Training trainers to curb disaster risk

Source(s): United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Office in Incheon for Northeast Asia and Global Education and Training Institute for Disaster Risk Reduction
Participants display their certificates as trainers in disaster risk reduction planning (Photo: UNISDR)
Participants display their certificates as trainers in disaster risk reduction planning (Photo: UNISDR)

PANAMA CITY, 29 December 2016 – Dozens of disaster risk management professionals from across the Americas have been schooled in how to pass on planning skills, thanks to a programme run by UNISDR’s Global Education and Training Institute.

With just three years left to meet an international target for increasing the number of countries with specific disaster risk reduction plans, and with demand for specialised technical training expected to grow as a result, the 35 participants from 16 countries took stock of how best to craft and implement such strategies and how to share the lessons learned.

“Having such a high-level group of trainers is a key opportunity for the region to disseminate and implement the disaster risk reduction model and the building of resilience as key pillars for achieving sustainable development as provided in the Sendai Framework,” said Mr. Ricardo Mena, Head of the UNISDR Regional Office for the Americas, who acknowledged their dedication and commitment after the 35-hour course of study.

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, adopted by the international community in 2015, is the most far-reaching global blueprint yet for curbing the impact of natural and human-induced hazards. It runs through to 2030, and achieving the interim target of 2020 for having disaster reduction plans in place will be crucial to its overall success. The Sendai Framework is also a key element of the wider 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Rear Admiral Julio Pflucker Yépez, Secretary of Disaster Risk Management at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of Peru, said the training session was “an enriching experience that provides in-depth knowledge of the tools that will allow us to replicate in our own national realities the methodology for the implementation of local, national and private sector plans in line with the Sendai Framework.”

In turn, Dr. Bélgica Miguelina Tactuk, Director of the National School of Risk Management at the National Emergency Commission of the Dominican Republic, stressed that using the methodology of the workshop offers “a perfect opportunity to raise awareness and develop the capacities and competencies of decision-makers at different levels, as well as accompany the actors of the territory in the elaboration of their respective risk reduction plans and towards sustainable development through the National School of Risk Management.”

While the Sendai Framework makes clear that governments carry the main responsibility for reducing disaster risk, it also highlights the important role of other players such as the private sector or the academic and research community.

Mr. Víctor García, President of the Latin American and Caribbean University Network for Disaster Risk Reduction (REDULAC/RRD), said its participation was fundamental for defining future academic programmes and for reformulating the Regional Campaign of Resilient Universities, as well as having strengthened links with other sectors.

Finally, Dr. Alexander Mirescu, a key advocate of UNISDR’s global Making Cities Resilient campaign in the United States, underlined that “given the intensification of the most common natural hazards in several regions of Canada and the United States, such as New York and New Jersey, more and more municipalities are increasingly looking for new mechanisms to reduce their exposure and vulnerability."

"These municipalities express their interest in training on current issues such as the ones provided in the workshop, in an effort to strengthen their resilience,“ he added.

The regional workshop, entitled “Implementing the Sendai Framework: Formulation of Disaster Risk Reduction Plans”, was made possible through the support of the United States’ Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection arm (ECHO) and UNISDR’s Global Education and Training Institute, working with six international facilitators.

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