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Pacific to Develop a Roadmap for Regional Strategy Integrating Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change
Source: pina.com.fj
Source Date: Friday, September 21, 2012
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Created: Sep 24, 2012

Increased climate variability and change has the potential to lead to more frequent and intense disasters. This is of great concern to Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTS) and this week delegates at the 4th session of Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management (DRM) and Pacific Regional Water & Sanitation Consultations discussed the development of an integrated regional strategy for DRM and Climate Change which is to be ready by 2015 to succeed existing separate policy frameworks which run their course by then.

The development of this new integrated strategy will inform the Pacific’s contribution to the ongoing global process towards a post-2015 Framework for disaster risk reduction which will succeed the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005 – 2015. The Hyogo Framework was the first plan to explain, describe and detail the work that is required from all different sectors and actors to reduce disaster losses.

Mosese Sikivou, Deputy Director for the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Disaster Reduction Programme, said that while the task is challenging SPC and its other coordinating partners, the Secretariat for the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), believe it should be kept as simple as possible.

“We want to ensure that the various sectors and interest groups that contribute to the overall reduction of vulnerability and risk in our region can get full value out of the new strategy. It needs to be something that provides useful guidance and supports the various countries and territories in the Pacific to define the specifics of what needs to be done, and how it is to be done, at national and sub national levels. We also need to make sure that the new strategy capitalises on opportunities available at the regional and global level, such as those arising from the Rio 20+ Summit and the Millennium Development Goals review.”

Jerry Velasquez, Head of the UNISDR for Asia and the Pacific, said that given its track record with the Hyogo Framework, the Pacific was very capable of developing a new strategy.

“The Pacific was the first region in the world to take the Hyogo Framework and turn it into a region-wide planning instrument. Again it is taking the lead with the integration of climate change and disaster risk management,” Velasquez said. “It is proof that the region is focused and pro-active. It is an important step in addressing the key challenge of how to make national economies more climate-independent as you seek to safeguard development gains.”

“The Pacific has much to offer the rest of the world by way of good example. I am confident that the outcome of this meeting will provide valuable input for the formulation of the next global agreement on disaster risk reduction that will replace Hyogo in 2015.”

The Pacific Platform is co-convened by SPC in partnership with the UNISDR. The meeting this year is supported by partner organisations like, The Asia Foundation, United Stated Agency for International Development, the University of the South Pacific, Institute for Research and Development in New Caledonia, United Nations Development Programme Pacific Centre, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the World Bank Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, AusAID, the European Union and the French Pacific Fund.
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