Deep in discussion: participants at the Singapore workshop debate ways to boost their countries' disaster risk management capacity (Photo: Nanyang Technological University – Centre for Continuing Education)
3 November 2016, GENEVA - Singapore and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) have renewed their partnership to strengthen the disaster risk management capacity of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and other developing countries that are vulnerable to natural disasters and are on the front line of climate change.
A joint specialised training course in Singapore from 26-29 September 2016 provided practical support and knowledge for the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction to participants from 18 countries, namely Bahrain, Bhutan, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Djibouti, Ecuador, Fiji, India, Jordan, Mauritius, Nauru, the Philippines, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Timor-Leste, and Togo.
This is the second year running that Singapore and UNISDR had collaborated on such an initiative.
Representatives from Singapore and UNISDR shared their expertise on climate change adaptation measures, building resilience in communities, disaster risk governance, sustainable urban planning, public health resilience, disaster risk finance and insurance, and investing in disaster risk reduction and resilience.
The course also focused on mainstreaming disaster risk reduction into national strategies as well as the development of action plans to help countries master a risk-informed and integrated approach towards sustainable development.
Participants, including those from countries that experienced major natural disasters in recent times, found the course useful and relevant.
Mr. Meleti Raimuria Bainimarama, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management from Fiji said:
“A very informative programme which clearly brings to light the importance of disaster risk reduction to sustainable development, how good disaster risk reduction practices contribute to minimising disaster impact and how strong leadership and good planning leads to good disaster risk reduction practices.”
Mr. Walter Koelau Lilo from the National Disaster Management Office, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology of the Solomon Islands found the course to be particularly useful for developing countries.
“Singapore’s approach to resilience development is one of the best models that can help countries in approaching and integrating resilient development at all levels. The programme is best suited for developing countries who have yet to achieve resilient development”, he said.
“UNISDR continues to support the member states in the implementation of the Sendai Framework. This collaboration is a perfect blend of linking up global best practices on disaster risk reduction, as provided by UNISDR, with the real life examples of risk resilient sustainable development as demonstrated by Singapore”, said Mr. Sanjaya Bhatia from UNISDR’s Global Education and Training Institute.
The course was conducted under the Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP), which is the primary platform through which Singapore extends technical assistance to over 100 countries.