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New International Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction Adopted in Sendai

From 14-18 March 2015 representatives from 187 UN Member States gathered in Sendai, Japan to adopt the first major agreement on the post-2015 development agenda, a far-reaching new framework for disaster risk reduction.


The Sendai Framework for Action outlines seven global targets to be achieved over the next 15 years: a substantial reduction in global disaster mortality; a substantial reduction in the number of affected people; a reduction in economic losses in relation to global GDP; substantial reduction in disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services, including health and education facilities; an increase in the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020; enhanced international cooperation; and increased access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments.


The Sendai Framework also, for the first time, recognizes the environment as a cross-cutting issue in disaster risk reduction. A major milestone is the recognition of the sustainable management of ecosystems as a way to build disaster resilience. Environmental impact assessments are also cited as important tools to achieve risk-sensitive public and private investments. The Sendai Framework further acknowledges the need to tackle environmental drivers of disaster risk, including ecosystem degradation and climate change, as well as the environmental impacts of disasters.


UNEP, together with the Partnership of the Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR), actively engaged throughout the World Conference on Disaster risk Reduction (WCDRR) in Sendai, co-organizing several plenary working sessions and side events on ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction, as well as supporting a number of Member States during the negotiations for the post-2015 disaster risk reduction framework. Recognizing the environment as a cross-cutting issue, ecosystem-based approaches to disaster risk reduction, as well as the need for a multi-hazard approach to disaster risk reduction, comprised the core messages of UNEP at the WCDRR, which have now been largely adopted in the new Sendai Framework.



UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner also attended the WCDRR, where he moderated a high-level event with UN Chief Executives, who collectively called for disaster risk sensitive programming as key to achieving sustainable development in countries. Mr. Steiner also highlighted the importance of ecosystem-based approaches to disaster risk reduction as solutions that are already being widely adopted in both developed and developing countries.


The World Conference was attended by over 6,500 participants including 2,800 government representatives from 187 governments. The Public Forum had 143,000 visitors over the five days of the conference making it one of the largest UN gatherings ever held in Japan.


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