Participants at the Arab Science and Technology Action Group in Lebanon
By Ragy Saro
Beirut, 11 September 2018 – Scientists, academics, and disaster risk reduction experts from the Arab States have pledged to support their governments in developing national disaster risk reduction strategies based on scientific data and evidence.
The Arab Science and Technology Advisory group – a regional subgroup of UNISDR’s global Advisory group – put together a clear action plan to support the implementation of disaster risk reduction across the region in a move that is hoped to accelerate achievement of target “e” of the Sendai Framework, the global roadmap for reducing disaster loss.
“It’s time to enhance the role of science and technology for disaster risk reduction”, said Chadi Abdallah of the National Council for Scientific Research in Lebanon, host of the advisory group meeting where attendees laid out their plans.
Mr. Chadi, who has been elected chair of the advisory group, along with Co-chair Najla Bouden Romdhane from Tunisia, both emphasized the need to move from theory to action.
“Through the Arab Science and Technology Advisory Group we can now systematically support and advise countries with innovative ways to implement the Sendai Framework and the Arab Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction 2030,” he added.
The Chief of UNISDR Regional Office for Arab States, Sujit Mohanty said: “This meeting comes at a very vital time as the Arab Coordination Mechanism for Disaster Risk Reduction is expected to come together for the second time this year”.
The meeting which will take place this week in Tunisia is expected to agree on a common Arab position ahead of the first ever joint Africa-Arab Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction. It will also provide space for stakeholder groups to prepare their voluntary action statements, of which science and technology are a part.
The Africa-Arab Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction themed “Towards Disaster Risk Informed and inclusive sustainable development” will take place from 09 to 13 October 2018 in Tunis, Tunisia.