22 January 2015, GENEVA
– Ten years ago today, just four weeks after the Indian Ocean Tsunami claimed over 227,000 lives, representatives of 168 member UN states meeting in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, adopted a global plan for managing disaster risk: the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005-2015): Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters.
“The Hyogo Framework for Action has laid solid foundations for building resilience to disasters”, said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “Many thousands of people are alive today thanks to better early warning systems, improved weather forecasting, better education on risk and a greater understanding of the dangers posed by natural hazards.”
“However, it is also clear that while we are doing a better job of managing disasters, we are less good at managing disaster risk. Society creates the disaster, not the hazard itself. Disaster risk is rising along with a failure to address the drivers of risk such as poverty, climate change, inequality, unsustainable land use and weak building codes. I hope these issues will be addressed in the updated Hyogo Framework for Action which will be adopted at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, in March.
“2015 can be a turning point in human development if we agree on a path to resilience through strong agreements on disaster risk reduction, development financing, climate change and a new set of sustainable development goals.”
Since the HFA was adopted in January 2005, there have been over 3,400 internationally reported disasters triggered by earthquakes, floods, storms, drought, heatwaves and other natural hazards, resulting in 750,000 deaths. About 90% of deaths from disasters occur in low to middle-income countries. There have been significant reductions in weather-related mortality in several countries, but economic losses now regularly surpass $200 billion annually.
For World Conference details see www.wcdrr.org