Third United Nations Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction

Date: March 20, 2015

Disaster Risk Reduction UNISDR Japan India Disaster management

3rd United Nations Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction conducted in Sendai City, Japan

The Third United Nations Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction took place from March 14 to March18, 2015 in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. The United Nations General Assembly Resolution on International Strategy for Disaster Reduction states that the World Conference will result in a concise, focused, forward-looking, and action-oriented outcome document and will have the following objectives:

1-  to complete assessment and review the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005-15).
2-  to adopt a Post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction.
3-  It  also focuses on identification of the modalities of cooperation based on communities in order to implement a post-2015 framework to reduce the risk of disaster.
4- The conference also aimed to determine the modalities to regularly review the implementation of a post-2015 framework disaster risk reduction.

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United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) is the coordinating body for the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR)-

In 2011, the United Nations General Assembly requested UNISDR to facilitate the development of a post-2015 framework on disaster risk reduction. The Assembly also requested UNISDR to serve as secretariat of the 3rd World Conference and to coordinate the preparatory activities in consultation with all relevant stakeholders.

UNISDR's mandate is to serve as the focal point in the United Nations system for the coordination of disaster reduction and to ensure synergies among disaster reduction activities.

Disaster Risk Reduction-

Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) aims to reduce the damage caused by natural hazards like earthquakes, floods, droughts and cyclones, through an ethic of prevention. 

Disasters often follow natural hazards. A disaster's severity depends on how much impact a hazard has on society and the environment. The scale of the impact in turn depends on the choices we make for our lives and for our environment. These choices relate to how we grow our food, where and how we build our homes, what kind of government we have, how our financial system works and even what we teach in schools. Each decision and action makes us more vulnerable to disasters - or more resilient to them.

Disaster risk reduction is the concept and practice of reducing disaster risks through systematic efforts to analyse and reduce the causal factors of disasters. Reducing exposure to hazards, lessening vulnerability of people and property, wise management of land and the environment, and improving preparedness and early warning for adverse events are all examples of disaster risk reduction.

Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters-

The WCDR was held from 18 to 22 January 2005 in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan, and adopted the present Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters. The Conference provided a unique opportunity to promote a strategic and systematic approach to reducing vulnerabilities and risks to hazards. It underscored the need for, and identified ways of, building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters.

The Hyogo Framework for Action addresses:

     Challenges posed by disasters
     The Yokohama Strategy: lessons learned and gaps identified
     WCDR: Objectives, expected outcome and strategic goals
     Priorities for action 2005-2015
     Implementation and follow-up

Suggested question for mains-

What do you understand by Disaster Risk Reduction, Discuss major steps taken at international as  well as India's level for Disaster Risk Reduction? Critically analyse India's preparedness towards distater risks? (200 words)