Montenegro launches National Platform for DRR
PODGORICA, 16 December 2014 – Montenegro today became the 27th country in Europe to launch a National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, a key step towards implementing the world’s first global blueprint for reducing disaster risk, the Hyogo Framework for Action.
“Proving the added value of investment in disaster prevention is no easy task. In fact, it is like trying to prove that a disaster did not happen. Yet investing in prevention is extremely important, and we are committed to build a disaster resilient future, ”said Minister of Interior, Mr. Raško Konjević.
The National Platform will allow for a coordinated approach in building resilience to disasters and focus on multi-hazard risk assessments and the development of a disaster risk management strategy. It will address ongoing vulnerabilities faced by the country, such as earthquakes, floods and forest fires.
Paola Albrito, head of UNISDR’s Europe Office, said: “This is a very important step just three months ahead of the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan. It further strengthens Europe’s voice when it comes to negotiations on the revision of the Hyogo Framework for Action which will be adopted at the World Conference.”
The launch of the National Platform was attended by over 150 participants from diverse ministries and government sectors, as well as from existing Southeastern European NPs such as Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia that shared insights into the functioning and achievements of their respective institutions.
Ivana Ljubojevic, Head of the Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Initiative, emphasized the added value of sharing good practices. UNISDR stressed the relevance of addressing current vulnerability, while at the same time focusing on avoiding the creation of new risk in development and growth.
Vesna Vucurovic, Deputy-Minister of Education of Montenegro, highlighted the country’s engagement in ensuring that schools are a safe environment for children and that risk reduction is part of the school curricula. The Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism stressed the importance of regional sharing of best practices.
The National Platform was preceded by the establishment of the Committee for Disaster Risk Reduction established in 2011. The Committee has conducted wide-ranging work on raising awareness on risks, developing action plans on flood protection and the inclusion of disaster risk management into school curricula.
Montenegro recently joined the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism. This will also build on the ongoing participation and engagement of Montenegro within the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction (EFDRR).