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Consultation of Local Governments towards Post 2015 Framework for DRR (Hyogo Framework for Action 2 - HFA2)

At the World Conference on Disaster Reduction in January 2005, 168 countries adopted the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters. The UN General Assembly endorsed the HFA later that year in 2005. The HFA responds to the need for a comprehensive, integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to identify and implement disaster risk reduction measures.

In December 2012, the UN General Assembly decided to convene the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Japan in early 2015 to review the implementation of the HFA over its 10-year term and develop a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction (referred to as Hyogo Framework for Action 2 or HFA2). The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) was requested to serve as the secretariat of the Third World Conference, to facilitate the development of an HFA2, and to coordinate the preparatory activities in consultation with all relevant stakeholders.

The 2009-2011 mid-term review of progress against the HFA reflected substantial reduction in mortality due to natural disasters. However, the Report also highlighted weak capacity in many local governments. Even where countries have developed policies and institutional systems for disaster risk reduction, they are challenged to address risk accumulation on the ground. This consequently challenges governments’ ability to accurately account for disaster risk in investment and development decisions.

Hence, it is envisaged that the engagement and feedback of local governments is critical for the effective implementation of risk reduction now and even more in the years to come.

The first phase of the consultations from March 2012 to May 2013 focused on broad substantive issues for the new framework of disaster risk reduction. The narration below compiles the views expressed by Local Governments and partners for HFA 2 in the first year of consultation. Many Local governments leaders, Mayors, International agencies and community organizations have called for:

a. the HFA2 should be designed with local actors in mind as a primary implementer. This would help them to understand the importance of disaster risk reduction, successful implementation strategies, and how to build their capacities and leverage their existing resources in the most cost effective way.

b. efforts to clearly demarcate the responsibilities at the central, provincial, district or municipal levels, and to strengthen the processes of decentralization of responsibilities including resources to local government, through improved regulation and mechanisms for accessing resources.

c. HFA2 to ensure that disaster risk reduction is made a core function of the Local Governments, with consistent budget allocation and staffing.

d. stronger linkages between national and local government – including the alignment of national policies with local needs.

e. greater emphasis on monitoring and accountability instruments to guarantee law enforcement.

f. more support for capacity - building and awareness at the local level for the HFA2, including further training of local government and communities and ensuring access to available tools and knowledge.

g. ensuring community involvement in decision-making processes and building partnerships with community-based or grassroots associations.

h. stronger emphasis on school safety, education, and ensuring children and youth’s participation in risk analysis and resilience-building initiatives.

i. the urgent need to cultivate a culture of prevention in households, communities, institutions and businesses was re-iterated. This includes the view that more attention needs to be given to understanding the factors that can influence the way people interpret risk and the conditions that lead people to act on risk information.

j. application of indigenous and traditional knowledge, cultural values and belief systems in public awareness efforts has also been recommended.

k. further collaboration between communities, local and national governments, NGOs, and the private sector must be consciously nurtured.

Phase I of the consultations (March 2012-May 2013) were conducted at the local, national and sub-regional level inclusive of various thematic areas which concluded with the 4th Session of Global Platform held in May 2013. This initial phase focused on broad substantive issues for a new framework. The first phase of the consultations confirmed the high interest of Local Governments in a post- 2015 instrument for disaster risk reduction or a HFA2.

The findings note that climate change exacerbates existing risk factors and calls for measures to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to prevent a generation of further risk, while taking steps to adapt to the new patterns of climate risk and extreme events that are already locked into place. It points to previous calls for adopting a holistic approach that embraces DRR and climate risk management as fundamental for poverty reduction and sustainable development. Read more:

Second Phase – HFA2

There is a consensus that the new instrument (informally referred to as HFA2) should build on the Hyogo Framework for Action and introduce the innovations necessary to address the challenges of increasing risk over the next 20 to 30 years.

Phase II of the consultations from July 2013 until the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Reduction in March 2015, will now focus on the content, indicators and measurement of the draft HFA2.

Under the Making Cities Resilient Campaign, partners and cities are encouraged to organize consultations to feed into the global process in order to ensure that priorities are highlighted in the next framework for disaster risk reduction. Accordingly, the Sri Lanka Southern Province consultation on the Post-2015 Framework on DRR (HFA2) was undertaken as part of the International Conference of Building Resilience 2013.

Workshop for the Southern Provincial Council, Sri Lanka

Alongside the main conference, a workshop for capacity building on disaster resilient measures was organised in association with the Federation of Sri Lankan Local Government Authorities, the Southern Provisional Council, Sri Lanka and University of Salford, UK. The event was well attended by technical offices and engineers of the Southern Provincial council. As part of the workshop, a number of guest presentations were delivered by academics from: the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka; the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka; and the University of Salford, UK. The speeches focused on improving disaster resilient measures within the built environment. Further, with the participation of members of the Southern Provincial council, a discussion was conducted to make recommendations for Post 2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction: Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA2). Participants of the workshop collectively addressed the following key areas related to disaster risk reduction at local level:

  • existing/applied tools and mechanisms for taking disaster risk information into account in construction
  • strengths and weaknesses of existing/applied tools and mechanisms for achieving disaster resilient construction at the local level
  • disaster risk information available and how is it used for urban/habitat/infrastructure construction planning to make them disaster resilient
  • main barriers for developing and utilizing disaster risk inclusive land use plans, spatial and habitat plans, building codes and how these barriers can be overcome in ongoing and future construction activities?

The suggestions made during the workshop will be fed into the on-going HFA2 consultation process.

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 October 2013 09:17

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