IRDR Supports strengthened Role of S&T at ISDR Asia Partnership Meeting

The first ISDR Asia Partnership (IAP) meeting post-Sendai was held on 3-5 June 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand. IRDR was represented by IRDR Science Committee (SC) member, S.H.M. Fakhruddin, and Executive Director, Rudiger Klein, for the first and second half of the meeting respectively.

This IAP meeting focused on the way forward from the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (3rd WCDRR) in terms of implementing the new Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, 2015-2030 in the Asian Region. The framework aims to “Prevent new and reduce existing disaster risk through the implementation of integrated and inclusive economic, structural, legal, social, health, cultural, educational, environmental, technological, political and institutional measures that prevent and reduce hazard exposure and vulnerability to disaster, increase preparedness for response and recovery, and thus strengthen resilience.”

Since governments adopted a political declaration expressing their commitment to implement the new Framework, and stakeholders equally submitted voluntary commitments, this meeting also explored possibilities for collaboration between both actors in the run-up to the 6th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR), to be hosted by the Government of India in November 2016. Following a proposal made by the Government of India, a work plan was agreed upon that would prepare the Conference and, notably, work on issues and topics of shared interest for government and civil society.

The Science, Technology and Academia Major Group, following-up on earlier discussions between the co-chairs and the UNISDR Secretariat, designed a new structure aimed at ensuring implementation at a national level, notably by better positioning national universities and other research centres as advisory and solutions-providers. IRDR reminded the gathering of the 4+2 formula for implementing the Sendai Framework, which the Science and Technology Major Group (STMG) had presented at Sendai.

So far the IAP has been the operational arm of the UNISDR Regional Platform in Asia. IRDR had been co-chairing the Science Technology and Academia group from 2012 to 2015. The partnership has been an informal multi-stakeholder forum with the role to facilitate implementation of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-15 (HFA) in the Asia region. The IAP launched in 2004 and subsequently expanded in 2007, including regional inter governmental organisations, governments, civil society organisations, UN and international organisations, and bilateral and multilateral donors. Since 2007, the IAP has emerged as the support mechanism for the Asia Regional Platform for DRR and has been meeting twice a year. Under the new Sendai Framework, a more stringent workplan is going to be adopted, with a focus on implementation and monitoring, regional coordination and coherence through regional experience sharing.