The Second Session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom2) for the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) concluded last 18 November evening in Geneva following two days of debate and discussion. Negotiations will still continue through December and January to have a new draft ready for consideration at the 3rd Prepcom scheduled for March prior to the World Conference on March 14-18.
Over 1,400 people participated in the PrepCom2 representing over 130 governments, over 20 Inter-Governmental Organizations, 21 UN entities and a wide range of NGO, local government, private sector, science and civil society representatives.
The Science and Technology Major Group (STMG) made a series of inputs via statements in the technical workshops and co-chairs dialogue on issues ranging from the contribution that science can make in the implementation of the Framework, the links between the post-2015 agenda and DRR and the integration of DRR with financing. In his role leading the STMG delegation in Geneva, IRDR Executive Director Rudiger Klein delivered the group’s statement within the plenary session held on 17 November. Virginia Jimenez also presented the S&T statement at the Co-Chairs Dialogue. Read the Major Group on Science and Technology Statement.
“Risk is built into the development process, so corrective and prospective measures and actions are needed once we know the underlying factors,” said Virgina Jimenez Diaz, representing the ICSU Regional Office for Latin America.
Schuaib Lwasa, member of the IRDR Scientific Committee from Makerere University in Uganda, said that the STMG was ready to implement the following voluntary commitments:
- Build closer partnerships and better communication to enhance the use of scientific knowledge for evidence-based decision-making at all levels of government;
- Engage to help strengthen capacity—building and to advance risk literacy through curricular reform, in professional training and by life-long learning across all sectors of society;
- Offer analytical tools to assess and advance our knowledge of underlying risk drivers for more effective monitoring and review, across sectors of society);
- Offer advisory capabilities across all fields of science, technology and innovation to address, jointly with communities, stakeholders and governments issues that are relevant to them;
- Propose models for co-design of research that will involve all relevant actors (but which will also require new forms of funding and academic reward systems).
On integrating disaster risk reduction into the post-2015 development agenda, the STMG noted that the zero draft of the Sustainable Development Goals included several universal targets that cover disaster risk. Goals 1, 2, 3, 11, 13 and sub-targets associated with means of implementation would benefit from disaster risk reduction science. Details of the timeline for completing the zero draft are available online.
“Negotiations have progressed but we still have a lot of work ahead of us, we need to continue to work hard and with good will to come to an agreed post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction and to ensure an effective World Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction, ” said Margareta Wahlström, head of UNISDR. Ms. Wahlström also expressed her sincere thanks to Switzerland for sponsoring this PrepCom and for their continued support to the agenda of disaster risk reduction, and to the coming host country of the World Conference, Japan.