African governments called upon to strengthen disaster risk governance

21May 2019
The Guardian Reporter
GENEVA
The Guardian
African governments called upon to strengthen disaster risk governance

AFRICAN governments have been urged to understand disaster risk, strengthen disaster risk governance, invest in resilience, and enhance disaster preparedness.

Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Mami Mizutori.

Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Mami Mizutori made the call here during the ongoing sixth session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2019) will take place in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting has been organized by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and hosted by the government of Switzerland.

 

She said that to realize that governments should come up with better strategies to manage risks to human life and material property, ranging from air pollution and biological hazards, through to earthquakes, drought, and climate change.

The UN official said that there is an urgent need for governments to take practical action on the implementation of Sendai framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, which outlines seven clear targets and four priorities for action to prevent new and reduce existing disaster risks

Mizutori said the Sendai framework set five targets and seven indicators, and 192 agreed to implement for the betterment of their people and economic.

She noted that the UNDRR global assessment report on disaster risk reduction outlines major potential risks to human life and property, including climate change, air pollution, biological hazards and prolong drought.

According to her, the report points out what should be done to reduce risk sand having sustainable plans for infrastructures and urbanisation. And it also notify the news risks emerging, including where an extreme weather event realises, a hidden technological risk, causing disruption with cascading impacts on business continuity.

Mizutori  said: “If the government do not adopt appropriate strategies to manage risk, then these threats could slow or even reverse progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

“The world faces new, emerging, and much larger threats than ever before, linked to climate change, environmental degradation, and the growing potential for one disaster to produce or exacerbate another.”

 “Extreme changes in planetary and socio-ecological systems are happening now; we no longer have the luxury of procrastination. If we continue living in this way, engaging with each other and the planet in the way we do, then our very survival is in doubt,” said Mizutori.

She also warned that unsustainable patterns of economic activity hide the build-up of systemic risks across sectors citing for example, dangerous over dependence on single crops in an age of accelerating global warming.

 “We witness severe inequalities of burden sharing between low and high income countries, with the poorest bearing the highest toll and greatest costs of disasters. Human losses and asset losses relative to GDP tend to be higher in the countries with the least capacity to prepare, finance and respond to disasters and climate change, such as in small island developing States.”

There is growing potential for one disaster to produce or exacerbate another as happens often in the case of heavy rains which trigger landslides and mudslides following wildfires or periods of long drought, she said

“If governments do not adopt appropriate strategies to manage risk, then these threats could slow or even reverse progress towards the SDGs, notably eradicating poverty and hunger, and action on climate change,” she added.

“The human race has never before faced such large and complex threats. The doubling of extreme weather events over the last twenty years is further evidence that we need a new approach to managing disaster risk if we are to limit disaster losses. Economic losses are making it an uphill battle to hold on to development gains in low and middle income countries,” said Mizutori.

“At the same time, the resilience gap between rich and poor is made worse by poorly-planned urbanisation, environmental degradation and population growth in disaster exposed areas which add to a complex cocktail of risk which drives internal displacement and migration in search of a better life.”

Adopted by UN Member States in 2015, the Sendai Framework aims to reduce the impact of disasters in terms of mortality, numbers of people affected, and economic loss. It requires.

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