Through versatile advocacy UNISDR mobilizes diverse actors – from heads of state to mayors, parliamentarians, activists, scientists, business managers and journalists – to support disaster risk reduction and the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. The Sendai Framework seeks as an outcome: “The substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries.”
Increasing numbers of governments and stakeholders are investing more in disaster risk reduction, spurred by the high level advocacy of the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction (SRSG) and growing concern on rising disaster losses. We advocate for greater investment in disaster risk reduction (DRR) to protect lives and assets. We also advocate for climate change adaptation, education on DRR and increased gender participation in the decision making process.
Disaster risk reduction and climate change mitigation and adaptation are tools aimed at reducing the vulnerability of communities and helping them to achieve sustainable development. Meeting the interlinked challenges of disaster risk, climate change and sustainable development will require empowered communities, an engaged private sector, a central role for the scientific community, and steadfast commitment from political leaders.
Disaster risk reduction and education is an interactive process of mutual learning between people and institutions. Reducing risk and vulnerability to disasters requires building the knowledge of government officials at all levels, civil society, communities and volunteers, as well as the private sector. The Sendai Framework declares that in order to promote an understanding of disaster risk, formal and informal education must incorporate disaster risk knowledged so people understand the risk profile of their neighbourhood and workplace and understand how they can best protect themselves, their property and their livelihoods. Part of UNISDR’s work on education is through the Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education Sector, which leads a global partnership for school safety.
Disasters highlight and accentuate the vulnerabilities of women while they reinforce, perpetuate and increase gender inequality. UNISDR’s work is focused on the promotion of gender-sensitive disaster risk reduction. For its action, UNISDR focused on the need to mobilize more attention on gender dynamics in disaster risk reduction programmes, policies and practice.
Action that addresses the interlinked challenges of disaster risk reduction, sustainable development and climate change is a core priority. Disaster risk reduction is an integral part of social and economic development, and is essential if development is to be sustainable for the future. UNISDR is focused on supporting the post-2015 development agenda through work such as common indicators of measurement, complementary action in reducing vulnerability, especially of the poor, and in promoting better participation and equity in decision making to reduce future risks and protect socio-economic growth.
UNISDR magnifies its efforts by leveraging the resources and influence of partners. The global network of “champions” and other advocates exemplifies this approach. A notable example was the appointment of President of Indonesia, H.E. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, as UNISDR’s first global champion for disaster risk reduction by the UN Secretary-General. As co-chair of the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the President was instrumental in the recommendation to incorporate disaster risk reduction in the Sustainable Development Goals.