World + 1 more

2017 European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction Open Forum Istanbul Outcomes, 26 – 28 March 2017

News and Press Release
Originally published
View original


The Forum has engaged a broad range of stakeholders including Governments, the UN, parliamentarians, mayors, intergovernmental organizations, scientific and academic institutions, private businesses, NGOs, community based organizations and others. The multi-stakeholder engagement strengthens our approach as we consider all perspectives to identify, and avoid to the extent possible, the creation of new risks, as called for by the Sendai Framework.

Conference chair Mr. Halis Bilden, President of Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said the Istanbul Outcomes sent powerful messages.

“First, as we think about creating incentives for disaster risk reduction and delivering on the outcomes of Sendai, we must always keep in mind, first and foremost, that our work requires that we promote approaches that are human-centered and inclusive, taking into consideration the needs of our most vulnerable citizens, including persons with disabilities, refugees and senior citizens,” Mr. Bilden told delegates.

“Second, Europe is making strong progress to advance green finance, or an inclusive and sustainable financial sector. It is critical that we ensure that incentives for disaster risk reduction are mainstreamed into new financial services and products. At the same time, we must promote policy options for sustainable development,” he said.

“Third, to successfully create incentives for disaster risk reduction, we must embrace public-private partnerships. The contributions of the private sector may reduce the demands on limited public resources, while fostering investments that create jobs and growth.“

“Fourth, we have heard repeatedly over the course of our days together that we must ensure that national strategies are aligned with local capacities and that local authorities have adequate resources to perform work relevant to disaster risk reduction.”

Mr. Bilden also congratulated once more, 2017 laureates of the Damir Čemerin Award for Local Change: The Directorate General for Education, Culture and Research at Ministry of Youth and Sport and also the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Directorate of Earthquake and Ground Research.

The Sendai Framework, along with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change, is a cornerstone of one of the most ambitious programmes in the history of the United Nations: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Besides the Istanbul Outcomes spotlighted by Mr. Bilden, other focuses include that the need to harness science and data.

“All parts of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development underscore the importance of high quality data, given that what you cannot measure, you cannot manage,” said Ms. Albrito.

In the 28-country European alone, annual average losses are more than 10 billion euros.

In southern Germany, floods last May and June affected more than 47,000 people and cost 1 billion euros. The sum was similar in France’s own June floods, which killed 18 people. And in 2013, Germany faced a flood bill of 13.5 billion euros, its most expensive natural disaster on record.

Earthquakes are also a key issue. Last year’s in central Italy killed 299 people and left 23.53 billion euros in damage, and destroyed a string of historical buildings.

It was an earthquake that made Turkey into an icon of disaster risk reduction.

In the wake of the devastating 1999 Marmara Earthquake, in which 18,000 people died, the country shifted from a response-based policy to the risk-focused approach now epitomised by the Sendai Framework. For example, it has retrofitted schools and hospitals to make them safe havens, and is a driving force in efforts to do so globally.

Underscoring the political importance it gives the issue, AFAD, created in 2009, is part of the prime minister’s office.