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Warning for Caribbean countries regarding disaster reduction

By Nicole Best

ASUNCION, Paraguay, Jun 8, CMC – The first meeting of ministers and high level authorities on the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) began here on Wednesday with a warning that disaster reduction is everyone business.

United Nations Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Robert Glasser, told the two-day meeting that it was important for the region to develop a new mindset towards disaster risk reduction.

disaster reductionThe UN representative told a media brief shortly after the opening of the opening ceremony that that it is imperative that people adopt a more proactive approach to disaster risk reduction, for sustainability.

“There needs to be a change of mindset of people from thinking that when a disaster happens all we do is react to disasters, to thinking that we’re never going to be able to just react because with climate change hazards are increasing.

“Sea level rise, storms are increasing very dramatically so the only way we can cope is by getting out ahead in prevention of disaster hazards.”

Glasser said the single biggest threat to the Caribbean region is climate change and “if we don’t very rapidly reduce greenhouse gases then all of our other efforts to reduce risks are going to be overwhelmed by the changes in the climate particularly from small island developing states; where in some cases it’s a question of the survival of the country itself – it’s physical presence”.

Paraguay’s Minister for National Emergency Joaquin Roa Burgos reiterated his country’s commitment to the Sendai Framework and to working with the rest of the Americas to achieving its targets.

“As a country we have committed to contribute and change the history of our nations and bring about a new approach that integrates the management of disaster risk reduction.”

“We have adopted the objectives of the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals to go for the structural causes of inequalities. We are also focused on the frontal fight against poverty and general equal opportunities to improve the quality of life of our communities and always bearing in mind the climate.”

Burgos reiterated the concern that the countries of the Americas were under threat from climate change and other weather phenomena pointing to the recent floods and earthquakes on the continent that have caused death.

He said it is time to consolidate efforts to mitigate climate change and disaster risks in the region.

“It is time to fine tune our work articulated, bring about results based on innovation, the exchange in generation of knowledge, education training and lessons learned. But above all. Based on brotherhood and solidarity among our nations …the reduction of disasters for us should be a concern and ongoing cause. Let’s invest in a safer future.”

Ten Caribbean countries as well as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and other regional disaster management agencies are being represented at two day meeting.

The two day meeting, dubbed Sendai Americas, brings together over 200 delegates from the Americas to establish a priority agenda for a regional action plan to implement the SFDRR.

Some of the key topics to be discussed include the challenge of mainstreaming disaster risk reduction for the implementation of the SFDRR; the integration of DRR into public investment planning and the indicators for disaster risk reduction.

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 – 2030 has seven target and four main priority areas and was adopted at a UN World Conference in Sendai Japan last year to guide countries in the development of specific action plans to mitigate natural disasters.

The main priority areas are underlying disaster risks; strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risks as well as investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience, and enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

The first target is to achieve national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction and Glasser is urging the countries of the region to consider how best they can work together to meet the 2020 deadline.

“To enable us to monitor progress across the seven targets of the Sendai Framework, countries must first measure the established baselines for all seven targets by 2017. I encourage the region to set the stage for this baseline measurement”, Glasser said.

He said that said the Americas is one of the most vulnerable regions in the world adding that poverty remains a key driver of disaster risks. However he said he was pleased to report that the region has made impressive strides towards reducing its level of poverty among its population.

“I believe this meeting marks the beginning of a new phase in the region’s growing sophistication and commitment to strengthening disaster risk governance and ensuring that risk-informed decision making becomes part of the daily life of government.”

The UN Special representative said that the objective of the meeting is therefore “raising the awareness of disaster risk; its creating opportunities and initiatives that hopefully will focus greater attention on responding to climate change and also preparing countries with early warning, evacuation planning; with ways of limiting the economic cost for example risk insurance pooling.”

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

by STAFF WRITER

By Nicole Best

ASUNCION, Paraguay, Jun 8, CMC – The first meeting of ministers and high level authorities on the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) began here on Wednesday with a warning that disaster reduction is everyone business.

United Nations Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Robert Glasser, told the two-day meeting that it was important for the region to develop a new mindset towards disaster risk reduction.

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disaster reductionThe UN representative told a media brief shortly after the opening of the opening ceremony that that it is imperative that people adopt a more proactive approach to disaster risk reduction, for sustainability.

“There needs to be a change of mindset of people from thinking that when a disaster happens all we do is react to disasters, to thinking that we’re never going to be able to just react because with climate change hazards are increasing.

“Sea level rise, storms are increasing very dramatically so the only way we can cope is by getting out ahead in prevention of disaster hazards.”

Glasser said the single biggest threat to the Caribbean region is climate change and “if we don’t very rapidly reduce greenhouse gases then all of our other efforts to reduce risks are going to be overwhelmed by the changes in the climate particularly from small island developing states; where in some cases it’s a question of the survival of the country itself – it’s physical presence”.

Paraguay’s Minister for National Emergency Joaquin Roa Burgos reiterated his country’s commitment to the Sendai Framework and to working with the rest of the Americas to achieving its targets.

“As a country we have committed to contribute and change the history of our nations and bring about a new approach that integrates the management of disaster risk reduction.”

“We have adopted the objectives of the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals to go for the structural causes of inequalities. We are also focused on the frontal fight against poverty and general equal opportunities to improve the quality of life of our communities and always bearing in mind the climate.”

Burgos reiterated the concern that the countries of the Americas were under threat from climate change and other weather phenomena pointing to the recent floods and earthquakes on the continent that have caused death.

He said it is time to consolidate efforts to mitigate climate change and disaster risks in the region.

“It is time to fine tune our work articulated, bring about results based on innovation, the exchange in generation of knowledge, education training and lessons learned. But above all. Based on brotherhood and solidarity among our nations …the reduction of disasters for us should be a concern and ongoing cause. Let’s invest in a safer future.”

Ten Caribbean countries as well as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and other regional disaster management agencies are being represented at two day meeting.

The two day meeting, dubbed Sendai Americas, brings together over 200 delegates from the Americas to establish a priority agenda for a regional action plan to implement the SFDRR.

Some of the key topics to be discussed include the challenge of mainstreaming disaster risk reduction for the implementation of the SFDRR; the integration of DRR into public investment planning and the indicators for disaster risk reduction.

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 – 2030 has seven target and four main priority areas and was adopted at a UN World Conference in Sendai Japan last year to guide countries in the development of specific action plans to mitigate natural disasters.

The main priority areas are underlying disaster risks; strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risks as well as investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience, and enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

The first target is to achieve national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction and Glasser is urging the countries of the region to consider how best they can work together to meet the 2020 deadline.

“To enable us to monitor progress across the seven targets of the Sendai Framework, countries must first measure the established baselines for all seven targets by 2017. I encourage the region to set the stage for this baseline measurement”, Glasser said.

He said that said the Americas is one of the most vulnerable regions in the world adding that poverty remains a key driver of disaster risks. However he said he was pleased to report that the region has made impressive strides towards reducing its level of poverty among its population.

“I believe this meeting marks the beginning of a new phase in the region’s growing sophistication and commitment to strengthening disaster risk governance and ensuring that risk-informed decision making becomes part of the daily life of government.”

The UN Special representative said that the objective of the meeting is therefore “raising the awareness of disaster risk; its creating opportunities and initiatives that hopefully will focus greater attention on responding to climate change and also preparing countries with early warning, evacuation planning; with ways of limiting the economic cost for example risk insurance pooling.”