KYOTO 31 October, 2019 - Earth observation and geospatial data has “huge potential to put risks into context and to make a strong case for disaster risk reduction.”
This was the message delivered yesterday by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori, at the GEO-XV Plenary which was part of GEO Week 2018.
In her keynote speech, the UNISDR chief welcomed the gathering’s focus on three priority areas: the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Agreement on climate, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The week brings together representatives of GEO’s 105 Member governments and 127 Participating Organizations to explore on-going efforts and new opportunities for the use of Earth observations for the benefit of humankind with "Supporting a Resiliient and Sustainable World" as their chosen theme.
Ms. Mizutori said that as more countries put in place national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction by 2020, in line with the Sendai Framework, “earth observation data can greatly assist countries in assessing current risk trends with a view to determining the most pressing priorities that their disaster risk reduction strategies need to address.”
She also highlighted how earth observation data can assist in monitoring the implementation of the Sendai Framework, the Paris Agreement and the SDGs “in a coherent manner, and hence in taking corrective action where implementation is lagging behind.”
Ms. Mizutori also said that earth observation data is essential to UNISDR’s efforts in building a collaborative Global Risk Assessment Framework.
“This framework which will be launched shortly will support countries and decision makers at all levels in assessing their systems-risk comprehensively and enable them to take informed decisions,” she said.
Ms. Mizutori said there would be other opportunities for collaboration between GEO and UNISDR including the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction that will be held in Geneva in May 2019. Registration for the Global Platform opened last week.
She closed her address by stating that UNISDR looked forward to a strong and continuous partnership with GEO and expressing her thanks to the Government of Japan and the GEO Secretariat led by Dr. Gilberto Camara for the hosting and organization of the event.