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Nearly 160 countries sign off a deal within the UN to prepare for future extreme weather events.

On the occasion of the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) held in Sendai from 14-18 March, participating states discussed the 22-page draft negotiating text which was built on the last DRR deal agreed in Kobe in 2005.

The new deal pushes countries to draw up tougher plans to face future natural or human influenced disasters, and could set new global targets, such as reducing per capita deaths from disasters, controlling economic losses and enhancing international cooperation; also, the states and the private sector have to address “underlying disaster risk factors through disaster-risk informed investments”.

2015 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR15)was presented, and Margareta Wahlstrom, head of UNISDR, stated that “disaster risk is undermining the capacity of many countries to make capital investment and social expenditures necessary to develop sustainably”; in fact, according to the report economic losses from disasters are now reaching an average of US$250 billion to US$300 billion annually, and often states are more focused on managing disasters that have already arisen than on managing the underlying risks.

The UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon highlighted the connection existing between the DRR deal and climate change, so Sendai will also be a chance to discuss in preparation for the UN climate and sustainable development goals talks that will happen in 2015, and will work as a test for the governments’ willingness to take the global warming threat seriously.

However, the drafting of the disaster deal didn’t draw the attention of the public opinion. That’s primarily due to the fact that the proposals are non-binding and will not force countries to make any financial pledges; also, the UN office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) decided to delink the talks from global warming, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - which has many publications on disaster risk - is not even mentioned in the draft text.


The gLAWcal Team

EPSEI project

Thursday, 5 March 2015

(Source: RTCC)