World

Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction Co-chairs’ Statement (22 September 2022)

Attachments

  1. We thank Ministers and their delegations for their participation in the 2022 Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, which has highlighted the particular challenges and needs of Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States in the Asia-Pacific region. We particularly stress the importance of formally including Pacific countries in this conference. We welcome the Nadi Declaration, adopted at the inaugural meeting of the Pacific Disaster Risk Management Ministers in Fiji on 16 September. We also thank participants from subnational governments, civil society, the business sector, scientific community, academia, youth, indigenous groups and other stakeholders for their inputs.

  2. Participants re-affirmed their commitment to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, which lies at the nexus of sustainable development, climate and humanitarian agendas, and is an enabler of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the Agenda for Humanity and the New Urban Agenda, with the Asia-Pacific Action Plan 2021-2024 for the Implementation of the Sendai Framework intended to accelerate their implementation.

  3. The Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework is an important benchmark of progress towards the achievement of the goal, outcomes, priority actions and guiding principles of the Sendai Framework. It will enable us to identify the priorities that must be accelerated, those that must be honed to better reflect the future risk environment and to identify areas of inadequate data. We agreed to bring these priorities to forthcoming events and processes, including (but not limited to) the 2023 Sustainable Development Goals Summit, the UN Water Conference, COP27 and COP28, the Fourth SIDS Conference, and the follow-up arrangements to the SAMOA Pathway and the Vienna Programme of Action. We call on governments to submit timely reports based on the best available data to UNDRR on national progress towards implementing the Sendai Framework and, subsequently, to transform the findings of the Midterm Review into enhanced domestic and international cooperation in order to accelerate progress in the Asia-Pacific region.

  4. Participants expressed strong concern about current disaster trends and impacts. Climate change amplifies risk with far-reaching consequences, especially on the most vulnerable. With concerted action from all sectors, the impacts of climate change can be addressed. Business as usual is not an option; current development and investment practices must change. Governance mechanisms must address existing and emerging risk. Furthermore, international cooperation in all its manifestations, as outlined in the Sendai Framework and reinforced by the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, should be scaled up, building on existing regional and sub-regional organisations and mechanisms. We call on governments and stakeholders to further integrate disaster and climate resilience into national and local development strategies and budgets and call on the scientific community, academia, civil society and the private sector to join them in enhancing the resilience of communities.

  5. Participants stressed the necessity to scale up implementation of integrated and comprehensive disaster and climate risk management at national and local levels. It was appreciated that the Pacific is a global leader in this regard, through its adoption of the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific and the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent. Multi-hazard risk analysis and climate projections must guide risk-informed approaches to sustainable development and investment. A more holistic approach that draws on local, indigenous and traditional knowledge and experience combined with science, technology and innovation, is necessary to reduce existing and emerging risk while recognising that investments in preparedness and anticipatory action remain important to address residual risk. We call on governments and stakeholders to adopt a ‘Think Resilience’ approach to seize all opportunities to advance the priorities that we agreed in Sendai and re-affirmed during the Global Platform in Bali and again here in Brisbane, and significantly scale-up finance for disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation and enhance accessibility to financing instruments.

  6. In line with the principles of ‘leave no one behind’ and ‘nothing about us, without us’, disaster risk reduction must be inclusive and people-centred. Systemic discrimination and inequality are drivers of risk. Intersecting inequalities further exacerbate risk, including gender-based violence and access to sexual and reproductive health in emergencies. It is essential to learn from each other and begin education about disaster risk reduction and climate change at an early age. A gender-transformative, disability-inclusive and human rights-based approach that promotes and supports diverse participation and leadership of women, youth, persons living with disability, LGBTQI+ people, indigenous people and older persons reduces disaster risk. Participants echoed the call from the 66th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women for a gender action plan for the Sendai Framework. We call on governments and stakeholders to uphold the guiding principles of the Sendai Framework and ensure that the capacities, networks, resources, and insights of all people are incorporated into planning, decision-making and implementation of disaster risk reduction initiatives.

  7. Disaster-related disruptions to business continuity are felt most acutely by micro, small and medium enterprises whose financial reserves are limited. Businesses are likely to experience interruptions in supply chains. The flow-on effects to neighbouring communities are profound and undermine efforts to strengthen resilience. Private sector investments in risk prevention and reduction therefore not only protect business infrastructure and assets, but also contribute to the resilience of the communities they serve. We call on central and local governments and the private sector to develop partnerships that strengthen business resilience to climate and disaster risk, adopt risk disclosure frameworks, promote disaster risk transfer options based on effective risk level pricing and harness the innovation of businesses while also facilitating the rapid and effective recovery of communities.

  8. Risk-informed, inclusive and shock-responsive social protection mechanisms are important tools in empowering people to prepare for, cope with and recover from disasters. To be effective, contingent finance must be available to scale up anticipatory action rapidly and efficiently before impact, provide assistance following a shock and be accessible to the most marginalized in society. We call on governments to develop, reform or enhance universally-accessible, adaptive social protection mechanisms and to identify contingent financing streams that will enable individuals to quickly access financial support in preparing for and recovering from a disaster.

  9. Participants welcomed the Principles for Resilient Infrastructure that embed disaster and climate resilience in planning and construction of critical infrastructure. They called for the urgent upgrade of existing infrastructure and associated operation and maintenance systems to better withstand the impacts of future hazards. We call on governments, developers, investors and the business sector to integrate the Principles for Resilient Infrastructure into their decision-making processes, including by ‘Building Back Better’ after disasters.

  10. While working towards a global blueprint for reducing disaster risk, many challenges and solutions are local. Our endeavours are most likely to succeed through whole-of-society approaches that support community priorities and local institutions. Local government authorities are well-positioned to harness this critical pool of experience by creating an enabling environment and facilitating partnerships. We call on governments and stakeholders to strengthen collaboration with – and support to – sub-national entities, local civil society and business as well as communities to ensure that disaster risk reduction investments are community-driven and ‘fit-for-purpose’.

  11. In an increasingly urbanised world, it is essential to integrate a multi-hazard, systems-based approach into urban planning and development that takes into account climate projections. Participants recognised the Making Cities Resilient 2030 initiative as an important platform for cities and partners to collaborate to harness resources and solutions to build urban resilience. We call on governments, local governments and all stakeholders to further integrate disaster and climate resilience into urban planning and development processes.

  12. Responsible ecosystems approaches can effectively mitigate many of the harmful impacts of natural hazards. Local communities, particularly, indigenous people and women, have an acute understanding of the benefits of blue-green infrastructure and sustainable management practices. We call on governments and stakeholders to harness nature-based solutions, including by working with indigenous people and women to draw on their knowledge of land and marine management practices.

  13. Resilient health systems that can withstand the challenges of trans-boundary health emergencies and other crises are critical for the well-being and resilience of communities and individuals. The COVID pandemic has challenged health systems across Asia and the Pacific. The Bangkok Principles seek to enhance the inter-operability of health and disaster risk management systems to better address the cascading impacts of health and disaster emergencies. We call on governments and stakeholders to apply the Bangkok Principles and share lessons identified in reviews of COVID responses.

  14. Food security is a critical element of disaster and climate resilience – hungry and malnourished people are poorly equipped to withstand the impacts of disasters that degrade vital natural resource bases, deplete food reserves, raze agricultural infrastructure, decimate livestock, and impede food supply chains. Disaster risk reduction enables continuity of affordable and nutritious food supplies, shores up nutrition levels and facilitates resilient recovery. We call on governments and stakeholders to strengthen support for resilient agricultural practices and durable food supply chains.

  15. Conflict multiplies the impact of disasters on communities by limiting their capacity to self-manage risk. Concurrently, disasters may trigger instability and displacement. Approaches to financing and implementing disaster risk reduction in these situations must be flexible and based on the principle of ‘Do No Harm’. We call on governments and stakeholders to integrate disaster risk reduction and a risk-informed approach into humanitarian action.

  16. The UN Secretary-General has called for early warning systems to reach everybody within five years. Early warning systems are to be multi-hazard, end-to-end, people-centred and tied to contingent financing mechanisms to enable anticipatory action. They must leverage scientific and local, indigenous and traditional knowledge. We call on governments and stakeholders to accelerate development and/or expansion of impact-based forecasting; and universally-accessible, end-to-end, people-centred and gender-responsive, multi-hazard early warning systems.

  17. Planned evacuation and spontaneous movement away from at risk and disaster areas are critical strategies to protect lives. Ensuring that places of refuge are safe and accessible enables resilient recovery and mitigates onward displacement. We call on governments to review legal, policy, strategic frameworks and plans to better integrate measures that avert, minimise and address disaster displacement and support durable solutions.

Participants expressed gratitude for the hospitality of the Government of Australia, the Queensland Government and the City of Brisbane.