Former UNISDR Head of Africa, Pedro Basabe, speaking to journalists at an ECHO-sponsored media training during the 4th Africa Regional Platform in Arusha, Tanzania. This year, the 5th Africa Regional Platform will be held in Abuja, Nigeria on 13-16 May, where climate change is expected to take center stage.
GENEVA/NAIROBI, 24 March 2014 – Experts from all over Africa, including government ministers, will meet in Abuja, Nigeria, 13-16 May 2014, to discuss the challenges that the warming continent is experiencing because of climate change and other risk drivers. Last year, 37 countries in the region experienced at least one major disaster event including droughts, floods and heat waves, affecting millions.
Organized by the African Union Commission and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and hosted by the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the 5th Africa Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction will include the final African Ministerial-level meeting to discuss disaster risks before governments meet at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, in March 2015, when a new global agreement on disaster risk reduction will succeed the existing Hyogo Framework for Action.
UNISDR Chief, Margareta Wahlström, said: “Africa’s growing prosperity is threatened by climate change and disaster risks. Since the start of the 21st century the continent has experienced year-on-year temperature rises and drought remains a permanent threat along with severe floods brought on by more intense bouts of rainfall. This gathering is an important opportunity to examine progress in implementing the priorities for risk reduction across the continent and to provide important inputs into the development of a new framework for disaster risk reduction.”
The Regional Platform will include the launch of a Status Report on Implementation of the Africa Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Hyogo Framework for Action. There will also be discussion on strengthening links between weather forecasting and reducing risk from hydro-meteorological disasters across the region.