Hazard Definition & Classification Review: Technical Review – message from Professor Virginia Murray, Chair of the Technical Working Group

On 29 June, the Hazard Definition & Classification Review: Technical Review was launched online. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 (‘the Sendai Framework’) was one of three landmark agreements adopted by the United Nations in 2015. The other two being the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The UNDRR/ISC Sendai Hazard Definition and Classification Review Technical Report supports all three by providing a common set of hazard definitions for monitoring and reviewing implementation which calls for “a data revolution, rigorous accountability mechanisms and renewed global partnerships”.

The broad range of hazards, and the incrementally interconnected, cascading and complex nature of natural and human-induced hazards, including their potential impact on health, social, economic, financial, political and other systems, calls for a standardised fully-fledged characterisation of hazards that serves as a basis for countries to assess and accordingly enhance their risk reduction policies and operational risk management practices.

Recognizing this challenge, in 2019, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the International Science Council (ISC) launched an ambitious science project to identify the full scope of all hazards relevant to the Sendai Framework and the scientific definitions of these hazards.

Supported by IRDR, a dedicated technical working group which brought together scientists, technical UN agencies and other experts from the private sector and civil society developed this detailed report including six targeted recommendations.

Prof. Virginia Murray, Chair of this Technical Working Group and Co-Chair of IRDR DATA Working Group, expressed her huge thank to IRDR experts and the community for the support and engagement on discussion, writing, and reviewing to deliver this report.