilient pandemic recovery and DRR programmes through gender analysis and stakeholder codesigned mechanisms that honor traditional knowledge and fully include marginalized groups. The Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction stated that the case for action has been the same since the 2010 mid-term review of the Hyogo Framework for Action, and that we need to reconfigure the institutional and funding architecture to progress DRR.

University Student Chamber International called for greater inter-sectoral and multi-stakeholder cooperation. The Disaster Map Foundation advocated for making risk management technologies public goods with open source and access, referring to the example of the CogniCity software.

The DRR Center at Universitas Indonesia reiterated its call for a penta-helix collaboration approach in DRR and the facilitation of e-learning. GEO called for an integrated accounting approach under multiple global sustainability targets.

The Simon Institute for Long-Term Governance urged: going beyond information and knowledge; building agile regulations to allow for uncertainties; and avoiding cumbersome processes that delay action. The Caneus Organization promoted the Indigenous Knowledge Research Infrastructure as a knowledge repository to help achieve DRR.

The Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce highlighted the role of micro, small, and medium enterprises, noting that while they are vulnerable to risk, they also possess considerable potential to contribute to de-risking, in partnership with governments and stakeholders. The French Association for Natural Disaster Risk Reduction called for more inclusive science, assessing policy efficiency, and improving participation of all relevant actors in in-field practice through better resource distribution.

Ministerial Roundtables

The Ministerial Roundtables provided an opportunity to discuss challenges, share experiences, identify solutions, and enhance political leadership and commitments towards the implementation of the Sendai Framework.

Scaling Up DRR to Tackle the Climate Emergency: On Thursday, ministers, other high-level government representatives, and officials from intergovernmental organizations: offered national perspectives, including success stories, from programmes and initiatives on DRR, climate change, and their interlinkages; discussed how DRR can be accelerated to address the climate emergency and align with climate change adaptation goals while leaving no one behind; and deliberated on financing opportunities both at the national and international levels to scale up investment in climate change and disaster risk management.

Ministers said the only way to address the imminent challenges is via unity and collective responses: underscoring that engagement of all stakeholders is of paramount importance and urging for a whole-of-society approach; highlighting the role of civil society and the need to further engage the private sector; and calling for further investment in local capacity building and empowerment.

Many pointed to the need to ensure that all citizens worldwide are protected by EWS against extreme weather and climate change-related disasters by 2027. Some participants called for targeted approaches, including for displaced persons, noting that disasters affect people in different ways. Several speakers emphasized the need for anticipatory action before events turn into disasters, with some pointing to the need for pre-disaster financing mechanisms.

Some stressed that climate change and DRR should be addressed jointly and comprehensively. They suggested expediting international inter-ministerial cooperation on DRR and improving coordination between actions to address DRR and climate change. Others pointed to DRR in national adaptation plans as a point of entry for further interlinking DRR and climate initiatives. Yet others highlighted response, rehabilitation, and recovery as areas offering opportunities for further synergies between the climate adaptation and DRR communities.

A few participants noted that DRR binds together all actions required to realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement. All agreed that the window of opportunity is closing fast and that inaction is not an option.

Thinking Resilience – Changing the Approach to DRR Financing: On Thursday, a second ministerial roundtable focused on finance under the Sendai Framework. Ministers, other high-level government representatives, and officials from intergovernmental organizations, discussed experiences, solutions, and strategies to meet the growing cost of both DRR and disaster recovery.

Strategies outlined for enhanced DRR financing included: mainstreaming resilience finance across government to include all levels and portfolios; making finance smart by leveraging multiple funding sources and opportunities; engaging with the private sector and de-risking investment; incentivizing the transfer of innovative technologies to address DRR; and taking cascading effects of crises into account.

Ministers and officials suggested innovative elements for effective DRR financing. One representative proposed reserving a specific proportion of every country’s GDP for DRR funding, alluding to the 2% benchmark often applied to the national defense budget. A second explained how a DRR analysis should be made a precondition for public investment. A third held that all finance should be forecast-based since “short-termism” will not work in DRR.

Representatives from developing countries urged breaking down barriers to multilateral disaster and climate finance to make funding proportionate to their vulnerability. They held that multilateral funding mechanisms need to be more flexible and pragmatic by integrating disaster recovery, DRR, and development considerations. One representative pointed to his country’s high dependence on revenue from international tourism, which relies on effective DRR strategies that keep the natural environment intact.

Thematic Sessions

Numerous thematic sessions took place during the main segment of GP2022.

Improved Understanding and Governance of Systemic Risk: Irasema Alcántara-Ayala, National Autonomous University of Mexico, moderated the session, which took place on Wednesday. She highlighted the 2022 GAR recommendations, noting they provide an opportunity to understand how to implement the report’s findings and capacitate where necessary.

Aromar Revi, Director, Indian Institute for Human Settlements, said the 2022 GAR is the bedrock on which certainty and resilience can be built in these uncertain times. He urged breaking down silo thinking, using whole-of-society and whole-of-economy approaches.

Ibrahima Cheikh Diong, Group Director-General, African Risk Capacity Group, called for building capacity to develop early warning and modelling systems to better understand climate change. He called for climate financing to support African countries’ capacity building.

Conor Seyle, One Earth Future Foundation, observed disaster risk decision-making is a multistep process, but lamented it does not always take Indigenous and local knowledge into account. He advised a collaborative approach to developing DRR plans.

Mandisa Kalako-Williams, Independent Consultant, South Africa, emphasized the importance of communities regarding decision making, saying disaster risk cannot be separated from inequality. She called for practitioners to learn from local communities to inform disaster risk responses.

Claudia Herrera Melgar, Executive Secretary, Coordination Center for the Prevention of Natural Disasters in Central America, called for integrating climate change governance into response processes, recovery, reconstruction, and development. She said the 2022 GAR can help ensure disaster risk is included in development plans.

During the discussion, participants: deliberated on understanding the intrinsic link between risk and development processes, and the impact they have on communities; said that while successful, sustainable interventions to disaster risk do exist, the challenge is to make these interventions systemic over time; and suggested using the 2022 GAR to exert influence at the highest levels and to also use it in early recovery analysis and other frameworks to help build the secure, resilient recovery that is required.

Diversity in DRR Leadership: This Wednesday session emphasized that diversity in DRR leadership is a key component of risk-informed development and resilience. Co-moderated by Amal Riden, Youth Climate Change Negotiator, and Abel Walekhwa, Deputy Secretary General, Africa Youth Advisory Board on DRR, the session focused on how to achieve transformative impacts in this area

Lizra Fabien, Executive Director, Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce, said the private sector is innovative and flexible, and thus well placed to champion diversity in DRR leadership. She noted the need for cognizance and courage to tackle all relevant biases.

Elham Youssefian, International Disability Alliance, said persons with disabilities are isolated from leadership due to attitudinal barriers, which leave them perceived as dysfunctional and requiring repair to live better lives. She urged change through policies and mindset change.

David Zambrano Maya, President, Community Risk Management Committee of Olón, Ecuador, urged financing for small community organizations. He reported on successful disaster rescue operations coordinated by the Olón Committee along the Santa Elena Peninsula.

Noelene Nabulivou, Executive Director, Diverse Voices and Action for Equality, highlighted the need to employ the diverse knowledge skills of Indigenous Peoples, LGBTQI, women, and youth, and called for eliminating the biases and violence they face.

Sarah Knibbs, UN Women Asia and the Pacific, said women should not be regarded as victims but rather as agents of change and leadership. She urged building women’s leadership capacity.

Manuel Bessler, Deputy Director General, Head of Humanitarian Aid Department, and Head of the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit, Agency for Development and Cooperation, said the highly diverse population of the world merits diverse leadership in DRR, recognizing the voices of all. He further discussed the One Million Youth Action Challenge that aims to contribute to a more sustainable planet.

Discussions with participants through questions and answers, as well as polls, focused on, inter alia: the importance of a human rights approach to ensure inclusion; ways of getting youth a seat at the table with policymakers; whether emergency reaction can have full-scale participation and diversity inclusion; and raising the next generation of diverse DRR leaders.

Building a Better Future - Investing in Resilient Infrastructure for All: On Wednesday, this thematic session focused on building disaster-resilient infrastructure. Five panelists discussed recently developed global principles and questions from onsite and online participants. The session was moderated by Kamal Kishore, Member Secretary, National Disaster Management Authority, INDIA. The discussion revolved around: adequate efforts to reach Sendai Framework Target D on reducing disaster damage to critical infrastructure; transitioning risks; private sector engagement; building regulations; and how to balance short and long-term financial considerations.

Esther Anyakun Davinia, Minister of State for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, UGANDA, illustrated how risk-based land-use planning serves as a basis to fulfil the state’s obligation to protect its citizens in Uganda.

Beata Janowczyk, Head of Risk Assessment and Emergency Planning Unit, Government Centre for Security, POLAND, stressed that integrated infrastructure planning must include physical, technical, social, and legal aspects as well as challenges such as cyber vulnerability, migration, and military intervention.

Dena Assaf, UN Resident Coordinator for United Arab Emirates (UAE), noted that awareness raising and advocacy are key to improving disaster resilience of infrastructure, and highlighted the upcoming UNFCCC COP 27 in Egypt and COP 28 in UAE as important opportunities for engagement.

Hossam Elgamal, Co-Chair, ARISE Egypt Network, exemplified Egypt’s efforts to integrate information and communication technologies in infrastructure resilience.

Rob Wesseling, President and CEO, Co-operators Group Ltd., referred to the global USD 80-100 trillion pipeline of infrastructure to be built by 2040, and the need to include long-term DRR in infrastructure planning and design if we do not want to burden future generations with externalized costs.

Data Challenges and Solutions for Disaster Risk Management: On Thursday, this session highlighted the importance of risk information in providing timely and reliable data, statistics, and analysis for developing and implementing DRR strategies. Letizia Rossano, Director, Asia and Pacific Centre for the Development of Disaster Information Management, moderated the session, which addressed how to ensure risk information can be translated into actionable strategies.

Raditya Jati, National Disaster Management Authority, INDONESIA, highlighted his organization’s efforts to provide disaggregated and georeferenced data for local and national-level policies. Renato Solidum, Department of Science and Technology, the PHILIPPINES, presented his country’s GeoRisk initiative and other relevant information platforms seeking to centralize data on natural hazards and risks. He emphasized efforts to make them widely accessible.

Rhonda Robinson, Deputy Director, Disaster and Community Resilience Program, Pacific Community, said early warning and action during the Tongan volcano disaster is an example of translating data into lifesaving information.

Jakub Ryzenko, Polish Academy of Sciences, emphasized the importance of georeferencing and pointed to the EU minimum standards that, inter alia, support comparability of data for modelling and mapping the extent of flood risks.

Kassem Chaalan, Lebanese Red Cross, reported on a hub created to collect data on disaster risk mapping and vulnerability. He said, to save lives, data needs to be generated with a specific focus on users’ needs.

Sithembiso Gina, Southern African Development Community Secretariat, noted the need for data policies, data coordination institutions, data infrastructure, and monitoring capacities.

Financing Local Investment Through Risk Informed and Bankable Strategies: This session explored, on Thursday, practical solutions for developing risk-informed and bankable resilience projects. Maruxa Cardama, Secretary General, SLoCaT, moderated the session.

Alessandro Attolico, Province of Potenza, Italy, said the main challenge is how to build back better and be truly resilient to shocks and stress. He called for innovative mechanisms that have a clear vision and risk-informed strategy.

Sameh Wahba, Global Director, Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice, WORLD BANK, said to scale up action on the Sendai Framework, cities must integrate risk into planning and decision-making processes.

Tiza Mafira, Associate Director, Climate Policy Initiative, called for local governments to have access to adaptation and resilience metrics, underscoring that funding for mitigation depends on those metrics.

Godavari Dange, Secretary, Swayam Shikshan Prayog, Grassroots Women’s Federation, stated women’s initiatives are key to building resilience in local communities. She said through this, they have been able to partner with local governments and access government programmes not available to them before.

Strengthening Governance to Reduce Disaster Displacement Risks: This session discussed, on Thursday, inclusion of disaster-displaced persons in DRR strategies and policies, and explored challenges and good practices. Sarah Charles, Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, US Agency for International Development (USAID), moderated the session. She highlighted USAID’s work in this area including supporting displaced persons in Indonesia in business continuation and start-ups.

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, President of the Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad, said pastoralist migration is purposeful and predictable, lamenting disaster displacement disrupts cultures and identity.

Crispin d’Auvergne, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, said his region has a free movement policy allowing voluntary movement for work and indefinite resettlement. He noted the upsurge of displacement due to disasters necessitates improved tracking of migration to provide crisis recovery support.

Vasiti Soko, Director, National Disaster Management Office, FIJI, said the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Winston triggered improved emergency response mechanisms, with increased community participation. She reported on relocation guidelines, which support minimizing displacement and tracking movements.

Luísa Celma Meque, President, National Institute for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, MOZAMBIQUE, discussed her organization’s implementation of policies, strategies, legislation, and operational plans for prevention, mitigation, and rehabilitation of disaster-related displacement.

Luis Doñas, Foreign Affairs Liaison, National Emergency Office, CHILE, said data is an important enabler of inclusion and highlighted the need for, inter alia, migration information on routes and demographics. 

Saut Sagala, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Technology Bandung, Indonesia, said information on what is happening on the ground is key as it provides the perspectives of displaced persons.

Cooperation Across Borders for Strengthened Capacity and Action: This session discussed, on Friday, ways of strengthening cross-border cooperation for DRR, specifically across non-conventional actors and mechanisms. Becky Murphy, Policy Lead, GNDR, moderated the session.

In a keynote speech, Ken O’Flaherty, COP 26 Regional Ambassador Asia-Pacific, UK, reported on COP 26 decisions to double public finance for adaptation by 2025. Highlighting the importance of private financing, he pointed to ongoing efforts by the Champions Group on Adaptation Finance launched by the UNGA in 2021. He further highlighted the work of the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment supporting investors and policymakers to better understand and manage physical climate risks.

In the panel discussion, Olaya Dotel, Vice-Minister of International Cooperation, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, stressed that cooperation for DRR and climate mitigation requires technology transfer for EWS, resilience models appropriate for vulnerable regions, and sharing of experiences and success stories.

Cristelle Pratt, Assistant Secretary-General for the Environment and Climate Action, Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States Secretariat, highlighted the Global Climate Change Alliance Programme as an example of North-South collaboration. She further highlighted South-South cooperation, including the Pacific Resilience Partnership and the African Regional Platform for DRR.

Nuraini Rahma Hanifa, Secretary-General, U-INSPIRE Alliance, urged strengthening multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary, and transboundary cooperation through financial support for knowledge and DRR capacity. She mentioned “neighbor help neighbor” as an example of South-South cooperation involving countries sharing DRR technology and models.

Heidi Schroderus-Fox, UN Acting High Representative for LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS, noted that 22 out of 91 most vulnerable countries are in dire debt distress. While debt suspension has provided temporary relief, she advocated for long-term solutions to resolve debt distress.

During the discussion, panelists noted the need to ensure local actors have ownership of DRR activities to enhance the sustainability of projects. They also noted that co-creating solutions with local communities supports appropriate technology innovation.

Enhancing Understanding and Management of Disaster Risk in Humanitarian Contexts: This session explored how humanitarian, development, and DRR action can be better coordinated, and how cooperation, governance, and finance can be enhanced to better manage complex crises. The session was moderated by Irwin Loy, Asia editor, The New Humanitarian.

Maina Talia, Secretary, Tuvalu Climate Action Network, illustrated how Pacific Island nations are affected by rising sea levels, floods, and cyclones. He noted that “climate proofing” infrastructure and services is emphasizing that “migration is a definite no for our people.” He urged mainstreaming Indigenous knowledge and making finance accessible for SIDS governments and local communities.

Banak Dei Wal, Director-General for Disaster Management, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, SOUTH SUDAN, explained that vulnerabilities can only be addressed when local risks are known, support frameworks exist, and all factors are addressed holistically, including environmental, social, and political aspects. He argued that talking about resilience in his country when communities are still grappling with recovery from the immediate impacts of disaster is premature.

Gernot Laganda, Chief, Climate and Disaster Risk Reduction Programmes, WFP, suggested that despite the much-needed international support, local capabilities are often overlooked, with local communities being the first responders in disasters, and local universities being best placed to map risks and vulnerabilities. He presented a case study where displaced people were supported with cash instead of food, giving them the chance to purchase from local markets, thereby reducing social tensions.

Aisha Jamshed, Country Director, Welthungerhilfe Pakistan, referred to the successful cooperation between organizations engaged in humanitarian, development, and DRR matters via the Start Network’s Disaster Risk Financing system, which her organization coordinates. She lauded that Start is driven by local communities, engaging with civil society, academia, international organizations, and government at all levels.

Marina Berg, Ambassador of SWEDEN to Indonesia, highlighted that crises have become more frequent and more complex, which should make us change the crisis management approach we have used for the last two decades. She urged for making the approach more inclusive and holistic, and for more flexible funding with no earmarks or core support.

Other Thematic Sessions: Two further thematic sessions were held on Wednesday. A session on “Breaking the Silos” showcased good practice examples of multi-hazard and multi-sector risk assessments, which helped address systemic risks under improved governance. A session on “Early Warning and Early Action” took stock of progress towards achieving Sendai Framework Target G (on access to EWS) through inclusive, effective, and multi-hazard approaches that enable early action.

Three additional thematic sessions were held on Thursday. A first session discussed examples of how nature-based solutions can reduce systemic risk, help address socio-economic inequalities, and reestablish the relationship with nature. Another session on inclusive and resilient recovery in urban contexts focused on how cities can address increasingly complex risks, driven by rapid and often unplanned urbanization, climate change, poverty, and rising inequalities. A last session thematized how recovery actions can prevent the creation of new risks, reduce existing risks, and build resilience to future shocks, crises, and pandemics.

On Friday, three thematic sessions focused on: empowering the most at risk through social protection; embedding risk in investment decisions; and transformative financing options to build resilience.

Special Sessions

The Road to COP 27—Scaling Up Joint Action to Reduce Climate-Related Disasters: Loretta Hieber Girardet, Chief, Risk Knowledge, Monitoring and Capacity Development Branch, UNDRR, moderated the session, stating that the session aimed to demonstrate, among others, how DRR can contribute to the global goal on adaptation and build resilience to climate-related hazards.

Youssef Nassef, Director, Adaptation Division, UNFCCC, questioned what level of resilience is sufficient, emphasizing the need to investigate the trade-offs and compromises required to ensure sufficient resilience.

Victoria Salinas, Acting Federal Emergency Management Agency Deputy Administrator, US, underscored the role of capacity building in improving resilience, particularly climate resilience. She drew attention to the need for local governments to understand how to manage risk and resilience as they are on the frontlines of disaster response.

Pannapa Na Nan, Director of International Cooperation, Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, Ministry of Interior, THAILAND, outlined factors contributing to effective adaptation, including policy commitment at the highest level and local-level capacity development. She stressed that every level of society must be aware of and have sufficient capacity building to be resilient at the local level.

Judith Kaspersma, Department Head of Flood Risk Management, the NETHERLANDS, urged learning how to address extreme climate phenomena and other situations of deep uncertainty. She said the Dutch have learned how to live with water, allowing rivers to expand when large volumes of water enter the country rather than fighting against it. She said an integrated and participatory approach is key.

Zita Sebesvari, Deputy Director, UN University Institute for Environment and Human Security, spoke on the global goal on adaptation, underscoring the importance of financing for the global goal.

Gernot Laganda, Chief, Climate and Disaster Risk Reduction Programmes, WFP, said adaptation is an iterative process that requires systems to absorb risk information as it becomes available as well as have the capacity to adjust based on information received.

Raïssa Oureya, Jeunes Verts, Togo, suggested using local youth and local communities as a guarantee for resilience and called supporting youth with the means to build resilient lives for themselves. 

Another special session took place on Thursday, focusing on the Centre of Excellence on Climate and Disaster Resilience established by UNDRR and the WMO.

Side Events, Learning Labs, and Award Ceremony

The following events were held on the margins of GP2022:

  • Twenty-four side events, discussed, inter alia: building resilience in complex emergencies, examples of inclusive local action, and the inclusion of Indigenous knowledge; leaving no one behind; child and youth engagement; disability inclusion; using art to inspire change; nature-based solutions; biological hazards; learning from award winning projects; governance of risks in transboundary waters; anticipatory action; advancing DRR for health facilities; mainstreaming gender equality, disability, and social inclusion in anticipatory action; implementing integration; urban multi-hazard risk policy transitions; new media for disaster and climate resilience; and the role of regional standby mechanisms in disaster preparedness and response.
  • Fourteen learning labs focused on: disability-inclusive standards; disruptive technologies; budgeting, monitoring, and reporting; the online platform for voluntary commitments; disaster management training; disaster loss accounting; shared risk analytics; anticipatory action and impact-based forecasting; comprehensive disaster and climate risk management; Sendai Framework monitoring; opportunities for shared risk analytics; and a subnational risk index.
  • The Sasakawa Award Ceremony 2022 for building resilience through a multi-hazard approach too place.

Closing Ceremony

During the closing ceremony on Friday, 27 May, Megawati Sukarnoputri, Former President of Indonesia, lamented that disasters are becoming an almost-daily occurrence for the Indonesian people, largely due to the archipelago being situated on the so-called “ring of fire.” She highlighted that during her Presidency she had worked to strengthen Indonesia’s disaster management systems. Closing, she urged avoiding potential food vulnerability through concerted multilateral action.

Elham Youssefian, International Disability Alliance, presented stakeholders’ priorities, including: using a whole-of-society and whole-of-government approach as a key solution to reduce risk and improve resilience, irrespective of ability, race, sexuality, and refugee status; using and developing local and traditional knowledge, including Indigenous knowledge, for DRR and improved resilience; climate adaptation and DRR acting in a complementary manner; and urgent unified action to address the climate crisis.

Suharyanto, Minister of National Disaster Management Authority, INDONESIA, summarized the outcome of GP2022, focusing on the need for, inter alia: integrated DRR; development and finance policies; systemic changes; scaled-up climate action; and a participatory and human-rights based approach.

Manuel Bessler, Deputy-Director General, Head of Humanitarian Aid Department and Head of the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit, Agency for Development and Cooperation, thanked Indonesia for a successful, inclusive and “buzzing” conference. He announced that the eighth session of the GPDRR will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2025.

Mami Mizutori, SRSG for DRR and Head of UNDRR, shared her reflections from GP2022, stressing that “we can never underestimate the role human decisions play.” She lauded the great diversity of participants at GP2022 and the rich variety of topics and fields discussed. She thanked all participants for their passion and dedication, stressing that their commitment is an invaluable ally for the difficult tasks ahead. She renewed the DRR global community’s rendezvous for 2025 and closed the meeting at 6.36 pm (GMT+8). The ceremony concluded with a traditional Balinese dance performance.

Co-Chairs Summary

The Co-Chairs of GP2022 presented a summary of the conference, titled “Bali Agenda for Resilience.” They lauded the successful hybrid format and evident progress towards gender parity and accessibility with over 200 persons with disability actively engaged in panels and discussions. They concluded that GP2022 provided a “unique and timely opportunity to showcase the importance and value of inclusive and networked multilateralism, international solidarity, and cooperation,” in line with and ahead of Indonesia’s G20 Presidency under the theme “Recover Together, Recover Stronger.”

On stocktaking of progress, the summary notes the SDGs are not on track. It suggests the Sendai Framework can help the international community get back on track towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Positive progress noted in the summary included improved reporting rate, reduced disaster-related mortality, increased use of multi-hazard and multi-sectoral approaches, and the development of new financing mechanisms. Insufficiencies are noted regarding level of investment, understanding of risks, and overall progress in DRR in most countries, especially in LDCs, SIDS, and African countries.

On taking the Sendai Framework implementation forward, the summary urges countries to apply a “Think Resilience” approach to all investments and decision making, increase efforts to “stop the spiral of increasing disaster impact and risk,” and to mainstream DRR in everything we do. This includes closing data and modelling gaps, further developing interoperable tools, collaborating with the private sector and civil society, and overcoming communication barriers, all with a view to reduce vulnerability in its broadest sense. The summary states that: making progress requires enhanced global, regional, transboundary, and local cooperation, which must be inclusive; funding streams must be increased from multiple sources and reach communities before disaster strikes so no one is left behind; and infrastructure resilience and nature-based solutions should be a particular focus.

As final considerations and on the way forward, the summary provides a seven-point set of recommendations. It calls for integrating DRR at the core of development and finance policies, and systemic changes with appropriate budgetary targets and tracking mechanisms; notes the accelerated challenge to ensure every person on Earth is protected by EWS within five years; and underscores the close interdependency between DRR and climate change policies, with an appeal to urgently scale up action under both.


GP2022 Bulletin (Cached download) 0.6 MB, PDF, English

Document links last validated on: 30 May 2022

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