Community update: Preparedness, DRR, and resilience (May 2019): GPDRR, Sendai Framework targets, rapidly changing risk landscape, ecosystem-based approaches for DRM

Malashree Bhargava
Malashree Bhargava
DRR Specialist formerly with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Indonesia
Malashree Bhargava is a Disaster Risk Management Advisor with more than twelve years of professional experience in organizations such as the United Nations, donors, and NGOs. She did Master in International Humanitarian Action as Erasmus Mundus scholarship by the European Commission. During her most recent assignment (2015-2018), she provided technical leadership to the United Nations in Indonesia, Government of Indonesia and the ASEAN to develop comprehensive risk management approach in Sustainable Development Goals, national policies, and plans.
Community updates provide brief highlights from expert practitioners about what they see as the key developments in a specific area, what resources they would recommend, and what to look out for in the coming months.

Key developments

Sixth Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR)

The sixth Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) was convened in Geneva, Switzerland, 13-17 May 2019, on the theme of “Resilience Dividend: Towards Sustainable and Inclusive Societies.” It called for accelerated action in achieving the seven targets of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) – especially Target E to increase the number of countries with national and local DRR strategies by 2020. The conference highlighted the importance of DRR to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the contribution of the Sendai Framework towards the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Agenda for Humanity, the New Urban Agenda, and the SAMOA Pathway. Outcomes of the GPDRR will feed into discussions at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in July and the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit in September in New York.

Rapidly changing risk landscape

GPDRR urged to recognize the interplay between disasters, climate change, environmental degradation, conflicts and fragility, and security implications. Some very significant reports and guidelines were launched during the GPDRR, reflecting on the rapidly changing risk landscape with an array of both familiar and unfamiliar disaster risks negatively impacting the achievement of sustainable development. The reports are listed below in the recommended resources.

Taking stock of Sendai implementation

Environment, climate change, and ecosystem-based approaches for DRM were central to the GPDRR deliberations, which included in-depth discussions on best practices, challenges, and possible solutions for coordinated climate change and DRR programming to strengthen resilience at the national and local levels including in fragile and conflict areas. The GPDRR took stock of the implementation of the Sendai Framework, based on the data submitted by the member States to the Sendai Framework Monitor, analysis from the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR) 2019, recent reports such as the Global Warming of 1.5°C report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The IPBES report finds that around 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction due to human activities, many within decades, more than ever before in human history.

Recommended resources

Sixth Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR):

The details of the sessions and the key documents for the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction 2019 are available on the event website.

Reports on a rapidly changing risk landscape:

The most significant reports and briefing papers featured at the GPDRR include:

You can find the full list of publications featured at the Global Platform here:

Keep an eye out for...

The humanitarian community needs to keep a close watch on the following events in the coming weeks and months:
The Conference in preparation for High-level Political Forum 2019 will be held on the theme of “Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: SDG 16 implementation and the path towards leaving no one behind” in Rome, Italy, 27-29 May 2019. SDG 16 aims to reduce conflict-related mortalities, genocides, human exploitation, physical, psychological, and sexual violence, and to restore the rule of law and justice. The conference will take stock of global progress towards achieving the SDG 16, share knowledge, success stories, and good practices, identify the main challenges and particular areas of concern, and suggest ways forward in terms of policies, partnerships, and coordinated actions at all levels.
The High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development will be held 9-18 July 2019 in New York. The theme will be "Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality." It is a significant event from a DRM perspective as all the countries will be contributing to an in-depth review of SDG 13 on climate change; SDG 16 on peaceful societies, access to justice, and effective and inclusive institutions; and SDG 10 on reducing inequality and vulnerabilities. Additionally, Goal 4 on quality education (School safety), Goal 8 on inclusive and sustainable economic growth, and Goal 17 on global partnership will be reviewed, which also have strong linkages with disaster risk reduction.
PHAP community updates are written by members of the association and other practitioners in their personal capacity. The views expressed belong solely to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of PHAP or any other organizations with which the author is associated.