Statement by SRSG Mami Mizutori on the creation of a Centre of Excellence for Climate and Disaster Resilience
I am very pleased to join the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization, Professor Petteri Taalas, to announce our intention to create a Centre of Excellence for Climate and Disaster Resilience.
This new Centre of Excellence will concentrate minds on what extreme weather and other natural hazards means for daily life on planet Earth for the foreseeable future and spur efforts to adapt and cope with that reality.
Both WMO and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction now share the same premises and will work more closely than ever before.
Both UN agencies realize that climate change is no longer simply about the weather and its impact. We aim to do a much better job of explaining to governments and civil society how extreme weather interacts with other drivers of disaster risk to amplify disaster impacts in unprecedented ways.
Disaster risk is systemic and deeply embedded in our development processes. It arises most commonly from weak governance, poverty, global warming, poor land use planning, environmental degradation and disease outbreaks.
The Centre of Excellence will also promote efforts to better understand the importance of improving the collection of loss and damage data especially in developing countries so that policymakers and politicians can make better decisions on how to invest scarce resources in the right areas to mitigate and prevent future disaster events and to reduce existing levels of risk.
This will help to guide international cooperation to developing countries desperately in need of financial and technological support, and capacity building for climate change adaptation and improved disaster risk management.
The Centre of Excellence will convene climate and disaster risk thought-leaders and practitioners to advance joint-research, policies, and capacity-building, in a manner that will influence and strengthen existing national adaptation plans in line with the Paris Agreement, and national disaster risk reduction strategies in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Focus areas of activity will include urban and sector specific resilience building on the experience and knowledge of the network of partnerships that we have fostered through the Making Cities Resilient Campaign MCR2030.
It will also seek to encourage greater involvement of the private sector in risk-informed financing and investment; and encourage partnerships across public and private sectors to reduce disaster risk.
Particular attention will be paid to the needs of Least Developed Countries, Small Island Developing States and Land-Locked Developing countries, many of which do not have access to multi-hazard early warning systems and lack the means to implement a national strategy for disaster risk reduction.
Today is of course International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction and our focus today is on enhancing international cooperation to developing countries to support their efforts to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
A report which we are launching today shows that, according to the available data, as little as 50 cents out of every $100 in development aid goes towards the prevention of disasters.
This is a sobering statistic considering the planetary emergencies that we are facing.
It is like building a car and deciding not to install brakes.
I think this Centre of Excellence is designed to make a very valuable contribution to that key target of the Sendai Framework which in turn will help strengthen national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction.
It is important to keep the spotlight on this issue of international cooperation and highlight positive examples while at the same acknowledging that levels of investment in disaster risk reduction are very low in proportion to the needs.