Sample Chapter - United Nations University

Sample Chapter - United Nations University


(2005–2015): Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters”,

which emanated from the World Conference on Disaster Reduction

held in 2005 in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan and which was subsequently

adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations (A/RES/60/1952)

in January 2006. The Indian Ocean tsunami also focused global attention

on the environmental impacts of the disaster (including from postdisaster

response and reconstruction operations) and highlighted the potential

role of coastal ecosystems in providing hazard protection and

mitigation. It was during this period that global environmental initiatives

such as Mangroves for the Future were launched.

The role of ecosystems in DRR is now well acknowledged in the International

Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), which involves the

international community in promoting global DRR through implementation

of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA). The HFA has five priorities

for action with respect to building resilience to disasters (UNISDR,

2005). One of these priorities for action, entitled “Reduce the underlying

risk factors”, recommends two key activities that have a direct link to ecosystems

and ecosystem management (UNISDR, 2005: 10–11):

1. Environmental and natural resource management with components

that include:

a. sustainable use and management of ecosystems;

b. implementation of integrated environmental and natural resource

management approaches that incorporate disaster risk reduction;

c. linking disaster risk reduction with existing climate variability and

future climate change.

2. Land-use planning and other technical measures with a component on

incorporating disaster risk assessment into rural development planning

and management.

The ISDR Global Assessment Reports on Disaster Risk Reduction in

2009 and 2011 (UNISDR, 2009b, 2011) as well as the Chair Summaries of

both the 2009 and 2011 Global Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction

have highlighted the importance of integrating ecosystem management as

a key component in DRR strategies. The recent IPCC Special Report (2012)

has subsequently echoed this message in stressing the value of investing

in ecosystems as part of climate change adaptation (CCA) strategies, and

ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) has been formally endorsed by the

Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice, under the auspices

of the Nairobi Work Programme of the United Nations Framework

Convention on Climate Change (discussed further below). Moreover,

outcomes from “Rio+20 – The Future We Want” now clearly recognize

DRR as a critical component of sustainable development. At a UN General

Assembly Thematic Debate on Disaster Risk Reduction in April

2012 in New York, organized in preparation for the Rio+20 conference,

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