SAMOA Pathway and the “Asia – Pacific Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction” , 3-6 July, Ulaanbaatar , Mongolia

Last week, Samoa along with other Pacific Islands Countries attended the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction that was held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.  A biennial event intended for countries to report on their progress in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 – 2030 as well as share best practices and experience. It also provided the opportunity to look at challenges and emerging issues to inform the way forward. There was focus on national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction as per target (e) of the Sendai Framework with particulars on the infrastructure sector.

The Pacific countries who attended voiced their special case as Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) due to their vulnerability to Climate Change and reconfirm the integration of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change as the approach for building resilience. Samoa’s delegation was led by the Honorable Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Natural Resources and the Environment; and Ulu Bismarck Crawley, CEO, MNRE.

In her address, Honorable Fiame Naomi Mataafa informed the conference of the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific which recognizes the integration of Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction to enhance resilience. The SAMOA Pathway was referenced as the overarching SIDS framework to guide global, regional and national development efforts for sustainable management. Referring to the review of the SAMOA Pathway that Samoa will host at the end of October 2018, she reminded the conference of the opportunity to integrate the Sendai Framework 2015-2030 as the successor of the Hyogo Framework, in particular the progress to date and lessons learnt.

Implementation through development of national and local strategies varies with larger countries taking more time to coordinate the process. This was expected given the size and number of stakeholders involved. The fast growing urban and city population was one of the key challenge and therefore calls for investment in resilient infrastructure programs to service the growing population and related economic activities.

Samoa’s efforts under the Sendai Framework, has developed its National Action Plan for Disaster Risk Management 2017 – 2021 which support efforts towards sustainable development through the inclusion of disaster risk reduction and awareness across all activities.

The Disaster Management Plan 2017 – 2021, provide a policy framework that promotes a whole of government and a whole of society approach to disaster risk management at a local, national and regional level. It enables a coordinated national response of pre and post disaster requirements.

The Disaster Risk Management Mainstreaming Guidelines 2017 provides a mainstreaming tool in integrating/incorporating Climate change and Disaster Risk Management across all sectors which engages public, private sector, NGOs, civil society and communities. A Monitoring and Evaluation Tool has also been developed in line with the mainstreaming guidelines and intends to assess sector plans for streamlining Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change. The damage and loss database that is currently being formulated will be critical for monitoring and evaluation of the progress and implementation of the Sendai Framework come 2030.

The conference main output, the “Ulaanbaatar Declaration” reconfirm the importance of ensuring coherence among the global frameworks such as 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development , the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the Addis Abada Action Agenda on Financing for Development and the SAMOA Pathway to include regional and intergovernmental processes including the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development, the ASEAN Vision 2025and the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific. Furthermore, amongst others, the need for urgent accelerate actions to develop and implement national and local strategies on Disaster Risk Reduction m thereby achieving target (e) of the Sendai Framework by 2020.

The next conference will be held in 2020 and Australia will be hosting it in Brisbane.

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