The workshop brought together more than 40 participants from ECOWAS Member States, sub-regional organizations, UN agencies, international organizations, scientific and academic sectors and civil society institutions. It included sessions on the benefits of risk assessment across sectors, methodology for national risk assessment and mapping tools using geo-information data and techniques. The training modules, developed by the UNDP-hosted multi-stakeholder initiative Global Risk Identification Programme (GRIP), contributed to these sessions in line with the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA)'s Priority Area 2: Risk Identification, Assessment and Monitoring.
Disasters bring not only physical and socio-economic losses but also slow down the process of sustainable development. ECOWAS is currently strengthening its institutional framework for disaster risk reduction, and has recently developed a draft Sub-regional Plan of Action for the implementation of the ECOWAS Policy on Disaster Risk Reduction. In 2009, various disaster risk reduction experts reviewed the draft Plan of Action in West Africa and it is set for adoption at the ministerial level in 2010. In line with the HFA and the Africa Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction, the ECOWAS Policy was developed with a view to create an inter-governmental framework for collaboration and partnership and to facilitate ECOWAS member states in strengthening their capacity for building more disaster resilient countries and communities.
This workshop was concluded with recommendations including building a stronger West African capacity to carry out risk assessment and mapping, a reinforced role of ECOWAS as a facilitating body and the sharing of climate related data and information among ECOWAS Member States to accelerate the implementation of the HFA and the Africa Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction.