Official Statement by Her Excellency Patrícia Gaspar, Secretary of State of Civil Protection, at the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, Bali, Indonesia, 23-28 May 2022.
Portugal welcomes and appreciates the efforts undertaken by the United Nations to advocate for Disaster Risk Reduction principles through the SendaiFramework for Disaster Risk Reduction in line with the sustainable development goals, Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the New Urban Agenda.
We strongly support the debate around Disaster Risk Reduction, that must be the compass to all of those that have a political responsibility.
For the past years we all have been alive witness of the loss of thousands of lives and billions being spent in damage recovery.
We believe that disaster risk reduction is a key priority when facing disasters.
Indonesia faced a tsunami in 2004 that was a crucial moment to emergency management community, contributing to raise awareness to tsunami risk, emphasize the importance of preparedness and mobilizing international assistance, as Portugal did.
Last year, the Emergency Event Database recorded 432 disastrous events related to natural hazards worldwide.
Disasters can strike anytime, anywhere. And the only tool we have to mitigate the impact lies on PREVENTION and PREPAREDENES.
Reducing Disaster Risk is more than a goal, more than an agenda.
Reducing Disaster Risk should be de true legacy of our generation.
There is no time to waste and we must act now.
Last November, Portugal hosted the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction and we fully support the acceleration of the implementation of the Sendai Framework, with a strong national commitment to advocate the priorities stablished by the Sendai Framework. Important
We need to support improve governance and reduction of existing, emerging, and future risks. In this context, the Portuguese Government reviewed in 2021 the National Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction, now valid until 2030, which is a national reference for risk management, a guiding document for central and local administration, aimed at emphasizing disaster prevention and preparedness.
We agree on the critical urgency to address increasing climate risk and reiterate the need for urgent and coherent action on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. Portugal was one of the pioneers at European level in adopting, in 2010, a National Strategy for Climate Change Adaptation, later revised in 2015, and alignment with disaster risk reduction is in place.
The science-policy-society interface is key for an active and positive social discourse and as a counterweight to disinformation. Portugal is deepening the links to science and improve the technological components of prevention as the National Risk Assessment, the implementation of early warning systems to the population based on SMS and science-based mechanisms for decision support during forest fires emergencies.
Portugal believes that transboundary collaborative mechanisms should be reinforced, to better understand risks. International cooperation is key. We should encourage mechanisms to exchange good practices.
Finally, the role of local governments to build resilience and boost sustainable development should be recognized. Portuguese cities that joined the making cities resilience campaign have established a fruitful network to exchange good practices, recognized at international level, and increase cooperation.
Portugal is fully committed to be part of the global debate on how to rethink and reshape the way we live, the way we make policy, the way we grow and educate our children, the way we take care of the most vulnerable. The future lies in our hands and this is a lifetime challenge.