Pacific tackles disaster and climate risk
SUVA, 03 October 2017 – A landmark meeting in the Pacific focused on integrated efforts to protect lives and livelihoods from the negative impact of disaster and climate risk will open tomorrow.
More than 200 government officials and representatives from across the development sector will convene for the 2017 Joint Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Roundtable and in Fiji.
The joint event takes place a week ahead of International Day for Disaster Reduction (on October 13). This year’s theme is ‘Home Safe Home’ and focuses on target (b) of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction: Reducing the number of people directly affected by disasters with a particular focus on housing and livelihoods.
The Sendai Framework was adopted two years ago by UN Member States and its seven targets are designed to reduce global disaster losses and enable achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Reference will be made to the full evacuation ordered this week of the entire 11,000 population of Ambae island, Vanuatu, as the Manaro volcano spews ash and threatens to erupt. The Government’s prompt evacuation order is an excellent example of implementing target (b) of the Sendai Framework.
The main outcome of the joint Platform and Roundtable will be agreement on a set of recommendations for the new Pacific Resilience Partnership, endorsed by the region’s leaders for an initial period of two years at last month’s 48th Pacific Islands Forum, in Apia, Samoa.
This Partnership will be launched in 2018 to support the implementation of the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific: An Integrated Approach to Address Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management 2017-2030 (FRDP).
The FRDP combines three of the main pillars of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change; and the Sustainable Development Goals – in a region-specific pathway to resilient development.
“The 2017 Platform provides the Pacific region with a unique opportunity to shape the local and national level implementation and monitoring of the Sendai Framework and overall 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that in turn will deliver on its Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific,” UNISDR’s Pacific Coordinator Andy McElroy said.
“The region is again demonstrating its leadership in terms of coherent and integrated development. This all-of-society approach to disaster and climate resilience, under the leadership of governments, is a global example.”
One of the key sessions of the joint meeting will look at how the Sendai Monitor can be rolled out and usefully contribute to regional reviews of the Framework for Resilient Development as it measures progress on reducing mortality, the numbers of disaster affected, economic losses and damage to critical infrastructure.
The Joint Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Roundtable is organized by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), along with two key regional organizations, the Pacific Community (SPC), and the Secretariat for the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
The joint platform/roundtable forms part of a series of meetings that make up the Pacific Resilience Week. It carries the overall theme: Pathways to a Resilient Pacific. The other forums are: Pacific Humanitarian Partnership; Pacific Climate Change Round Table, and Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific.
The new Pacific Resilience Meeting that will take place in 2018 will act as the sub-regional platform that will feed into the worldwide review of the Sendai Framework at the next Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, in Geneva, in May 2019.