Local data key to resilience

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

GENEVA, 14 July 2014 – Indicators for the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction need to show what is happening locally as well as globally, the Preparatory Committee of the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction heard today.

Such good risk information is vital for improved decision making to strengthen local resilience, Ecuador’s Minister of the National Secretariat of Risk Management, H.E. Ms. María del Pilar Cornejo, told a packed forum.

“Indicators should help us prioritise where our efforts go locally to strengthen prevention and mitigation of disaster risk and to increase resilience,” H.E. del Pilar Cornejo said in her role as Chair of the Technical Workshop on ‘Indicators, monitoring and review process for the Post-2015 Framework’.

“We have made significant progress (under the Hyogo Framework for Action) but much remains to be done. If we have confidence in the information we have at the local level our decision making to address the threats of hazards at that level will be better.”

Ministers, ambassadors, various other senior government officials as well as representatives from the private sector, science, and several sectors of civil society – including young people, women, and people living with disabilities – were among the more than 500 people at the session.

H. E. Ambassador Kenichi Suganuma, in Charge of the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, of Japan, said indicators “should be simple, internationally accepted and cover multiple hazards”. He provided one newly-developed indicator from Japan as an example: 90% of homes to meet earthquake-resistant standards by the year 2020.

The Deputy Head of Rescue Service of Armenia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations, Major-General Nikolay Grigoryan, said a better mechanism and system of accountability would strengthen efforts to build local resilience.

“Disaster risk reduction is an indivisible part of development and we strongly commend the proposed development of indicators at the output and outcome level,” Major-General Grigoryan said.

“In Armenia, implementation at the local level is a challenge; if we continue to just monitor the input level we show our good intention, but this approach cannot determine policy gaps.”

The Director of Mozambique’s National Operative Centre for Emergency, Mr. Mauricio Xerinda, also welcomed efforts to strengthen accountability of efforts to reduce disaster risk through a more comprehensive system of indicators that monitored input, output and outcome levels.

The Chief of UNISDR’s Risk Knowledge Section Mr. Andrew Maskrey, said an improved system of indicators would build on the achievement of the Hyogo Framework for Action: It would seek to measure not only how much existing risk is being reduced but also how much new risk is being prevented and how much resilience is being strengthened.

“We propose a more objective measure in addition to the current system of self-assessment as well as indicators that specifically relate to a particular public policy with it being clear who is responsible, for instance the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Housing, or whoever,” Mr Maskrey said.

Several speakers emphasized how indicators are one area of work that could strengthen coherence between the sustainable development goals (SDG) and climate change adaptation agendas. Another point that was highlighted consistently is the importance of a more inclusive approach to DRR, particularly in terms of strengthened public-private partnerships.

The first session of the Preparatory Committee of the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction is being held over two days to review the organizational and substantive preparations for the Conference, approve the programme of work of the Conference, and propose rules of procedure for adoption by the Conference.

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